Biography: Caroline Rose is a singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist. Her first album release was done through a Kickstarter campaign and was focused on Americana and folk type sounds. After a second album with similar sounds was released in 2014, Rose started to grow frustrated with the limits of the genre, and took several years to write and record new material that “blends pop hooks, laugh-out-loud sarcasm and gutsy vulnerability” (Nashville Scene). In particular, the new material adds in synthesizers, a variety of new genre conventions, and a whole lot of overt humor that many similar artists seem to shy away from. She also got really into the color red. Look, I’d love to put more here but her Wikipedia page is pretty short.
Major Discography: She has three albums out, two of which are available to stream on Spotify:
• America Religious (2012) – haven’t listened to it
• I Will Not Be Afraid (2014) – more rockabilly/folk, perfectly ok
• LONER (2018) – very good and cool and fun
Genre: Indie pop/Indie rock
Similar Artists: Lucy Dacus, Haley Heynderickx, Soccer Mommy, Big Thief (according to Spotify). I don’t think any of those four are super similar to Caroline, but oh well… I would’ve said Alex Lahey for sure, maybe Mitski and U.S Girls as well
Similar Bonnaroo Artists: Courtney Barnett comes closest I guess
Listen to LONER. It’s on the short side (35 min) and it’s super good. Plus, it seems to comprise the majority of most of her recent setlist, so you’ll be ready for that Thursday afternoon singalong with a couple hundred other people!
If you only have time for a few tracks, standout songs are “Money”, “Jeannie Becomes a Mom”, and “Soul No. 5”.
Physical Reaction/Live Show
I’ve not yet had the pleasure of seeing her perform live, but unless she’s up against Saba or The Comet is Coming for some reason, I imagine I’ll be changing that in a few months! From what I can tell from videos online though, she puts on a pretty good show that highlights her skill on multiple instruments as well as her quirky sense of humor. Here’s a clip of her current touring setup playing what is (imo) her best song, plus a fan-shot video of a fun cover choice.
• She has a degree in architecture from Wellsley College in Massachusetts (same school that Hillary Clinton attended). In a Reddit AMA she did, she discussed how in some respects, building an album is like constructing a physical space: “The space and energy of the songs one into the next navigates listeners through an album in the same way that the walls, levels, colors, acoustics, and light impact people moving through a space. all of these things are meant to make you feel a certain way, and a well-executed album, as is a well-executed structure, to me, make you feel as if you've experienced a unique little world, full of energy.”
• Unless they announce more additions or Grand Ole Opry features some female artists, she’s only 1 of 2 women playing on Thursday. (correct me if I’m wrong on this)
I’d heard of her before from 2018 end-of-year lists but had never fully dug in until her name popped up on the lineup this year. Aside from possibly the Maya Rudolph Prince cover band, she’s my favorite discovery from the lineup thus far! Strong recommendation for a fun Thursday afternoon set; I think she'd be a really fun first set to kick off the long weekend.