Corinne Sharlet. Photo by Courtney Helen

Hail Mary

Portland songwriter returns to Eugene supporting debut solo EP

Like many musicians, indie singer-songwriter Corinne Sharlet has a day job. When not writing and playing music, she works as a therapist. 

“I believe in the collective unconscious, the symbols we carry within us,” the Bend-raised musician tells me over the phone from her home in Portland. 

It’s this territory Sharlet mines in her new EP, Deceiver. The EP will be available at Sharlet’s Feb. 5 show at Sam Bond’s in Eugene, and everywhere else on Feb. 7. It’s also her first solo outing since leaving her former band, Sharlet Crooks. 

“I was really wanting the freedom to play solo, to make my own vision come to life,” she says.

Deceiver is anchored by the song “Hail Mary” with Sharlet’s voice, trained in musical theater, soaring over a simple, hushed guitar line. Sharlet has been singing her entire life but only recently picked up the guitar.  

“Hail Mary” came to Sharlet after a songwriting prompt at a Portland open mic.

 “I wrote it in 20 minutes. That song just came through me,” she says. While she can’t quite pinpoint what the song is about, it resonates with her audience.  

“Some people think it’s about suicide. Some people think it’s about lost love,” she says.

But like all the songs on the slim EP, “Hail Mary” is more than anything about Sharlet calling to her own creativity — from the nervous, mildly Thom Yorke-esque “Firing Line” (the Radiohead singer is one of Sharlet’s musical heros) to “Evil Eye,” a song that slinks along over an Americana tango backbeat. 

With her first solo EP about to be released, Sharlet looks forward to seeing where music will take her. 

“I had a difficult time figuring out how to have music in my life,” she says. “I’m going to sing and write songs. It’s just such a part of who I am. I need to do it.”

Corinne Sharlet performs with Elwood and Dear Mr. Henshaw, a new project from Eugene musician Mike Surber, also of Sons of Guns, 9 pm Wednesday, Feb. 5, at Sam Bond’s; $5, 21-plus.