Center For Arts & Equity

Caroline Rose

A witty, clever, and eclectic singer and songwriter, Caroline Rose is a musician not afraid to evolve in public, growing from a contemporary folkie to an Americana artist with roots rock leanings to a sharp-humored indie pop performer. As a songwriter, Rose is unafraid to look deep inside their psyche, and the melodies are engaging whether they were exploring the earnest moods of early work like 2014's I Will Not Be Afraid, shifting gears to a playfully fractured pop approach on 2018's Loner, or embracing their own vision of contemporary pop on 2020's Superstar. Emotional trauma that came in the wake of a failed relationship informed the darker and more spectral sound of 2023's The Art of Forgetting.

Caroline Rose was born in Long Island, New York in 1990. They took piano lessons when they were young but didn't care for the homework and gave up the instrument. At 13, Rose learned to play guitar and started writing songs for their own amusement. After graduating from high school, Rose studied architecture, but soured on the notion of making it a career and turned to music as a way of making a living and traveling at the same time. In 2010, Rose recorded a self-titled, self-released album and hit the road, busking when they couldn't land a regular gig. They began collaborating with Vermont-based musician and songwriter Jer Coons, who produced and engineered 2013's America Religious which, like their 2010 EP, found them tapping into their folk influences. After significant touring, Rose struck a deal with the marketing and distribution firm Thirty Tigers, which released Rose's second album, 2014's I Will Not Be Afraid, on which they expanded their musical boundaries and embraced an eclectic variety of vintage pop, rockabilly, and roots rock influences. The album picked up satellite radio play, which helped spread the word about Rose's music.

As Rose gained a larger audience, they wanted to make music that better reflected their sense of humor, as well as a growing interest in contemporary pop sounds. After collecting a wider variety of instruments and learning more about production by assembling a home recording setup, Rose went into the studio with producer Paul Butler, who had previously worked with Hurray for the Riff Raff and Devendra Banhart. The result, 2018's Loner, was both adventurous and user friendly, and merged Rose's serious ideas with an often-humorous approach. The album was released by New West Records, which bankrolled music videos for two of Loner's songs, "Money" and "Soul No. 5."

Loner earned Rose's best reviews to date and helped set the stage for Superstar, a loose concept album about fame that saw them embrace modern pop. Superstar appeared on New West in March 2020. After helping Overcoats create remixes for their 2020 album The Fight and contributing vocals to Spoon's 2022 release Lucifer on the Sofa, Rose went through a period of depression and uncertainty after breaking up with their partner. They offered the world a look at their troubles on 2023's The Art of Forgetting, a set of dark, experimental indie pop that included a song for their therapist and answering machine messages from Rose's grandmother.

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