Photo: Nicholas O'Donnell

Carpark

Emerging as a band to keenly watch in the music scene, poised to make a significant impact with their artistic vision and authentic sound, Carpark, made up of Hattie, Loda, and Scottie, add their new EP, Born to Be Average, to their discography. Continuing with a dreamy atmosphere, ethereal melodies, and introspective lyricism, Carpark are ready to bring back the nostalgic echoes of the 90s and early 2000s while also keeping their signature sound.

In this ever-changing industry, Carpark are able to stay true to themselves, as they infuse their sound with a contemporary twist that feels both nostalgic and refreshing. By not only paying homage to the sounds that defined them but also carving out an authentic identity that expresses their art in the best way.

Photo: Nicholas O’Donnell

Not taking themselves too seriously is just one way that Carpark stays true to their artistic vision, as well as considering the practical and business aspects of the industry. “We also try to keep a strong sense of direction. We do the best we can and create things that are exciting for us and then move on to the next thing without overthinking it. Same with the business side, if we keep moving and keep getting better, then if people are genuine and want to help, they can jump on or off at any point.”

Carpark brought something different to the table this time round. A ballad. This came in the shape of the track, “Happy On Mars”. “It explores the literal meaning in a futuristic scenario of someone you love moving to Mars, but also someone you love leaving you to move onto someone or something better, and wanting them to stay.” Another theme that can be heard throughout the EP is Existential Crisis. “For us, it is a running theme. When everything around you is moving so fast it can feel like you’re living in slow motion. That’s why we decided to ground the EP with ‘Born To Be Average’ which is a kind of acceptance and celebration of being average and a message to stop striving for perfection.”

“In our first meeting, our lawyer told us a story about a successful artist who ended up completely miserable and lonely. So we just try to enjoy where we’re at and are grateful for every opportunity that comes our way big or small.”

Being able to convey the relatability factor through music is important, as it allows listeners to feel even more of a connection and also serves as a bridge between the artist and the audience. It can also serve as a healing tool for many people to help find solace in shared struggles and in return, find strength. For the band, with this new EP, they wanted to keep it “quite light-hearted and relatable. The overall message of this EP is that we know what it’s like to feel under-estimated – but actually, it’s okay to be the underdog – and maybe kind of cool?”

“We recorded drums in Essex at our label’s studio over the summer which involved drinking beers on the tennis court and watching horror films while Loda was hard at work. We did everything else with Spacemen at Numen Studios in Addlestone.” While in the writing and recording process, there was one song on the EP that stood out as being the most challenging to have written. “The additional track off the EP, “Blow Me Outta The Water” was probably the most difficult because it’s our oldest song and we’ve been playing it live since we started. So we had to rethink and rewrite parts to make it feel relevant to us now.”

For anyone who has yet to see Carpark live, “powerful, energetic live performance and awkward jokes” is what people expect to see on stage. “Scottie and Hattie stomping around the stage trying not to bang into each other, Loda holding it all together in the back.” Having supported The Libertines on two of their shows this year, they found out that they enjoyed a challenge while trying to win over a new type of crowd. “The shows were amazing. In the past we’ve mainly supported young female artists so it was a different kind of crowd for sure, they probably needed a bit more to be won over, but we always love a challenge. The rawness and rowdiness of the crowd were kind of crazy during the Libertines show with people being dragged out of the venue and climbing on top of each other to try and get on stage. It felt like being transported back in time.”

“We have so many influences between the three of us that we each have a bank of things that influence our individual parts,” they expressed. “But then when it comes together,  it creates something that feels new and exciting for us.” If there were three songs that best represent the band’s DNA, it would be Paramore’s “Misery Business,”  Dinosaur Pile Up’s “Back Foot,” and “I’m With You” by Avril Lavigne.

Scottie, Hattie, and Loda take a trip down memory lane to the moment they realized the direction they wanted to take their music based on certain influences. “When we wrote Suburbs of Hell, it felt right, ” said Scottie. “Then when we played it live for the first time, it was so fun and energetic I kinda wanted our whole set to be like that.”

Credit: Nichola O’Donnell

For Hattie, “it kind of just happens naturally, we don’t have a specific way that we want to sound, it’s just Loda as a Drummer, Scottie as a bassist/vocalist, and me and a guitarist together that make it Carpark, ” she explains. “If it was just me on my own, we would sound like a McFly tribute band. But we all bring our different styles to the mix to create the Carpark sound. I like the direction we’ve gone in with this EP which is a bit more pop/punky and less indie than our debut EP The World Ended in 2012.”

“I remember Paramore dropping their album Riot! and I’d never connected to music like that before!”, says Loda proudly. “Years later, I was lucky to find Scottie when I moved to London & joined a band. I felt so ‘at home’ in the rock band scene!”

From their musical influences to the authenticity they continue to showcase both on and off stage, it can also be something as simple as reading a book that could inspire Scottie and Hattie in terms of creativity. “For me reading as well, but also films, especially films about musicians, explains Hattie. “Whenever I watch films like A Star is Born or even School of Rock it makes me want to write a song, form a band, and live their experiences – I’m a bit of a dreamer like that.”

For Loda, it’s her family that can spark her creativity from time to time. “I’m very close with my family, particularly my brother & sisters,” she mentions. “They’re incredible people & we’ve each been through a lot of hard times, but we carry each other through it and they inspire the hell out of me!”

Reflecting on their journey, Hattie, Loda, and Scottie emphasize the importance of authenticity, Carpark reminds anyone with a dream to not compromise their artistry. “You have to manage your expectations otherwise there’s a lot of disappointment waiting to slap you in the face. Remembering why we make music in the first place and building connections with the fans is what helps us the most.”

As they continue to carve their way through the industry, Carpark remind themselves to push the boundaries and continue to dream and inspire.