Evocative music can be some of the best. And musician Shannon Carey, who performs under the moniker Luray, has a particular knack for doing just that. Her songs feel welcoming, yet elusive, like a long-forgotten photograph you find at the bottom of a box, a memory that gets hazier with each passing year.
“My songs tell me what’s going on with me, like my unconscious trying to get my attention,” explains Carey, who had plenty to unravel in her life leading up to the recording of her sophomore full length, Dig. “My marriage broke up while I was writing this album and the songs started to speak to me about my relationship and what I was hoping for and holding onto. What I wasn’t letting myself acknowledge. I moved to Richmond and set to finishing the songs for the record. I wrote more songs about how it felt to lose, and how it felt to be starting over.”
Although Carey has called Richmond, Virginia home for a number of years, her music has an inescapable imprint of her Wisconsin upbringing. And it’s back in Eau Claire, Wisconsin that she set about recording the album, enlisting her brother Sean Carey to produce. “The band drove out to Wisconsin and met up with Sean and engineer Brian Joseph, who had just completed building his own studio, which he called The Hive. It’s in the woods and feels very ‘Northern Wisconsin’ — feels like a little haven from the world.” The Hive became the perfect locale to capture such a personal collection of songs. “It’s hard to explain how intimate the recording process was, but it felt very insular and almost delicate. After the end of that relationship that had been so central, I felt a little fragile and obviously in transition. Sometimes you can hear something tentative in my vocals. I had been getting my new life together for the past year, but it still felt strange.”
The eleven songs that came to form Dig provide a stolen glance at a snapshot of Shannon Carey’s life, yet invite listeners into the story to explore for themselves. It also marks the closing of one chapter and the beginning of the next.
(Photo Credit: Jake Cunningham)