Track: Carla Wehbe’s extraordinary vocals give an ethereal cast to the yearning single ‘is forever off the table?’

Feature Photograph: Ash Lim

New single ‘is forever off the table?’ has an immeasurable buoyancy and lilt that weaves its way under the extraordinary agile vocals of Sydney artist Carla Wehbe.

Infused with a deep sense of regret and despair that can only come from experience of frustration and loss, this is a beguiling track that tempers tragedy with a wry sense of humour in the lyrics as Wehbe sings what if I belong to you but you belong to someone else? , and then follows with the wrench of a false universe: I woke up in Paris, jumped in my Lexus, we drove for miles and got lost for a while, but there is no Paris and I live with my parents and I’m in my bed sleeping with my denial. This beautifully observed poetry has a raw and expressive honesty.

The music is enchanting – a stop start motion that has a glam stomp restless energy restrained by anxiety and uncertainty. Wehbe has a certain star quality about her that shines through in this track: uncompromising, creative but able to inject a bit of levity and self reflection.

The accompanying video directed by Kyle Caulfield is an immersive performance piece as Wehbe bedecked in cowboy gear swims deep in her intensity in the lingering shadows with a mysterious alien presence lurking. A theme of space cowboys subverting reality, capturing the feeling of alienation with your surroundings. Wehbe’s performance and presence is enigmatic and sulky: utterly transfixing.

‘is forever off the table?’ is out now and available to stream and download here.

Feature Photograph: Ash Lim

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