Photo credit: Louise Haywood-Schiefer
Nashville’s Caitlin Rose shares the 10-year anniversary of her debut album, Own Side Now, with a deluxe, fully remastered version of the record, today via ATO Records. The release is celebrated with the unveiling of Rose’s first new songs in eight years: “Whatchoo” and “Only Lies” — the latter coming complete with an official live performance video.
On the just-released video for the brand new single, “Only Lies,” Rose says,
“The video was something Jordan Lehning and I recorded for a telethon back in 2020. We were definitely in a rush to get it done, but we’d been doing a lot of demos and still having fun toying around with different mics. As soon as he busted out that RCA KU3A it was like I’d just met a ghost. It turned out to be his great uncle’s mic who was a Hollywood sound guy in the 50’s and even worked on some Hitchcock. The fact that it had shared an era and a soundstage with some iconic films definitely added a mood to this, but it is funny considering we just shot this on an iPhone.”
On the song itself, she adds, “In 2008 I was leaning hard into “classic” and “cosmic country”, George Jones, Gram Parsons, early Ronstadt recordings, in a very unironic way. Even though it wasn’t my only influence I felt pressure that country was what I was supposed to be doing, my take on it was no doubt kind of quirky, but it came naturally to me. It was easy and fun but I knew I still hadn’t found my own direction. Jordan Lehning who co-wrote the song inspired me to dig deeper, musically, melodically. He pulled me out of a creative rut I didn’t even know I was in. It was an uncomfortable growth period, and while he didn’t produce ‘Own Side’, he was still a huge influence on my own artistic evolution. To me, the song itself is a perfect take on the end of a romantic relationship that exists within a creative one. A necessary emotional cynicism that gets you through to the other side.”
With the new songs giving a taste of what’s to come, while putting a bookend on the era of Own Side, it becomes clear just how much of a moment she created with her debut record and how much there is to celebrate. With 40+ covers on YouTube of her hit single “Own Side” from fans all over the world, a mural of her album art outside the legendary Grimey’s record store in Nashville right now, and too-many-to-name artists who have been influenced by the permission slip she created for artists to be emotional and from the South without being “country” as a catch-all label, it’s no wonder the debut of Own Side in 2011 rose to instant acclaim from critics. She has been praised for her crystal-clear vocals and her ingenious lyricism – equal parts heartbroken and defiant – and compared her to her musical heroes Stevie Nicks and Linda Rondstadt.
On the Own Side Now’s Deluxe Anniversary Edition, Caitlin Rose says, “It was when I was at my most naive that nobody doubted me and I could create something so temporal and honest… I started writing songs 20 years ago. It doesn’t feel like as long a time as it’s actually been, but by the time I was 19 it felt like an eternity. I had two albums worth of songs, but no album. I was feeling impatient & desperate to define myself. I spent a lot of time trying and failing to piece together something out of so many years of influence and identity that I started to believe I was incapable of making something whole. Finally, someone came along and broke me so badly that I ended up with new pieces. I put those back together and I had this song. I put it all together and I had this album.”
Speaking to her beloved home and birthplace of the album, she adds, “Nashville has become something very different from what it was when I was 21—which is probably true of most towns, and it’s striking to think that the house where this album was recorded doesn’t even exist anymore. I loved this town then, and still do, but I hope when people listen to these songs again they can pick up on that strange, uncertain magic that I and everyone involved in this project, this era, were experiencing at that time.”
Today, Rose shares the magic of Own Side, and her slice of Nashville history, along with two brand new bonus tracks: “Whatchoo” (previously a Bandcamp-only release) and “Only Lies,” not to mention the remastered “Shanghai Cigarettes,” a breakup song featuring Rayland Baxter about which American Songwriter wrote, “Rose’s vocals are so sweet and the beat is so contagious, you might be tempted to break up with your beau just to have an excuse to listen to it on repeat.” Unlike the majority of re-issues out there today, there are new surprises to discover and Caitlin Rose is the gift the keeps giving.
Caitlin Rose – Own Side Now (Deluxe Anniversary Edition)
October 1, 2021 – ATO Records
1. Learning To Ride
2. Own Side
3. For The Rabbits
4. Shanghai Cigarettes (featuring Rayland Baxter)
5. New York
6. Spare Me (Fetzer’s Blues)
7. Things Change
8. That’s Alright
9. Sinful Wishing Well
10. Coming Up
11. Whatchoo (Bonus)
12. Only Lies (Bonus)