Powerful, engrossing and bold, Karise Eden’s new album Born To Fight captures the spirit of the singer who shot to fame at the age of just 19 and soon grew into a woman more than ready to take on the world.
Karise knows there’s strength in her vulnerability, she’s been there and she can plumb those depths. But since releasing her second album Things I’ve Done (2014) she realised she wanted to make music that showed her fiery side and her passion for blues, rock’n roll and even a great power ballad. “I’ve always been singing sad soul songs and I thought, just for once, there’s another side of my personality that’s never been shown on camera, my off-screen sass and who I am as a person, and that’s a lot of what poured into this album,” she says.
Teaming up with Melbourne producer Jan Skubiszewski (Dan Sultan, John Butler Trio, ILLY, Ella Hooper and The Cat Empire) Karise started to explore this fuller sound in his Red Moon Studios in Victoria’s Macedon Ranges. She used imagery to explain how she wanted the music to sound. She imagined the American desert - a mysterious and haunting landscape - and the kind of music that wouldn’t be out of place in a classic spaghetti Western.
On a track such as ‘Powerless’ it’s hard not to imagine Karise in that desert, ready to face anyone or anything that would dare to challenge her. These are songs from a woman ready to take on anything, which is exactly how she felt at the beginning of the recording process.
As a musician, Karise still enjoys the element of surprise and the chance to take an unexpected turn. Just when you think you know where the album is going, Karise will throw a curve ball. A blues song will morph into a synthesiser breakdown, or a Motown-inspired track will be followed by a song that Meat Loaf would kill to have in his arsenal. But it always comes back to the song.
So she took the opportunity to work with a dear friend, songwriter Alysia Rosa, and co-wrote the song ‘Hopeless’. She wasn’t afraid to let her acoustic-guitar playing stand out as a moment of true reflection on the album. “Because of the lyrical content and the story it tells, I wanted to keep that song in its rawest form,” she says.