Recording under the moniker of Boothe since 2019, New York musician and sound artist Boothe Carlson creates music that radiates an uncommon creative spark, a sound that delves into the kind of vivid musical extrapolations rarely encountered and only occasionally successful. But Carlson manages to inject her own unique perspective into her music, relying on impulses driven by the echoes of countless influences, though she is never beholden to those same inspirations.
She released her debut EP, 8 or 9 walled room, in 2019 on the Nino Tomorrow Label, and it found her venturing into avant-pop territories that focused on brief musical excursions favoring genre deconstruction and the use of inventive rhythmic adaptation. Despite the lo-fi aesthetics, the music was a welcoming clatter of odd percussion and electronic ephemera — a fleeting journey into Boothe’s headspace and an invitation to anyone within earshot to rest in the music’s curious embrace.
She’s just announced a new single called “You, in the grass”, and it’s a self-contained hallucinatory pop song that details the ups and downs of affection. As the relationship begins, she considers the physical fondness: “Look at you with tempered eyes, at the speedway there were horseflies, you look up and catch me.” As the song comes to its resolution, she isn’t shy about the possible realities of a faded connection, singing “On the clock or down the line, feel my skin turn into rawhide, yet again and always.” Co-produced and mixed by Andrew Osterhoudt, the song is a bedroom fever dream, with soft harmonies balanced by warped electronic flourishes and a constantly shifting gait which makes it impossible to characterize.
“When I wrote ‘You, in the grass’ last summer, I was hung up on this one sunny afternoon I spent in a field,” Boothe recalls. “My mind kept returning to that place, and how it felt to be there. I had this sort of jilted freeze frame in my head — which later became the conception of the video. When I watch the video now, there is this feeling of being stuck, but also in constant motion — which feels true to how I was feeling at the time. In the summer it’s hard to tell whether everything is moving fast or slow. Something about loops/repetition/walking in circles and some kind of surrender to it.“
The accompanying video was directed by Boothe, lensed by Cal Fish, and features Boothe and visual artist Ryen Heart playing a makeshift board game and glitching out in what appears to be a wide wooded area. It’s a surreal and appropriate companion to the music, balancing the sunny disposition of nature against the fractured world of the song.