Lara De Koster: Uplifting, Truthful and Depressing
Singing the Blues by the beach and sipping whisky when you have work in the morning. Falling hard and fast. Care-free but cautious. Long late night walks alone; this is how Lara De Koster’s music seeps into your skin, its soul searching in all the wrong places, and finding home there.
Lara’s music is a reflection of herself; it’s full of feeling – but like her sexuality –her music is fluid. Her tunes flow with a folk feel on the fiddle, and a somberness that only country music can claim.
This video call is a little different though. We chat about some stuff I know – from years of friendship – and some stuff I probably forgot, because unless you’re doing an interview you don’t generally discuss this shit – at least not without a 3am whisky.
Lara lives on the Morning Peninsula of Victoria. She’s an (almost) 26-year-old musician, who describes herself as a lone wolf. She tells me about her day – which is largely uneventful, although she did try curried eggs for the first time. She reports back: they were pretty unimpressive.
Lara has always been a creative person, it doesn’t matter what she was doing, or where she was. She grew up playing music, painting, weaving baskets and even molding creek clay into whatever her obsession that day, (if I know her, and I do, it was probably a turtle).
I ask Lara to describe her music in three words: ‘depressing, truthful and uplifting.’
To me, it seems true to form. I ask Lara about what inspires her, and who has influenced her music. She tells me Lana Del Rey and Amy Winehouse, and this solidifies her description. Lara, (like those who inspire her) writes the heartbreak ballad. It’s music for the girl with running black eyeliner taking whiskey shots at the bar. It’s music for the girl stumbling, high-heels in hand, tipsy from wearing her heart on her cheek. Its gut wrenching and we agree there’s nothing more beautiful – after all happiness is boring.
Lara tells me her new single Times Two, was written while in love and in pain, she describes herself at the time as being ‘really really stoned and drunk.’ The single is inspired by a brief encounter, and the video by a toxic sense of love that transcends time; like our video calls after a few glasses of wine.
For Lara music is about storytelling. Her new single Times Two employs this. Times Two is a running narrative of female suffering in the current climate of situationships. Lara describes it as an open-door perspective from a woman’s point of view. Lara tells me a little more about her single:
(Times Two is about): ‘The love that we all desire as women. We want the bad boy that makes us feel alive, but the pain of knowing it’s not a forever thing, even though we wishes it would, we knows he’s going to leave. So, it makes the time more toxic, but more real, but in the end it doesn’t last. It’s a fire that burns out quickly, it’s passionate and never safe, but it makes us feel alive.’
‘Make me shake (times two), that’s the part that’s all about an orgasm, it’s about a girl in lust.’
I ask Lara how long she’s been playing music. She answers me in a kind of broken English. The truth is: Lara can speak one language, and her language is music. So when you ask her a simple question and she manages to sound like a foreign exchange student, know this: English is not her first language, she’s been fluent since she was five – just not in the Queens English. Lara mastered many instruments at a young age, and can play by ear; playing and learning a song as she hears it.
Lara tells me the violin is her favorite instrument to play. Although she’s mastered the piano and taught herself the guitar, it’s the violin that pulls on her heartstrings. Lara’s tells me about her experience of playing music for twenty years and how she learnt the guitar:
‘After many nights with Dad jamming and playing his guitar, I started wanting to learn, so I asked him one night if he could teach me, and he says; ‘Lara you only need three chords’ and he wrote them down on a piece of paper and said ‘there you go, now you know all the fucking songs in the world (chord C, D, G)’.
From there Lara picked up the guitar.
I ask Lara a real cunty question: what’s your favorite song? Lara explains that it’s almost impossible to answer, but currently its Old Shoes by Tom Waits.
Lara tells me that when she isn’t creating she’s getting drunk. Giver her a glass of red, or a whiskey and coke, and she’s happy girl. It’s true: Lara is a cheap date.
For Lara music is what connects us. Music is rebellion, it’s screaming your deepest feelings to an audience and seeing what they do with it. It’s crying about a million things at once, since the beginning of time. It’s finding connection in the beauty of our pain.