Exploring your emotions can make for a good song, but it’s shining light on those which plague us
all that builds the backbone of the truly great ones. Coupled with tireless melodies that seep into the small
spaces between your bones; it's the kind of music that brings on little movements when life has gotten too stiff.
This is what Caitlin Rose does best. Her lyrics – visceral, illustrative, witty and wry – are pieces of stories that
examine matters of the heart through a unique lens that makes us all see a bit more clearly: from the loneliness
of relationships, to palpable dissolving human connectivity, to the loss of love with none of the melodrama. At
her core, Nashville’s Rose is a storyteller and a song-crafter who is more interested in what's being produced
than how it helps her along the way.
Though much of her acclaimed debut Own Side Now was personally-inspired, what stood out most was
its ability to paint a picture and tell a near-cinematic story, from the simultaneous last puffs of both cigarette
and relationship, to the delightfully seedy characters pocketed in a coin-toss on the streets of New York City.
With her follow-up, The Stand-In, Rose seems more interested in telling tales than spilling confessionals. "It
feels more compelling to live through a song than it did having already lived it,” she says, The Stand-In is a
journey down a road she’s always wanted to take: the path of the story-song. One track, “Pink Champagne,”
inspired by a Joan Didion short essay, accounts for the desperate, short-lived passions of a Vegas wedding.
The emotions stem from both protagonists, but are dissected and recounted by the watchful eye of the chapel
or some honest observer from within. This collection of songs seems bent on investigating relationships from
different perspectives; male and female, young and old, left and leaving, but they all tackle the bitter farewells,
romantic misunderstandings and endless responsibilities in life. Using fibers of her fringe country roots and the
bold musical capabilities of fellow producers/co-writers, Jordan Lehning and Skylar Wilson (Justin Townes
Earle), The Stand-In seamlessly melds pedal steel guitar with restless pop beats, creating lush instrumentals
that build on the more spare construction of Own Side Now. "These songs are all based in sentiment. We wrote
the stories to convey a feeling.” The result is infinitely more universal.