Known for her lyrical honesty and rebellious creative spirit, Caroline Rose has successfully carved her own niche in the indie music scene. Her latest release, I Will Not Be Afraid, showcases her remarkably distinctive vision for a hip, yet authentic, fusion of rockabilly, vintage country, and blues. Originally from a small town in New York, Rose has fed her wanderlust and followed her passions around the country, soaking up experiences along the way. From working at a cider distillery, to travelling the country in her beaten-up vintage sports car, to earning national attention for her music, Rose’s restless spirit has led her on a delightfully bohemian path that informs much of the creativity in her work. For the 10th edition of our Recipes series, the 24 year old songstress spoke her mind about some of her creative influences and gifted us a wonderfully eccentric playlist featuring songs by the likes of Jagwar Ma, Warpaint, Charlie Feathers, Kendrick Lamar, and more.
What sources of inspiration do you draw from outside of music that affect the way you write and perform? Probably most from film and photographers. Or designers I really respect. Anything that makes me feel bold, really. Like, I just rented a bunch of Almodovar films from the library and he is just so weird and courageous, not to mention his use of color… It makes me more interested in writing about things that aren’t necessarily tangible or understandable at first. Getting intense or creepy can be pretty affecting, I think. I really like creepy. I also love kitschy stuff. Creepy kitsch. Boom.
How have your musical influences changed since the beginning of your career? Well I’ve only had a career for about two years now, which isn’t very long but honestly I feel so insanely different than I did two years ago…I think the biggest thing is my constitution has changed. And my lifestyle. I used to pretty much be a complete loner vagabond, so my style was pretty simple because it reflected my life. When you’re living like that––when the constitution of your life is based on simplicity––your songs are going to end up pretty simple. Now I’m rooted, I’ve got my own place to store new instruments and gear, so my palate is expanding pretty insanely fast. I listen to everything. I pay attention to arrangement and production way more because eventually I’d like to be producing my own stuff. I think my old mindset about purity of song is boring and just dumb. I fully embrace nihilism haha. But fuck it, I want to absorb everything and create something new from the madness.
How much do you find that your environment affects the way you write as opposed to your mood or any internal struggles? Man, well mood and internal struggles are like a constant battle for me so I just went and created my own genre that basically emphasizes my insane personality shifts. I jokingly started calling it schizodrift, but then the name stuck, and so now that is actually what we’re calling it. And environment is definitely a real thing, you’ve got to make your spot comfy. I basically just made the inside of my apartment look like a Mexican villa had a baby with the Oregon Trail, which is my jam. So I feel pretty cozy writing and experimenting in my little home studio.
Do you ever find yourself emotionally fighting off something that you feel is influencing your work too much? I can definitely tell you I am super tired of writing sad songs. You gotta fight the sadness, I’m so over it, it is just the worst. I fully appreciate when other people do it, but it’s not for me anymore. I’m ready to get manic. I don’t know why I didn’t do it sooner.
What do you hope to inspire in others? I hope when our newest material comes out early next year it’ll inspire people to be bold in their work I guess, to find things about your own personality that feel untouchable, draw them out and speak about them. I guess I’ve always felt that way but I am way more confident now. Confidence is pretty key when you’re attempting to stamp your mark.
Check out one of our favorite tunes by Caroline Rose: “Blood On Your Bootheels”