Caitlin Rose is a bit of a wonder. Hailing all the way from Nashville, Tennessee, she brought bucketloads of charm with her when she visited our fair shores last December for a week of shows. Everyone that saw her was mesmerized by her raw talent and incredible voice; it was a joy to behold. Her Dead Flowers EP is released in the UK via Names Records (home to Alela Diane, Headless Heroes and She Keeps Bees) with a full length in the works.
I had the pleasure of meeting Caitlin and working with her on a show while she was in London, and so I was more than happy to have an this opportunity quiz Caitlin on Names, Tennessee and Pudding…
How did you end up signing with the wonderful Names Records?
I’m a little fuzzy on that (long year), but Billy Campbell emailed me at some point in ’09 and was eventually redirected to Aaron at Theory8 records, the Nashville indie I’m signed to. Phone calls were made, attorneys were called and papers were signed over my first plate of raw oysters in London a few months later.
Are you a fan of any of the other acts on their roster in particular?
I’ve been listening to the She Keeps Bees record a little and really hope to catch them live soon. I hear Alela has a phenomenal voice so I look forward to hearing her too.
Did you enjoy your England trip? What happened with the prawn?
The trip was fantastic, but the prawn… not so much. I was traveling with a friend and piano player in my band, Skylar Wilson. We were doing a show in Brighton that night and the desk lady at our hotel mentioned a 30% discount for guests at a restaurant across the street. It was raining and we only had an hour before soundcheck so we went for it. It was a lovely place and I wouldn’t want to tarnish their reputation so I’ll just give them the benefit of the doubt and say that that’s the last time I ever order anything with prawns. It was a lovely dinner, but the next day I felt worse than ever before, especially on the hour long train ride back into London. I missed my instore at Pure Groove. It was a bummer.
What are some key differences between English people and people from Nashville?
English people, or at least everyone I met that week, had such brilliant senses of humor. Not to imply my fellow Nashvillians are missing a funny bone, but the jokes were more my style. It’s just different is all.
To compensate, I will say that Nashville parties a little harder. I’m a sucker for a good last call at 3:00am… then a gas station beer-run for a party that never seems to end.
Are there any things you particularly want to do/see on your next visit?
I was sad to have missed the Beatles to Bowie exhibit at the National Portrait Gallery this time around and I hear it closes this month. I’m sure there will be something going on when I visit, but I’m a horrible tourist. You’ll have to keep me posted on what’s happening!
When did you record the Dead Flowers EP? Are you happy with how it turned out?
It was almost three years ago. Another record had been in the works before that and it never really made it to completion. It was pretty disheartening to spend so much time on something that never quite worked out. Dead Flowers took only three days and yes, I’m very happy with the way it turned out. For where I was in my life then it’s a perfect representation of what I was doing and the whole experience was very reviving.
How do you feel about recording your full length? Do you know how you want it to sound?
I don’t think I’ve ever been so excited about doing anything. We’ve got another two weeks before tracking, but we’ve been working up the old songs and the new ones in the practice space trying to piece them together sound wise. I think it’s going to make a lot of sense and I’m thrilled to be working with Mark Nevers at Beechhouse. He’s made some brilliant records and I’m a big fan of his. He also likes The Replacements so that’s a good sign.
Who are your favourite Tennessee bands? Do you have any tips?
The music scene here is really incredible. It’s so innovative. New people are showing up every day and adding to the mix of things and the musicians are the cream of the crop. You can’t do much better really. Some of my favorite writers in town or from town are Patty LeMay (Spiritual Family Reunion), Justin Townes Earle, Tristen and a guy I met recently named Rayland Baxter. He sings like Jackson Browne and is extremely tall. That’s a pretty good combination if you ask me. My roommates play in a band called And the Relatives that I’m very fond of and my bass player, Jordan Caress, plays in a band called Korean is Asian. They sound a little like The Band writing songs for Linda Ronstadt. There’s also the whole Infinity Cat (local label) scene for all the kids that like to rock out which I try to do from time to time. Especially for an almost-all-girl punk band named Heavy Cream. This new “Nashville sound” is incredibly diverse.
What’s an average day like for you in Nashville?
Thanks to the London trip, I wake up to tea with milk and sugar then at night I usually end up at a show/bar/both. The in-between changes daily. It really isn’t much worth talking about, but I have been doing a lot of these interviews lately. I need a computer desk. The amount of time I’ve been spending on the internet makes me feel bed-ridden.
Are there any albums coming out this year that you’re especially excited for?
Deer Tick is working on something here in town this month and their last record is one of my favorites so I’m sure that will be amazing. My friend, Jonny Corndawg, is recording his album here now as well and he’s gonna let me sing on it! Phosphorescent, another one of my favorites, is putting something out soon too. I’m not big on new music, but I’ll probably be buying a lot of records when spring rolls around. Hopefully everyone else will do the same. The UK is a lot better about that than the US though so I’ll keep my little lecture to myself.
I know you love Julie Doiron. Me too. What’s your favourite of her songs?
The first one I ever heard was “Dark Horse” and I completely fell for it. Most of my favorites are on Woke Myself Up. Songs like “Wrong Guy”, “No More” and “Me and My Friend” are hard hitting without being overly emotional or bitter sounding. “Wrong Guy” is an especially unique idea that comes from a strange place in the female mind, one of which I have been identifying heavily with these past few months. It’s devilish, but it’s honest as well.
What’s your favourite type of pudding? Mine is apple crumble with custard.
Pudding’s a little different over here in the states than where you are. I can’t say I’m much of a fan, though I’m not real big on sweets. The only kind of pudding I’ve ever eaten is the kind that Bill Cosby sells. I’ll just go with vanilla JELL-O pudding.