Photo credit: Tommy Chase Lucas
Eddi Front is the moniker of 27-year-old Ivana Carrescia, a Nevada-born, New York based artist.
There is an unmistakably noirish quality to Eddi’s exquisitely poised ballads and her words, backed simply with shivering piano and guitar, are full of sweet menace. But her voice – breathy and beguiling – belies the force, and sometimes filth, of her lyrics. As an old-fashioned purist when it comes to building and recording a track, it means her songs are haunted with a creaking, dusty, old music hall quality.
It took a long time for Eddi to even be persuaded by her musician friends into a studio. Having been so devoted to simply recording the song in the moment on her four-track, anything more high-tech, she says, “felt like cheating.” The resulting studio recordings that shape her self-titled debut EP have lost none of the charm of those humble introductory demos, retaining that hazy, dreamlike quality.
She claims to have been making up songs since she was a child, filling cassette tapes with recordings of herself singing. Her father, an orchestra conductor, put her on to the violin, but it was picking up a guitar when she was fifteen that set her on her songwriting course, helped along by discovering artists like Bill Callahan and Will Oldham.
Eddi is, by her own admission, “a very private person” and attributes some of that to her unusual childhood. As an only child, she grew up all over the United States: she and her mother, a linguist, would live in a place for just a year or two at a time before moving on. This itinerant childhood, as well as being the only child in a single-parent family, meant a lot of solitude. “I was very shy” she says. “It was very hard for me to make friends, so I was always by myself, drawing and listening to music.”
Following a year at art school in Savannah, Georgia studying painting, Eddi realised that she was moving in a different artistic direction and left Georgia for New York. There she worked a series of restaurant jobs, focusing her down time writing and playing as many gigs as she could and sharing stages with singers like Sharon Van Etten and Death Vessel and recording with Ryan Adams.
What follows this first offering is as much of a mystery as the lady herself, but what we do know from the demos that have appeared and disappeared on the internet, is that one eye should remain firmly on Eddi Front.
Forthcoming live dates
24 – The Slipper Room, New York
12-17 – SXSW, Austin TX
Previous live appearances
8 – St Pancras Old Church, London