Byron Bay's Carmen Cane takes a sultry look at life
THE debut single of Byron performer Carmen Cane conjures images of a sultry performer sweeping across the stage of a smoke-shrouded jazz hall.
A mysterious figure dressed in pearls and a velvet gown weaving in and out of the shadows.
The first thing that strikes you about the homegrown talent when you meet her is her age.
The down-to-earth 20-year-old has a voice and presence beyond her years and could very well be the Far North Coast's answer to Lana Del Rey.
Her recent single and music video, Lavender Motel, hit a chord with young audiences attracting more than 5000 new fans on Facebook in only three months and achieving international attention.
Ms Cane is emerging through a cluttered musical landscape of production-line pop princesses with her own unique voice.
She does not look towards MTV superstars and radio Top 40s artists when she is looking for inspiration.
"I never felt I should have to dance around half undressed in order to establish myself as a successful female musician," she said.
Her musical taste ventures back through the decades to the works of Led Zeppelin and the Rolling Stones.
Music had a powerful effect on Ms Cane when, as a child, she discovered her father's record collection.
Leafing through her dad's prized LPs, she discovered a new, enthralling world.
"I used to find the ones that had cool covers," she said, "and when I found Steely Dan's Can't Buy a Thrill it was revolutionary for me. I'd never seen that level of cool."
Her transition from singing at home on her own to releasing her own single and performing publicly did not come easily.
She discovered quickly that when a tall poppy emerges there is always somebody waiting to cut it down.
"For a long time I felt too vulnerable to put my work out there," she said.
"For as many friends as I've made, I've had as many people trying to tear me down."
The beauty of her debut single Lavender Motel is in its simplicity.
Produced by 1970s rock veteran Jason Garwood, the single is a sultry fusion of jazz and pop.
Carmen Cane performs at RAW Byron Bay AXIS Showcase tonight.