It only took a thirty seconds of the opening track on Infinity Crush’s 2016 LP Warmth Equation before my ears perked up. Caroline White’s vocals are divine and devastating, floating about a bed of instrumentation that somehow uses sound to build worlds. It’s really something.
On her new LP Virtual Heaven, White blurs the line between fantasy and reality, while confronting instances of moral conflict that seem to arise on a near-constant basis in today’s world. Lead single “Misbehaving” sounds like a Cranberries deep cut, while “Drive Thru” evokes the bedroom pop greats of recent years. It’s all really great.
In anticipation of the new collection, White sat down to talk literary influences, Charli XCX, and glittery birds in the latest Indie Mixtape 20 Q&A.
What are four words you would use to describe your music?
Sentimental, hopeful, melodramatic, silly (sometimes!)
Years from now, how do you hope people will remember your work?
I just would hope that people have sweet memories attached to the songs.
What’s your favorite city in the world to perform?
I’ve only performed in the U.S., but my favorite show so far has been in Minneapolis last summer. I really connected with the crowd there and felt moved by them.
Who’s the person who has most inspired your work, and why?
I’m never sure what or who really inspires my work — I think it’s a combination of factors, but it seems mysterious. A lot of it comes from books, because they’re able to be so poetic and unconstrained in a way that I wish my music could be. So there are a lot of authors that inspire my work. I don’t talk much about music with people in my daily life. There are plenty of musicians I know and admire, but I’m not sure where the sources of inspiration come from.
Where did you eat the best meal of your life?
Probably in Detroit when I got fried avocado tacos.
What album do you know every word to?
What was the best concert you’ve ever attended?
In recent memory, Tomberlin.
What is the best outfit for performing and why?
I love dressing up for shows. I always look like I’m getting picked up to go to prom immediately after. It’s fun to feel completely separate from your usual self and have an excuse to wear something elaborate.
Who’s your favorite person to follow on Twitter and/or Instagram?
My friend John.
What’s your most frequently played song in the van on tour?
What’s the last thing you Googled?
“glittery birds” (???)
What album makes for the perfect gift?
Do you have a favorite hotel you enjoy staying at when you tour?
This question is too chic for me. I’ll stay anywhere where I can lie down.
What’s the story behind your first or favorite tattoo?
I have a chair because I love to sit.
What artists keep you from flipping the channel on the radio?
I like listening to the local radio station here in Raleigh. They play some cool techno and electronic stuff at night.
What’s the nicest thing anyone has ever done for you?
I had a teacher that would always let me borrow books and was incredibly encouraging and generous and kind when my dad died. I know it’s not a dramatic and grand gesture, but it did really impact me.
What’s one piece of advice you’d go back in time to give to your 18-year-old self?
“You’re bipolar you idiot!!!!! Love you!!!!”
What’s the last show you went to?
What movie can you not resist watching when it’s on TV?
What would you cook if Kanye were coming to your house for dinner?
My eating habits are incredibly cursed, so hopefully his personal chef could help.
Virtual Heaven is out August 9 on Joy Void.