Caitlin Rose’s obsession with punk didn’t last long. Before she knew it, her home roots had taken over and she was finding herself playing and falling in love with country music. We can’t blame her. Growing up in a city where country is still emphatically part of the culture- Nashville, Tennessee – and with a mother who won a Grammy writing tunes for Taylor Swift, there doesn’t seem to be a much better grounding for the birth of a stand-out country star. The buzz has been considerable. She wowed the critics with her Rolling Stones cover in 2008 and left the crowds speechless at Glastonbury in 2011 and now she’s back with a much-lauded album and a massive world tour. If you didn’t think country music was your thing, this might be the girl to change your mind. There’s a little Zooey Deschanel in her tone and even a hint of Patsy Cline. We caught up with the Own Side singer whilst she was in London.
What’s the inspiration behind your music?
Skeletons in the closet, other peoples’ secrets and an invisibility complex.
Did you always want to play music?
Playing music is something I started doing in high school for fun. It was never a career goal. I don’t remember when the shift came. Maybe it never did.
What music do you listen to on the road?
I play Richard Hawley’s “Cole’s Corner” a lot. And mixes from a certain someone that have tons of bands that I’ve never listened to before. Without people pushing newer music on me I don’t really seek it out. I make mixes too so I listen to those. The most recent one starts Beyonce into J Roddy Walston & the Business into Tina Turner. It’s good to keep things interesting.
What’s the best gig you’ve ever played?
The Ryman in Nashville, TN. We opened for The Decemberists but that opening slot kills any headlining show we’ve ever done. I don’t think anything will ever beat the feeling of being on that stage.
Who would you most love to collaborate with?
It feels presumptuous trying to answer this question… I’ve always adored Herman Dune and David is a friend so that could be fun. I’d also love to sing with Caetano Veloso some day. Or Nick Lowe.
How would you describe your sound?
I wouldn’t. I’d let someone else do it for me. All anyone does anymore is compare. It’s debilitating for people I think. Either they’re right and you’re disgruntled or they just don’t understand. So who cares? Apprehensive or “restrained” are the only words I’ll own up to. It’s all search engines now.
How would you describe your style?
Bob Fosse, substitute teacher, Rhoda Morgenstern.
What are your must haves when touring?
Pocket sized books of poetry, headphones, travel bottle of Miss Dior, Benetint lip stain, one gigantic black sweater, a sense of humor, my telecaster.
If you weren’t a musician what would you be?
I love to edit… so maybe film direction. I love to delegate and to edit. Direction seems like a job that gives you complete creative control. I dig that.
What sets the latest album apart from your previous ones?
All three are very different from each other. ‘Dead Flowers’ was my first time in a studio, it’s casual, fun and country. OSN was different in that I was pulling all of that ’70s AM pop radio sound into things. I wanted everything to sound like Fleetwood Mac or Ronstadt and all that, but I wasn’t quite there yet. ‘The Stand-In is less directly personal writing-wise, but somehow feels more like me, just a little more confident.
Watch the teaser of Catilin’s latest album below and see her on tour, here.