logo Y-Not Radio Listen Live iTunes facebook twitter mobile

CD of The Week

Week of 4/10/23

    Caroline Rose - The Art of Forgetting (New West)

    Caroline Rose is a true chameleon. Arriving on the scene as a country-folk singer-songwriter, we fell in love with Rose at Y-Not Radio thanks to the snarky indie-pop of Loner. In 2020, weeks before COVID shut everything down, Rose released Superstar, a sly, slick look at fame that immediately, unfortunately, didn’t fit the mood of the world.

    It’s been a long three years for Rose, who went through a devastating breakup that contributed to an overall dark period in their life. They poured all the emotion of that time into The Art of Forgetting, a raw, personal document unlike anything they’ve released before.

    The aftermath and trauma of Rose’s breakup is everywhere on The Art of Forgetting, especially early on in songs like “Rebirth” and lead single “Miami,” which includes the record’s thesis statement of “There is the art of loving. This is the art of forgetting how.” The track ends with Rose repeating the gut-wrenching mantra of “You’ve gotta get through this life somehow.”

    “Everywhere I Go I Bring the Rain” is one of the most straightforward songs here, full of strumming guitars and a bouncing bass line, as depression and darkness train Rose. They’re essentially asking that timeless question, “Why does it always rain on me?” “Stockholm Syndrome” begins with the heartbreaking opening line "I just wanna write a song that keeps you in my arms forever." And “Tell Me What You Want” is a stream-of-consciousness plea from their side of the breakup, backed by big guitars and bass bashing away in a start-and-stop arrangement.

    Rose starts to turn things around near the end of the record, with the empowering, acoustic guitar-based “Love Song for Myself.” The piano-led “Jill Says” was written about Rose’s therapist and feels right out of Amanda Palmer’s playbook. And the very last lines of the album complete the journey, with Rose declaring, “Come on now, babe, take all this pain/And learn to love yourself again."

    For this dark, personal ride, Rose also switched up their sonic palate. While Superstar was all glossy synths, The Art of Forgetting features acoustic guitars, harps, strings and organs, which were then reworked and chopped up in production, with a gothic echo atop it all. Rose has called Bjork a touchstone for the music. Throughout the record, you also hear pieces of voicemails from Rose’s grandmother, who was losing her memory (another meaning of the “art of forgetting”) and has since passed away.

    So, yes, Caroline Rose is quite a chameleon. The Art of Forgetting is unlike what they’ve done in the past and surely unlike whatever comes next. It’s the record they needed to make to get out the other side of the last few years. If you’re looking for catchy indie rock hooks and smirking humor, you won’t find it here. But for an intimate journey through one talented songwriter’s mental health, it’s hard to forget The Art of Forgetting.
    Review by Joey O.

Y-Not Radio on MixCloud