Private Playlist: Edith Crash shares music that opens doors to other worlds

Edith Crash. Photo by Florencia P. Marano

Private Playlist is a listening session with Southern California’s most notable musical figures in their private creative environments.

Edith Crash is the nom du disque of Carole Sabouraud, a composer, producer, and songwriter originally hailing from Perpignan, France. Sabouraud moved to Spain as a teenager and began playing in bands and composing for films and documentaries. She adopted the Edith Crash moniker upon moving to LA in 2013. Here she met producer and multi-instrumentalist Alain Johannes (Queens of the Stone Age, PJ Harvey, Eleven), with whom she recorded 2015’s “Partir,” dedicated to her late mother. NPR caught Crash’s 2016 performance at SXSW and hailed her "bluesy, folky music,” calling it “very dark and strange."

Crash signed to Light in the Attic Records in 2019 and released “Frenzy,” her most recent album, co-produced with Jeff Berner (Psychic TV, Tony Conrad, Boy George). She filmed the video for her song “Running” on the grounds of DTLA’s famed underground haunt, The Smell. KCRW’s own Henry Rollins hailed the album as “super cool.”

Last year, Sabouraud released her first album under her own name, a self-described “epic trailer album” titled “Suture.” And in 2021, she joined the mentorship program of the Alliance for Women Film Composers under the guidance of Emmy-nominated composer Miriam Cutler (“RBG,” “Dark Money”).

For this edition of Private Playlist, Edith Crash selects five songs that have influenced her haunting and otherworldly music, including Dead Can Dance and Psychic TV.

“I feel like songs can connect you to something higher and open doors to worlds you didn't even know existed.” — Edith Crash

Edith Crash: Music has always been such a cathartic experience to me, a way of healing and finding balance in this crazy world. Also, I feel like songs can connect you to something higher and open doors to worlds you didn't even know existed. So for this playlist, I wanted to feature tracks that I think have this kind of power.


I don't know if there are words strong enough to describe Dead Can Dance“The Host of Seraphim” is just breathtaking and time completely stops whenever I listen to it. Lisa Gerrard is one of my favorite vocalists. She's from another planet, I guess. I love that she uses her own invented language. She said in an interview that she started singing like that when she was a teenager, and I love this idea because she's not restricted by any language. And I feel like the music goes way beyond what we can comprehend.


I had a hard time choosing only one track from Alain Johannes because I love everything he does. "When Morning Comes" is a song from his last album, "Hum." And it's a kind of psychedelic mantra. Alain is one of the most talented musicians I know, but also such an incredible human being. He has worked with some of the biggest names in the rock scene — Queens of the Stone Age, Chris Cornell, Mark Lanegan — but he's still incredibly humble and he truly cares about the music. I had a chance to record with him in 2016 for my album, "Partir." I wrote the record while I was losing my mother, who passed away, and being able to record with him was one of the things that really helped me stay focused. There's definitely a lot of magic around him.


The Great Sadness is a duo from LA. Their music is super raw, powerful, and visceral. It's a beautiful chaos that will make you want to jump around and scream. I love the heaviness and the dynamics in "Honey." [I love] the way it evolves, and the complete madness where Cathy Cooper screams everything out. Her voice is so haunting, and whenever I listen to them, I feel this relief. I shake everything out and I'm at peace finally.


"Snakes" is one of my favorite records from Psychic TV, and "Burning the Old Home" makes me feel like I'm floating somewhere in space. I love the main riff and the way Genesis Breyer P-Orridge's lyrics flow during the 13 minutes of the track. Jeff Berner, who plays guitar and produced the album, told me that this song came very naturally while they were playing together. They recorded it live on the spot so most of what we hear, including the lyrics, was made up in that moment. It makes sense, because the energy of the song feels very natural.


Bonga’s "Mona Ki Ngi Xica" popped up while I was driving in my car a couple of weeks ago. I had no idea about his history or the meaning of the lyrics at [that] moment, but I was completely mesmerized by his voice and tears started coming from my eyes. Then I learned more about him. He was born in Angola. The country was colonized by Portugal in the '70s, and he was supporting independence at the time. That led him to being exiled from his home. He ended up in the Netherlands and recorded this album, "Angola 72/74," which is a really powerful protest album. "Mona Ki Ngi Xica" is one of the tracks from this record, and [the title] means "The Child I'm Leaving Behind."

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