Caitlin Rose discusses 10 major influences on new album ‘CAZIMI’
Last month, Caitlin Rose released her third album, CAZIMI, via Missing Piece Records, her first LP in nearly a decade. Per Andrew's writeup on Notable Releases:
Caitlin Rose is back with her third album and first in nearly a decade, CAZIMI, which gets its name from the astrological term that's used to describe when a planet is so close to the sun that it's "in the heart" of it. Speaking about the long break between albums, Caitlin said that she began writing for it back in 2014 and embarked on multiple unfinished demos sessions (with Justin Young of The Vaccines, Daniel Romano, Sam Cohen and others), before her childhood friend Jordan Lehning (who's also worked with Caroline Spence, Joshua Hedley, Orville Peck, and more) came into the picture and helped Caitlin make exactly the album she wanted. She began to record in February of 2020, and then you-know-what happened, and the album continued to grow in various ways throughout the pandemic. Caitlin, who used to be regularly described as an alt-country singer, frequently departs from that on this album, which is much more of an alternative, Americana-friendly pop record. "I never really sounded like country music – I sounded like me doing country music, which is a very different thing," Caitlin said in a recent interview with The Line of Best Fit. On this record, she doesn't sound like she's trying to fit into any boxes; country rock songs like the Courtney Marie Andrews-assisted highlight "Getting It Right," folk songs like "Carried Away," and pop songs like "Modern Dancing" all feel right at home on CAZIMI, and it all just sounds like Caitlin Rose being herself.
Caitlin shared with us a list of influences in the writing and recording of CAZIMI, including Joni Mitchell's Court and Spark, Hüsker Dü's Candy Apple Grey, The Velvet Underground's Loaded, Life Without Buildings' Any Other City, El Perro Del Mar's self-titled LP, the many iterations of the song "If You've Gotta Make A Fool Of Somebody," and more. Stream CAZIMI below, and read on for Caitlin Rose's full list of influences with commentary.
Joni Mitchell - Court and Spark
As far as vocal stacking and harmonies go this album has always been in a steady wheelhouse for me. It’s a brilliant stab at a pop record by someone capable of so much more than pop ever demanded or deserved.
Kim Carnes - “Bette Davis Eyes”
One of my top ten karaoke songs and in general just a moment in music history I always loved. My goal was just one song that could exist in multiple eras on an old am radio station and sound fresh forever.
Life Without Buildings - Any Other City
This album is one of the only things I can put on that doesn’t distract my brain from writing. Melodically or lyrically. Its lyrical instinct guided by a full bands natural rhythm and it never ceases to inspire me.
The Ozark Mountain Daredevils - “Jackie Blue”
When I started thinking about this album it was 2016 and I was lying in the back of the van in an Amarillo Auto Zone while they fixed a headlight. This was playing. Did something special to my brain.
The Non-Commissioned Officers (band)
Jordan Lehning and Buddy Hughen were in a band that did the soundtrack for an indie zombie film that their crew had made called Make Out with Violence. It was always one of my favorite things Jordan had done. The vibe is pretty present on our recut of Only Lies and revisiting that influenced a lot our drum and lead ideas on songs.
El Perro Del Mar - El Perro Del Mar
This album was a sonic reset for me several years ago. It was a bit of a guiding star for a lot of the demos Jordan and I were doing over the years. I had really forgotten how simple things can be, in writing or production. It’s sparse but intricate. The writing is meditative in a way that it’s almost subconscious. Tapping into the heart of pop songwriting but in a beautifully intimate way.
The Velvet Underground - Loaded
This is my favorite Velvet Underground record. It’s wonderfully all over the place. It doesn’t lead you any which way, just presents itself as it is. If I hear a few notes of any of these songs I have to sit down and listen to it. In some ways it feels like it’s an album that’s still in the works. It’s kind of naked that way and I adore it.
Hüsker Dü - Candy Apple Grey
I got really obsessed with this album several years ago specifically Grant Hart’s songs. I missed them throughout high school and my 20s, but I got a CD of this at some point and just kept skipping through to listen . There’s a fine-pointedness to his writing that just really resonates with me. There’s a co-existence of anger and empathy that I appreciate. Pained but kind. I think it’s a Pisces thing. Anyway, “sorry somehow” became the pre-chorus for “Holdin’” and I’m still not sure if that’s weird.
Bruce Springsteen - Tunnel of Love
I’m not the biggest Springsteen buff. Love a single, but this is the album that connects the most. Like loaded it’s a bit of a perfect mess. it’s some of his most classic writing but also a borderline between production eras that he nailed before things became the norm and subsequently overdone. I remember driving from NY to Philly with Dom Billett and Jerry Burnhardt and just flipping this tape over the whole way.
“If You’ve Gotta Make A Fool of Somebody”
I wrote an entire diatribe on the history of this song for my Patreon one time so I’d just recommend subscribing to that or listening to my playlist of every available version.