It’s been three years since Caroline Rose released her debut album, the confidently titled, I Will Not Be Afraid. Now, with news of her follow-up full length, LONER, being released via New West Records in February of 2018, we’re teased with a new single, and accompanying video. It’s called “Money” and it’s a highly bankable tune. (Yes. We made a funny.)
Fans of Rose will know that humor, dark humor, informs much of her work. However, this isn’t a novelty artist. This is a woman who knows how to handle the complexity of a situation with a lightness of touch. There’s a level of emotional competency in an artist that can address darker cultural aspects, such as greed, misogyny, death, and accidental pregnancy with a twist in delivery. Caroline Rose achieves what so many fail – she sings with tradition but avoids cliché.
The indie-folk-rockabilly tones of that debut hover over this lead single. Caroline Rose has a vocal delivery that reaches way back into a tradition that fills her lungs. Here, on “Money” the rapid-fire opening lines are served in a seductively long single breath, and following verses follow suite. It’s exhilarating to hear, and then the breathing really starts as the chase-speed delivery moves toward crescendo. It’s rockabilly, but it’s retains a vital edge that moves beyond genre.
With a title like “Money” and a of list denied motivations for her actions, you know where this is heading, but it’s not the destination that brings surprise; we’re here for the trip.
And the video is an absolute trip to watch. Rose plays a number of characters in a story that mashes Wes Anderson’s Bottle Rocket with the Beastie Boys’ Sabotage. There’s so much polyester, such pink hair, and such a great mustache, you need to hit replay immediately, just to catch all the details. You may want to hit pause and think about your lifestyle choices when the words, “Herpes – the silent killer” flash across the screen. The song is fast in delivery, the video has a pace that pulls you along – but nothing here is happening by accident, and the details are carefully orchestrated, even the chaos.
What we have here makes us look forward to February, and a full collection of new stuff from one of the most promising artist’s journeying the highways of the world.
For “Money” we award Caroline Rose 34 of 37 unmarked bills, and we’ve left the engine running out back.
HURRY – LISTEN – CAROLINE ROSE
PHOTO BY MATT HOGAN