Add Nashville's Caitlin Rose to the ever-expanding list of American artists finding more welcoming arms -- and critical acclaim -- across the pond in the U.K. and Europe. Her new album Own Side Now has drawn stellar four-star reviews in London ("more than lives up to expectations...lovely stuff" -- Q, "major star alert" -- The Guardian) and received an opening slot on the recent Deer Tick U.K. tour...and we finally get our Own Side Now March 15. Young singer/songwriters with a twang and an appreciation for alternative and traditional country styles (and who don't fit into the Nashville star-maker machinery) often get neglected or pigeonholed. It's a shame, too. The fine, promising Own Side Now has deserved greater exposure -- even in her own backyard. Perhaps that time is, at last, now.
Produced by Mark Nevers (Lambchop, Andrew Bird), Rose's debut has the classic rural tones of a Patsy Cline but this is a distinctively contemporary album in both lyrical depth and brash defiance of any particular one-note style, steering clear of the generic blandness infecting much of Nashville's current output (what Rose calls 'Broadway bullshit"). There are country/pop elements of Emmylou Harris and Linda Ronstadt along with a version of the Fleetwood Mac/Stevie Nicks song "That's Alright". Uptempo kickers ("Shanghai Cigarettes" - video after the jump) sit aside shimmering acoustic gems (the quietly majestic title track). But it was the moody, atmospheric six-minute epic "Things Change" that sealed the deal for us, a song that ebbs and flows with a stately grace and Rose's unaffected vocals.
Caitlin Rose - "Own Side Now" (from the album Own Side Now)
Caitlin Rose - "Things Change" (from the album Own Side Now)