With a background in musical theatre, cabaret and burlesque, an unhealthy obsession with horror films and a scene kid phase that will never truly end, Sydney-based maiden of musical mayhem Clara Fable is a tough one to quantify.
Where, oh where in a world where fitting into boxes neatly isn’t just expected, it’s rewarded, would such an artist find their footing? In the curious case of Fable, she simply doesn’t – she created her own world instead. That world is one in which she can do and be whatever she wants, whenever she feels like it; one where she can perform at a burlesque show and also support groups like Five Finger Death Punch and Limp Bizkit.
“I definitely grew up thinking, ‘Where do I fit in, in music?'” Fable recalls, speaking with Blunt Magazine hot off the heels of her latest single, ‘Jennifer’s Body’.
“I grew up singing other people’s music, covering songs or doing musical theatre, [but] you’re playing someone else. When I came to thinking, ‘How am I going to make music that’s truly me?’ The artists that inspire me most are the ones that are like, ‘I don’t give a fuck. This is exactly what I want to do and how I want to be and how I want to portray my art.’ So I guess, me too.”
In an act of unholy alchemy, Fable began concocting her signature elixir, adding in hefty doses – not mere dashes – of her favourite things. The end result requires us to use incredible imagination – is it horror pop? Occultcore? Post-cabaret punk camp? Is there a name for something in the middle of them all?
It’s certainly ironic that for an artist so difficult to identify, so hellbent on remaining enigmatic, that identity would become a main tenet of her art. In the brief but eventful time that Fable has been around, she’s summoned three singles to life. They concurrently uphold the mystique of the project, while also giving key insight into what makes Fable tick.
‘Nosferatu’ is inspired, and fuelled, by the idea of identity, with Fable noting it as an opportunity to introduce the dimension she’s created. “You know what? I’m a vampire. This is my whole thing now. I’m going to make this the beginning of the world.”
The second single, ‘Cherry Ripe’, again falls under the concept of coming to terms with one’s self, with the story based on discovering your sexuality. “It was basically like a really big, deep dive into the quirkiness of being a gay woman,” Fable explains.
Current single ‘Jennifer’s Body’, a discussion surrounding body autonomy, continues the theme, though this time, also visually. The idea first came to Fable as a visual montage, inspiring her to work backwards from that representation.
“I feel like all the characters, all the creations in my visuals and in my music are kind of just extensions of me anyway,” Fable surmises of her hectic style-shifting.
“It’s like if I was a more over-the-top, dramatic version of me in this scenario, how would I look? How would I sound? What would I say? It’s all just an extension of me being dramatic…And I think growing up, performing musical theatre, you’re used to jumping into different roles very quickly throughout shows.”
And so, despite the constant juggling act of sensibilities, personalities and characters, don’t expect Fable to fumble any time soon. She’s laser-targeted on perfecting her vision, even with one eye keenly tuned to what’s happening next.
“I’ve got a bit of a backlog of music that I’ve been working on,” Fable says of her future moves. “There’s some collaborations with some awesome Australian artists and producers, which I’m really excited to bring out.”
With the first signs of complex life and a thriving ecosystem appearing from the world that she’s created, Fable, fingers steepled as she eyeballs her domain from her dark and pointy throne, draws up her plans.
“When you’re singing a really amazing anthem, it’s almost like therapy, when it’s relating to you. I want to create a lot more of that sort of music, that really hits, that is so cool to listen to, but it also gives you a little bit of a therapeutic vibe for when you’re feeling down or feeling angry and you just want to scream something out.”
“That’s what I’m writing at the moment.”