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

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-about to be within the coronary heart of it. The definition of a cazimi could fluctuate relying on who you ask, however for Rose, it’s grow to be an emblem of empowerment; fairly than the planet being destroyed, its energy is amplified, nonetheless briefly. The Nashville singer-songwriter has consciously shunned divulging the main points 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 means of emotions of self-doubt and burnout, although, was her good friend 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, virtually unintentional prevalence by which enlightenment outshines the specter of combustion, Cazimi in the end turned 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 the town by holding the sacred fires burning. It’s a kind of issues Rose latches on to and turns inward as a method of exploring what makes up her inside fireplace. Whether or not or not you relate to among the particular ideas she carries by means of CAZIMI, it’s clear the totally different sounds she strings collectively are pushed by that very same fireplace, 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 – communicate for itself. It’s each gas and armor, and Rose isn’t utilizing it to cover however fairly make clear her personal narrative.

We caught up with Caitlin Rose to speak a few 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 one in every of my favourites rising up. Once I was in center college, I form of had a fairly large anime section. They known as me anime lady in like sixth grade, which, I don’t know if I really like that. Nevertheless it’s form of this bizarre combination of occult magic plus Gundam – nobody’s gonna know what I’m speaking about [laughs], but it surely has this very mystical high quality to it. And it additionally simply has this actually fantastic rating and theme track. 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 document, there was every week the place I saved enjoying the theme track, and even enjoying the intro – Jordan has a giant display screen within the monitoring room, so I saved placing that on. I listened to numerous OSTs after 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 few week the place I used to be attempting to binge that complete present once more, I hadn’t watched it since I used to be 15. It form 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 few highschool lady 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 a bit little bit of curiosity in that, which light fairly shortly, however I do take pleasure in it nonetheless.


You’ve talked about what the title means for you, however I’m curious whenever you began fascinated with 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 concerned about is extra in the way in which that it supplies a language for expression.

Sure, which is what I’ve tried to elucidate 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 will occur over the course of this document 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 mentioned that’s a fantastic concept.

It’s humorous, there’s numerous them, particularly the truth that the beginning date of the session was the date of the Mercury cazimi. I used to be in all probability wanting on the astrology for the day or one thing and I used to be like, “Oh, that’s form 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 form 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 write down about each month to get the clicks, but it surely works in that approach.

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 any person 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 turned, , what’s the lacking fireplace – my chart, there’s so little fireplace, what do I do with that? And it was extra of only a method to push the narrative. Curiously, form of like that anime, the place taro is a method 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. Nevertheless it’s how one can form of timeline it. It’s a method to contextualize emotions and occasions and frames with out having to be so scientific about it. I believe that that’s poetic contextualization.

By it, you imply astrology normally?

I believe it’s factor for that, yeah. There’s numerous causes I find it irresistible, however that may be a massive a part of it, and that’s in all probability the massive draw. That’s in all probability what introduced me to it was, there’s so many artists who’ve used that in form of a poetic method. I imply, Françoise Hardy is an astrologer. I’m certain that the idea of it might open minds, but in addition, such as you mentioned, simply the language of it might 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 the rest that folks use for inventive inspiration.

Children within the Corridor

I grew up watching that present at like 10 o’clock at evening after I was 9. [laughs] I form of grew up on Boomer humour, and Canadian reveals like that have been popping up on Comedy Central late at evening in any case. The theme track [by the band Shadowy Men on a Shadowy Planet], from the primary time you hear this guitar riff, it’s like a surf form of vibe however form of gnarly, and it simply offers me this prompt hit of youthful dopamine, or “up at evening watching TV after I shouldn’t be” dopamine. [laughs] For me and Jordan, I believe I advised him, “I need to make one thing that seems like Children within the Corridor.” Typically 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 track. Let’s write Shadowy Males track. Let’s write a surf document.” That’s not what we did. However only for the bizarre power of it, bringing that in, and bringing in a few of that guitar tone in such a approach the place it’s virtually form of homage-y. I believe ‘Vesta’ carries numerous that, ‘Holdin’’ carries a few of that. It’s not a serious inspiration – it’s only one other thing I advised Jordan that I appreciated.

I’ve a video of any person recording a guitar monitor 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 having the ability to be adults. [laughs] It’s foolish ‘90s Canadian humour. It’s immature, it’s enjoyable, it doesn’t take itself too significantly. And I believe that was perhaps an angle as nicely that I used to be bringing into this sort of scenario: irreverent, simply having enjoyable, nothing is absolutely critical – you’re simply doing it.

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

“Lil’ Vesta”, picture courtesy of Caitlin Rose

The Mercy Lounge is a venue right here that has been round for without end. It’s this place the place I musically grew up, it’s the place numerous the reveals that me and all my buddies performed. It’s the place I had reveals that form of shifted trajectories, like I believe I gained 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 sooner or later, 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 attention-grabbing, it sticks with you.

She got here as much as me – and I don’t keep in mind what was occurring, it might need been proper earlier than we recorded or proper earlier than we deliberate the session – however she goes, “I simply have this sense, I believe you want this.” And she or he handed me this little wood 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 approach, 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 handy to me – it wasn’t like an intimate, quiet grasp second it. It was actually within the insanity of the present shifting by means of.

‘Lil Vesta’ was one of many final songs for this document, however in exploring the Vesta imagery, it represents that inside fireplace. The Vestal Virgins, they saved the fires going. You recognize, what’s the factor that drives you within the purest of coronary heart approach? And Vesta was simply one other, form of like cazimi, like a glyph. Astrology has glyphs for all the pieces – if it was a online game, it could be the factor you’re searching for. So, the lacking fireplace 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, for those who spend a very long time simply feeling burn out or no matter, it’s exhausting to determine what’s going to inspire 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 kind of bizarre Nicole Atkins moments, I don’t know methods to 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 automobile when it’s shifting 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.


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 turned 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, . However normally, it simply was form of the vibe in there, was correct pints and civilised conversations, I suppose. My favorite half, although, is that sooner or later 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 believe we must always simply do it ourselves. I believe we must always get a keg and get the entire setup so we are able to simply pour our personal Guinness like we’re in a bar.” He didn’t understand how concerned that was –  you may’t simply get a keg of Guinness, you need to get principally this whole setup. He might need spent like $1,000 attempting to arrange a Guinness keg.

It’s virtually this document the place it was far more of a journey than I believe he was ready for. [laughs] By the tip of it, actually, the final day of overdubs once 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] Nevertheless it was a extremely humorous a part of the method. That’s one of many enjoyable issues about making a document, having some weird, silly story to inform. When you don’t need to speak concerning the music, you may discuss how enjoyable it was to make it, ?

Black Dragons

It’s so foolish, but it surely’s reflective of the way in which I try to elucidate my visible equal to a sound. It’s the way in which I discovered methods to speak listening to music; I didn’t learn music, I communicate in the way in which that some folks discover actually obnoxious. And Jordan understands it, and might communicate that approach too, however plus a historical past in music composition and classical. He’s very expert, he can compose music in a approach that I’ll by no means be capable of. However he also can hear me say one thing like, “I don’t know what this guitar is. I believe 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 comfy working with, particularly if I do know that individual goes to get it. And clearly, there have been in all probability numerous references – I believe I like performed him ‘Black Diamond’ by Kiss. His MO just isn’t a lot in that vein enjoying guitar, and it’s not mine both, but it surely’s form of what sure songs I actually needed to really feel. And so, yeah, black dragons.

I believed it could be extra like a kind of symbolic issues.

That’s the opposite factor, it’s so imprecise and so dumb that it actually doesn’t matter what it means. It’s a temper, perhaps. He’s additionally a extremely massive Lord of the Rings fan, so , Smaug, he may 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, but it surely makes it enjoyable for me, it makes it simpler to elucidate. After which he can inform any person else what that truly means.

He can translate.

Yeah. [laughs] He speaks Caitlin, so.

Do you keep in mind what track that was for?

It was ‘Gemini Moon’.

Non-Commissioned Officers

What’s enjoyable is, he was in a band known 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 known as Make-out With Violence. It’s a zombie film, it went to South by Southwest when it premiered. It was actually enjoyable. You’ll really hear numerous this document in these information  – I keep in mind sooner or later I mentioned, “I’d actually love so that you can convey a few of that Non-Com vibe into this document, as a result of it’s one of many issues I all the time beloved that you just guys made.”

Joe Costa’s Novelty Captain’s Hat

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

I purchased a novelty captain’s hat for enjoyable. I don’t even keep in mind why, I believe I purchased like three of them. It was a bizarre COVID buy. I gave it to Joe Costa, who engineered and blended this document, who I’ve identified for in all probability 15 years. And it actually did grow to be form of just like the Robin Williams – we’d all “Oh Captain, My Captain” him so much. I simply haven’t gotten to speak about Joe sufficient. He’s an incredible engineer. When you take a look at his AllMusic, he’s accomplished a lot. And he’s additionally simply among the best captains anybody may 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 conjures up you about Jordan, not simply as a collaborator, however as a good friend?

I simply assume that Jordan is without doubt one of the few individuals who actually will get that vibe of – , some individuals are form 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 irritated at them. [laughs] It’s all the time been like that since I’ve identified him, and it’s all the time been a really secure friendship in that approach, 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 approach. He loves weirdos, and I’m a weirdo, and I believe that he helps me convey extra weirdos round. It’s a enjoyable vibe.

My good friend Tristen, who’s one other artist that I hope you do one thing with quickly [Note: we have], she’s superb. Her husband [Buddy Hughen] was one of many Non-Coms. She described it as the truth that I can actually solely be buddies with whomp-whomps, which I actually 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 document are complete whomp-whomps. A part of me thinks it’s like a muppet, however blended with – I don’t know what it’s, but it surely’s massive muppet power.

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

Caitlin Rose’s CAZIMI is out now through Names.



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