The refreshingly lovely and ever so talented Miss Caitlin Rose is releasing her début E.P 'Dead Flowers' here in the UK on February 15 and, as is usually the case with us Strange Gluers, we simply had to get in touch with the rising star and see how she was getting on.
Born in the South Eastern state of Tennessee and raised in its capital of Nashville, Caitlin has been the buzz word on the 'Nashville scene' for sometime now (hard to believe considering she's just 23 years-of-age). Her music is somewhat representative of her roots but it's injected with something utterly unique unto herself at the same time. With a voice close to that of an angel, provoking stories of teenage pregnancy, love and lovers-lost, there's no denying her ingrained musical prowess, even this early on.
Anyway, we shall keep you no longer! Here's what she had to say.
Strange Glue: Your début EP 'Dead Flowers' is due for release in couple of weeks here in the UK and is already out in the US. How does it feel to finally get your work out there?
Caitlin Rose: It's been out here for quite awhile so it's great to see it continue on the way it does. It's an awfully persistent album.
SG: There are two covers on the CD, the title track 'Dead Flowers' by the The Rolling Stones and Patsy Cline's 'Three Cigarettes In An Ashtray'. Why those two songs?
CR: I was pretty heavy into the Stones back then, but I heard a Townes Van Zandt cover of it on Roadsongs or something and it really made the song something special to me. So special I thought that he wrote it. He certainly could have. So I guess I wanted to do a cover of his cover. I just love that song.
Three Cigarettes was funny. I was outside smoking and searching my brain for an extra song to put on the EP. This is after spending a week trying to think of the perfect one and suddenly it just hit me. There's this website called patsified where they talk about "patcidents". People write these little stories about getting lost and ending right outside her old Nashville home and other strange things like that. The idea to do that song was a total patcident. Bob Grant was already in the studio putting mandolin down for Shotgun so we just worked it up on the spot and several takes later it was done.
SG: There's definitely a 'classic country' feel to the new EP but there's also plenty of contemporary folk and pop sensibilities woven in there too. Was it a deliberate move to mix both the 'old' and the 'new' at the same time?
CR: I'm not sure. I had been working on a live full band record at another studio here in Nashville for a long time. I felt a little stuck/stifled and decided to take three days with Andrija to do this little EP. Everything happened very naturally and it was more along the lines of what I was doing live back then. I think the newness just comes from being young (some of the lyrics are a little crass). I just wanted to get a really honest sound and Andrija knew how to do that. We cut most everything to tape and didn't do much in the way of overdubs or anything.
SG: Your lyrics are quite honest and seem to draw more from life experiences than anything else. Who or what are your main influences when writing and recording?
CR: Whoever just broke up with me, I suppose. I'm a little bit of an open book though I strive not to be. It helps listening to artists who are good at the more vague side of song-writing, people like Dylan. A little mystery never hurt anybody.
SG: Somebody told us that there's also a full-length album on the way later this year as well. Are there any secrets you can share with our readers about that?
CR: Again. Open book. No secrets really. It's me and the band I play with here. We're cutting it with Mark Nevers at Beechhouse studios in Nashville and it's going to be a lot of fun. I haven't been in a studio in forever.
SG: Is there an exhausting or 'difficult' element to being such a new artist and trying to 'crack the music industry' as it were? What process did you go through to get to where you are now?
CR: There's not much to be exhausted by since I'm not on tour. I've never really tried my hand at "cracking" anything. It's been a slow and steady thing, but if it is a race it's far from won. If there is such a thing as winning in music, I certainly hope to avoid the alternative.
SG: It's safe to say that there's definitely been a positive reaction to your music over here in the UK and you've been growing steadily in the US for a good few months now too. Is it difficult to keep a cool head when everything around you begins to accelerate?
CR: My head feels a lot cooler lately. Nashville is prone to dishing out a little backlash at times and someone named "Anonymous" will get mad and say nasty things on the internet and if you're smart you'll ignore it and focus on all the good things happening. All it is is a few more details anyway. More details, more shows, more records, more music. There's nothing wrong with that. The good trumps the bad.
SG: Do you plan on venturing out on any tours throughout the year?
CR: Hopefully. Nothing until the record is done. Time needs to stop for a minute. I really want to take the band out if I do. I've been playing by myself for so long it's gotten a little monotonous(or maybe I'm just running out of jokes). They change everything though. It's more fun with them around.
SG: What else does the rest of 2010 hold for Caitlin Rose?
CR: Nobody knows. I just want to meet Linda Ronstadt. I would also like to take ballet.
SG: And finally, if you had to put together a 'Top 5 albums of the decade' list, what would they be and why?
CR: Not many albums from this decade would make it into a top 10 let alone top 5 for me. Not because they're all bad, but cause I just can't keep up. Jenny Lewis put out two great records. Deer Tick is my new favourite band. Phosphorescent is steadily becoming more and more brilliant. Bill Callahan's "Woke On A Whaleheart" was beautiful. For the past few years though all the records I've heard were made before I was even born. I also hate making lists.