Black and white portrait photo of artist Carsie Blanton.

Artist Carsie Blanton on new music, sexuality, and capitalism

There’s no better introduction to the world of Carsie Blanton than through her music video for her song “Jacket.” It’s lurid, kinetic, brimming with erotic energy- and most of all– it’s a damn fun time.

After speaking with Blanton, it became apparent that this music couldn’t have come from anyone else. Blanton herself is an unyielding force of nature, forever moving forward and ever-changing. Consequently, it came as no surprise to learn that Carsie had been living in different parts of the United States throughout her life to fulfill her innate sense of wanderlust.

At the age of sixteen, Blanton moved out of her parents’ house and found herself in Eugene, Oregon, where she became part of a touring funk band. “I’ve moved every four or so years since then,” Blanton said. As of now, she resides in New Orleans, but still maintains a yearning to explore.

“When you live in one place for a long time, you become part of the scene there,” Blanton said. “And I’m just not a scenester. I’m a little bit of a chronic outsider.”

Blanton finds reprieve from stagnation by travelling and touring; currently, she has embarked on a five-month long tour to support her newest album, Buck Up. This May 11th, Blanton is coming to the Brickroom in Ashland, Oregon to perform her latest music. “The routing works out well,” Blanton explained. “The West Coast has a lot of super long drives, so I’m always excited if there is a show in between two major cities.”

Buck Up, released in February 2019, bubbles and brims with Blanton’s trademark catchiness; however, there’s depth to the themes of the album. This [album], more than the others, was a little bit difficult to write and record,” Blanton said. “There was a lot of more dark material than on the previous few albums, so it was a little bit emotionally challenging.”

Included throughout the track list of Buck Up are themes of sexuality and femininity often explored in Blanton’s music. “Writing about sexuality and being a woman is the peripheral lens that I write through,” Blanton said. “That’s because I am a woman, and also because for me, creativity and sexuality are kind of tied up with each other.”

“Usually if I’m writing a song, it’s because I’m turned on or involved in some sort of erotic energy with someone else,” she continued.

Blanton’s passion for discussing sexuality has extended beyond her music and into her entrepreneurship. She developed and published her very own card game, titled The F’ing Truth. “The game is like a cross between bingo and never have I ever,” Blanton explained. “It makes it sort of fun and easy for people to have really frank discussions about sex.”

“[Sexuality] has always been one of the topics that I’ve always been interested in thinking and writing about,” Blanton said. “Once I started working on it, I got super obsessed- like I tend to do with projects- and I couldn’t rest until it was manufactured and sold in Urban Outfitters.

Blanton’s entrepreneurship can be found in her endeavours as a musical artist, as well. In 2008, Blanton co-founded Quidplayer, a music player widget that allows fans to pick their own price when downloading music from artists. It’s a model that has gained immense popularity with platforms such as Bandcamp.

“I think that because we live in a capitalistic society, a lot of parts of our lives are forced into the capitalist model,” Blanton said, “which wants to make things into products that can be sold at a fixed price.”

Blanton says that some products fit well within this model, but music is not one of them. “It’s a really awkward fit,” Blanton said. “Paying what you want is one of the ways to make it a little less awkward. That to me feels like a more natural model, rather than pretending that songs are products, like a potato or whatever.”

Carsie Blanton isn’t the type of musical artist who sits by and surrenders to the seemingly inexorable forces that rule our lives. Whether it be taking a stand for open sexuality or revolutionizing the way musicians interact with their fans, she actively fights tooth and nail for what she believes in.

As she proclaims in the lyrics of “Jacket,” Blanton is a revolutionary, in every sense of the word.

Leave a Reply