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Caitilin Rose on How a Nun Figurine, Astrology, Black Dragons, and Extra Impressed Her New Album ‘CAZIMI’

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CAZIMI, Caitlin Rose’s first album in 9 years, takes its title from an astrological time period that refers back to the fleeting second in time when a planet is in such shut proximity to the solar that it’s thought of to be within the coronary heart of it. The definition of a cazimi could differ relying on who you ask, however for Rose, it’s grow to be an emblem of empowerment; reasonably than the planet being destroyed, its energy is amplified, nevertheless briefly. The Nashville singer-songwriter has consciously avoided divulging the small print of what occurred to her following the discharge of her sophomore LP The Stand-In, describing her absence in press supplies as a “Sisyphean nightmare of false begins and profession blocks,” not least the worldwide pandemic that hit simply weeks after recording CAZIMI. One of many individuals who helped push her by way of emotions of self-doubt and burnout, although, was her pal and collaborator Jordan Lehning, who co-produced the album together with her. Making it additionally meant eliminating any preconceptions about what a Caitlin Rose album signified. Greater than a uncommon, nearly unintentional prevalence by which enlightenment outshines the specter of combustion, Cazimi in the end grew to become a relentless supply of inspiration, one thing price striving for.

One other time period from the astrology lexicon that Rose fixates on and reframes is Vesta, an asteroid representing an individual’s deepest cravings. Its symbolism is tied to the goddess of fireside and residential, and in historic Roman occasions, the cult of the Vestal Virgins was identified to guard town by preserving the sacred fires burning. It’s a type of issues Rose latches on to and turns inward as a way of exploring what makes up her inside hearth. Whether or not or not you relate to a few of the particular ideas she carries by way of CAZIMI, it’s clear the totally different sounds she strings collectively are pushed by that very same hearth, a part of the identical cycle. One implication of placing the highlight away from the singer’s trauma is letting the music – sharp, radiant, poetically self-aware, and, by her account, a pleasure to make – converse for itself. It’s each gasoline and armor, and Rose isn’t utilizing it to cover however reasonably make clear her personal narrative.

We caught up with Caitlin Rose to speak a couple of nun figurine, Children within the Corridor, a novelty captain’s hat, astrology, and different inspirations behind her new album CAZIMI.


The 1996 anime Escaflowne

It was considered one of my favourites rising up. Once I was in center faculty, I sort of had a reasonably large anime section. They referred to as me anime woman in like sixth grade, which, I don’t know if I like that. But it surely’s form of this bizarre combination of occult magic plus Gundam – nobody’s gonna know what I’m speaking about [laughs], however it has this very mystical high quality to it. And it additionally simply has this actually great rating and theme music. I had the entire field set on VHS, which I couldn’t discover on the time, however for some purpose, one part of engaged on this report, there was every week the place I saved taking part in the theme music, and even taking part in the intro – Jordan has an enormous display screen within the monitoring room, so I saved placing that on. I listened to a variety of OSTs once I was rising up, so there’s a form of manufacturing worth of the mid-90s anime, which may be very particular. With Jordan, it’s like, “You placed on no matter you need, let’s see the place you’re going with it immediately.” And there was a couple of week the place I used to be attempting to binge that entire present once more, I hadn’t watched it since I used to be 15. It sort of has all the pieces that I like now; it bases itself off of taro and stuff like that.

I noticed that it’s a couple of highschool woman who has an affinity for tarot studying, and it takes her on this journey.

I’d forgotten that that was even part of it. However I’m certain that perhaps performed into some as a result of I had just a little little bit of curiosity in that, which pale reasonably rapidly, however I do get pleasure from it nonetheless.

Astrology

You’ve talked about what the title means for you, however I’m curious while you began fascinated by the idea of Cazimi within the context of your life and the way it took on that resonance, as a result of the facet of astrology that I’m focused on is extra in the way in which that it gives a language for expression.

Sure, which is what I’ve tried to clarify to lots of people too, so I’m glad that’s one thing that you have already got in your wheelhouse. I keep in mind there have been a number of cazimis that may occur over the course of this report and moments that truly have been milestones. Let me see if I can discover them… So, transit Solar conjunct Mercury, eleventh of January, Saturn 14th of January 26, twenty sixth of February – these have been actually all of the occasions we have been recording. I keep in mind one in November or October the place I’d despatched it to a publicist, who I advised I needed to name it CAZIMI, and she or he stated that’s a terrific thought.

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It’s humorous, there’s a variety of them, particularly the truth that the beginning date of the session was the date of the Mercury cazimi. I used to be most likely wanting on the astrology for the day or one thing and I used to be like, “Oh, that’s sort of cool.” I actually appreciated that idea and I’d write about it, and it was a phrase that began popping up in pop astrology. Yearly there’s sort of a brand new introduction to the lexicon for individuals who don’t actually learn astrology in order that they’ve a brand new enjoyable factor to put in writing about each month to get the clicks, however it works in that means.

There’s part of me that was extra afraid of utilizing a buzzword, as a substitute of pondering I used to be going to be embarrassed if someone requested me about astrology. At that time, it was extra like I used to be scared I used to be going to be passé or one thing within the pop astrology world, which is ridiculous. [laughs] However no, it simply was a phrase – there’s a number of phrases and ideas, just like the idea of Vesta. Vesta grew to become, you recognize, what’s the lacking hearth – taking a look at my chart, there’s so little hearth, what do I do with that? And it was extra of only a strategy to push the narrative. Apparently, sort of like that anime, the place taro is a strategy to push the narrative. It doesn’t actually make sense, the thought is that she does a tarot studying and she or he’s transported to a different world. It’s ridiculous. But it surely’s how one can sort of timeline it. It’s a strategy to contextualize emotions and occasions and frames with out having to be so scientific about it. I feel that that’s poetic contextualization.

By it, you imply astrology basically?

I feel it’s an excellent factor for that, yeah. There’s a variety of causes I like it, however that could be a massive a part of it, and that’s most likely the massive draw. That’s most likely what introduced me to it was, there’s so many artists who’ve used that in sort of a poetic method. I imply, Françoise Hardy is an astrologer. I’m certain that the idea of it will probably open minds, but in addition, such as you stated, simply the language of it will probably open a inventive world that you just didn’t have earlier than, if it pleases. It’s only one extra piece of symbolism in a collective unconscious that already has hundreds of years of that constructed up already. I don’t see it as any totally different than mythology or anything that individuals use for creative inspiration.

Children within the Corridor

I grew up watching that present at like 10 o’clock at night time once I was 9. [laughs] I sort of grew up on Boomer humour, and Canadian reveals like that have been popping up on Comedy Central late at night time anyhow. The theme music [by the band Shadowy Men on a Shadowy Planet], from the primary time you hear this guitar riff, it’s like a surf sort of vibe however sort of gnarly, and it simply offers me this immediate hit of youthful dopamine, or “up at night time watching TV once I shouldn’t be” dopamine. [laughs] For me and Jordan, I feel I advised him, “I wish to make one thing that appears like Children within the Corridor.” Generally that’s the way in which I clarify issues to him, it’s only a thread to comply with, not like, “Let’s write a Children within the Corridor music. Let’s write Shadowy Males music. Let’s write a surf report.” That’s not what we did. However only for the bizarre vitality of it, bringing that in, and bringing in a few of that guitar tone in such a means the place it’s nearly sort of homage-y. I feel ‘Vesta’ carries a variety of that, ‘Holdin’’ carries a few of that. It’s not a serious inspiration – it’s only one thing more I advised Jordan that I appreciated.

I’ve a video of someone recording a guitar observe within the different room, and we had a Children within the Corridor video occurring the massive display screen, and it’s simply me and Jordan cackling within the management room, not likely with the ability to be adults. [laughs] It’s foolish ‘90s Canadian humour. It’s immature, it’s enjoyable, it doesn’t take itself too critically. And I feel that was perhaps an angle as effectively that I used to be bringing into this type of state of affairs: irreverent, simply having enjoyable, nothing is actually critical – you’re simply doing it.

A Little Nun Figurine Given by Nicole Atkins at a Mercy Lounge Present

“Lil’ Vesta”, photograph courtesy of Caitlin Rose

The Mercy Lounge is a venue right here that has been round for eternally. It’s this place the place I musically grew up, it’s the place a variety of the reveals that me and all my associates performed. It’s the place I had reveals that form of shifted trajectories, like I feel I received Highway to Bonnaroo factor. It’s a spot the place all of us grew up, and it’s additionally only a nice venue. So, a) we have been there, which heightens the expertise of simply being in a spot the place you all got here up. After which in some unspecified time in the future, it was so bizarre – Nicole Atkins is superior, however she’s form of this legendary character, she has this very unusual magic to her. So when one thing occurs round Nicole that’s totally different or fascinating, it sticks with you.

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She got here as much as me – and I don’t keep in mind what was occurring, it may need been proper earlier than we recorded or proper earlier than we deliberate the session – however she goes, “I simply have this sense, I feel you want this.” And she or he handed me this little picket Russian nun figurine. I don’t know when it was made. I don’t know, man, I simply checked out her and tears got here into my eyes, and I used to be like, “You don’t perceive how essential that is to me.” And it was, in a means, however clearly, clarify that to somebody in a bar that’s loud in a second the place she actually rushed again into the room and grabbed one thing out of her purse at hand to me – it wasn’t like an intimate, quiet hold second it. It was actually within the insanity of the present transferring by way of.

‘Lil Vesta’ was one of many final songs for this report, however in exploring the Vesta imagery, it represents that inside hearth. The Vestal Virgins, they saved the fires going. You already know, what’s the factor that drives you within the purest of coronary heart means? And Vesta was simply one other, sort of like cazimi, like a glyph. Astrology has glyphs for all the pieces – if it was a online game, it will be the factor you’re on the lookout for. So, the lacking hearth line in little Vesta is a line I had in a number of songs in several methods, as a result of it’s one thing that, astrology or not, should you spend a very long time simply feeling burn out or no matter, it’s onerous to determine what’s going to encourage you, what’s it really – why are you even right here?

Vesta was form of that, and it was simply weird. [laughs] It was a type of bizarre Nicole Atkins moments, I don’t know how you can clarify it. However we introduced her into the studio, she was there for each course of. She was there for monitoring, overdubbing, mixing, mastering. I’ve photos of everybody holding it of their automotive when it’s transferring from one place to the opposite. And now I really feel like I ought to give her again, however a part of me doesn’t, I don’t know. She’s actually little Vesta.

Guinness

I imply, it’s Guinness. [laughs] I really feel like all people had their coping mechs for 2020 and COVID and all the pieces, however Guinness simply grew to become the staple of the studio. I simply love Guinness, it’s a straightforward factor to drink. You’re not attempting to get screwed up on Guinness, you recognize. However basically, it simply was form of the vibe in there, was correct pints and civilised conversations, I suppose. My favorite half, although, is that in some unspecified time in the future throughout overdubs, Jordan determined he was going to get his personal keg of Guinness, as a result of he was like, “If we’re spending a lot cash on Guinness, I feel we must always simply do it ourselves. I feel we must always get a keg and get the entire setup so we will simply pour our personal Guinness like we’re in a bar.” He didn’t know the way concerned that was –  you’ll be able to’t simply get a keg of Guinness, it’s a must to get mainly this whole setup. He may need spent like $1,000 attempting to arrange a Guinness keg.

It’s nearly this report the place it was way more of a journey than I feel he was ready for. [laughs] By the top of it, truthfully, the final day of overdubs after we really wrapped, it was form of the tail finish of the tank. And it’s simply this poor keg of Guinness sitting on the porch, within the chilly, in its personal filthy, stagnant beer water, and it was simply this actually unhappy factor. [laughs] But it surely was a extremely humorous a part of the method. That’s one of many enjoyable issues about making a report, having some weird, silly story to inform. For those who don’t wish to discuss concerning the music, you’ll be able to discuss how enjoyable it was to make it, you recognize?

Black Dragons

It’s so foolish, however it’s reflective of the way in which I try to clarify my visible equal to a sound. It’s the way in which I discovered how you can discuss listening to music; I didn’t learn music, I converse in the way in which that some folks discover actually obnoxious. And Jordan understands it, and may converse that means too, however plus a historical past in music composition and classical. He’s very expert, he can compose music in a means that I’ll by no means be capable of. However he may also hear me say one thing like, “I don’t know what this guitar is. I feel it must be like a… like a black dragon?” and run with it. And it sounds so silly, however I’m not afraid to sound silly in entrance of the individual I’m most snug working with, particularly if I do know that individual goes to get it. And clearly, there have been most likely a variety of references – I feel I like performed him ‘Black Diamond’ by Kiss. His MO just isn’t a lot in that vein taking part in guitar, and it’s not mine both, however it’s sort of what sure songs I actually needed to really feel. And so, yeah, black dragons.

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I assumed it will be extra like a type of symbolic issues.

That’s the opposite factor, it’s so obscure and so dumb that it truthfully doesn’t matter what it means. It’s a temper, perhaps. He’s additionally a extremely massive Lord of the Rings fan, so you recognize, Smaug, he might garner one thing from that. And actually, I described the scene the place I’m like, “The black dragon is within the sky, and it’s coming down and it’s coming at you.” And it’s form of dumb, however it makes it enjoyable for me, it makes it simpler to clarify. After which he can inform someone else what that truly means.

He can translate.

Yeah. [laughs] He speaks Caitlin, so.

Do you keep in mind what music that was for?

It was ‘Gemini Moon’.

Non-Commissioned Officers

What’s enjoyable is, he was in a band referred to as Non-Commissioned Officers, which, that sound was very prevalent in these recordings. They did a soundtrack for a film all of them made in 2002 referred to as Make-out With Violence. It’s a zombie film, it went to South by Southwest when it premiered. It was actually enjoyable. You’d really hear a variety of this report in these data  – I keep in mind in some unspecified time in the future I stated, “I’d actually love so that you can carry a few of that Non-Com vibe into this report, as a result of it’s one of many issues I at all times liked that you just guys made.”

Joe Costa’s Novelty Captain’s Hat

Joe Costa in his captain’s hat, photograph courtesy of Caitlin Rose

I purchased a novelty captain’s hat for enjoyable. I don’t even keep in mind why, I feel I purchased like three of them. It was a bizarre COVID buy. I gave it to Joe Costa, who engineered and blended this report, who I’ve identified for most likely 15 years. And it actually did grow to be sort of just like the Robin Williams – we’d all “Oh Captain, My Captain” him rather a lot. I simply haven’t gotten to speak about Joe sufficient. He’s a tremendous engineer. For those who take a look at his AllMusic, he’s executed a lot. And he’s additionally simply among the finest captains anybody might have. He’s very calm. If the ship was sinking, he wouldn’t be freaking out.

Jordan Lehning

You’ve clearly talked fairly a bit about him, however are you able to share one factor that evokes you about Jordan, not simply as a collaborator, however as a pal?

I simply suppose that Jordan is likely one of the few individuals who actually will get that vibe of – you recognize, some individuals are sort of annoying, however there’s a lot behind an annoying person who it’s extra enjoyable to like an annoying individual than it’s to be aggravated at them. [laughs] It’s at all times been like that since I’ve identified him, and it’s at all times been a really protected friendship in that means, the place he’s not a resentful individual. He doesn’t maintain grudges. Issues don’t actually bug him very a lot. And in the event that they bug him, they bug him on this very form of logistical means. He loves weirdos, and I’m a weirdo, and I feel that he helps me carry extra weirdos round. It’s a enjoyable vibe.

My pal Tristen, who’s one other artist that I hope you do one thing with quickly [Note: we have], she’s wonderful. Her husband [Buddy Hughen] was one of many Non-Coms. She described it as the truth that I can actually solely be associates with whomp-whomps, which I truthfully nonetheless don’t perceive what she meant. However I do know I’m a whomp-whomp, I do know Jordan’s a whomp-whomp, I do know lots of people that labored on this report are complete whomp-whomps. A part of me thinks it’s like a muppet, however blended with – I don’t know what it’s, however it’s massive muppet vitality.


This interview has been edited and condensed for readability and size.

Caitlin Rose’s CAZIMI is out now by way of Names.

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