Of all places, it was Wikipedia that first brought Carina Round to my attention. It was sometime in the late 2000s, I was deeply enamoured with the industrial-chillout that was Puscifer’s debut album, ‘V’ is for Vagina, and I was reading the band’s Wikipedia entry when I noticed Round listed as an associated act. Around this time I had also embarked on a quest to expand my listening habits and was finding Wikipedia’s ‘associated acts’ listings, and YouTube’s suggestions to be an invaluable source of new music to devour – I discovered several acts that I now adore this way.
Jumping straight from Wikipeadia to YouTube, it didn’t take me long to stumble upon the above live performance of For Everything A Reason. Despite the footage’s audio-quality degrading as the song’s crescendo builds, I was captivated by the intensity of Round’s performance. Her vocals, which so perfectly expressed the anguish and the emotional gamut of grief in action, and the artful build and release of the song. Not long after I discovered that a set she played at Martyrs, was available to view online. It was official; I was hooked.
As a general rule, I prefer my music to come with physical media, feeling that the album artwork and packaging speaks to the experience of the music the artist intends for the listener. But search as I might, I just couldn’t find any of Round’s albums for sale in any of Sydney’s music stores, so the Things You Should Know EP became one of only three releases I’ve purchased as a digital download. It wasn’t until the release of Conditions of My Parole, by Puscifer in 2011, that I got to lay my hand’s on a physical release of music Round was involved in. At the start of 2013 I even managed to see Round perform live, when Puscifer visited Australia. Aside from having one of the best visual elements I’ve ever seen in a live show, the gig also involved a sultry rendition of REV 22:20 courtesy of Round, which was arresting to say the least.
Despite a busy schedule recording and touring as a member of Puscifer, Round has continued to record and tour her own music. While Round’s solo work doesn’t exist a million miles away from the electro-rock of Puscifer’s recent releases, it is distinct enough that it illustrates Round’s versatility as a musician. Couple this versatility with her evident work ethic in writing, recording, and performing regularly, and her strong presence on the stage, and it becomes clear that Carina Round is one of the Women-Who-Rocktober.