Few musical reinventions have been as stunning or as gratifyingly well-executed as Caroline Rose‘s turn from alt-Americana up and comer to full-fledged synth-punk-pop-feminist rock badass with her stellar 2018 sophomore effort LONER. Quirky, darkly funny, self-assured, and unique, Caroline Rose has never seemed more in tune with her own artistic self-expression, and when she last headlined Nashville, a little over a year ago and shortly after the album’s release, she wowed us with her latest musical turn. One of the many artists rained out last fall at Pilgrimage Fest, Rose finally makes her proper Nashville return tonight, April 24, moving on up to The Basement East after a year of well-deserved rising buzz. Joining Caroline is another site favorite, Philadelphia’s Kississippi, who also evolved from a more folk-geared early sound to a punk and emo infused indie pop on last year’s debut LP, Sunset Blush, making for one stellar pairing of artists who’d both be must-see shows on their own, and feel essentially on a single bill. You can snag tickets right here, then read on for more about the show!
When Caroline Rose first came onto our radar, with the release of her 2014 debut LP I Will Not Be Afraid, we counted her as a promising, albeit fairly conventional, alt-country and Americana rocker. But with her incredible sophomore LP, last year’s LONER, Rose bucked everything she previously established, and reinvented herself as a sarcastic, ambitious, self-assured, quirky, and genre-defying rocker, exploring pop and punk and synth rock and indie with a personal, darkly funny, raw, and unique flair. Though, from the outside, her new direction seems like a total metamorphosis, Caroline maintains that it’s merely an organic and necessary reflection of growth and life changes of the past few years, something that had been bubbling up for ages, and finally manifested as music that better expresses her personality. A multi-instrumentalist and multimedia talent, Rose not only used her latest record as a means of musical exploration, but also as a way to flex her production chops (she co-produced it all with Paul Butler) and studio experimentation, as well explore honing her visual style, video approach, and more. A rising talent who, as a twenty-something, has already proven her ability and willingness to take drastic and gratifying risks with her art, Caroline delivered without a doubt one of last year’s absolute best albums, and her return to town comes after a whirlwind year of well-deserved buzz, increasingly high-profile live dates, and a steady stream of festival appearances.
We’ve been huge fans of Philadelphia’s Kississippi since they first sprung onto the scene in 2014, at the time a more sparse, folk-tinged indie project made up of Zoë Reynolds with Colin Kupson, who she’d met on Tinder and subsequently recruited to record early demos and DIY efforts. While 2014 debut EP I Can Feel You in My Hair Still showed signs of promise, it was 2015 followup We Have No Future, We’re All Doomed, a more fleshed-out effort, that earned the pair broader acclaim, becoming darlings of the hip music press and proceeding to tour, before formally parting ways in 2016. The project always felt most anchored around Reynolds, however, and, newly solo, she revamped the Kississippi moniker to adopt a more full-band, electric, indie pop sound, calling back to her emo and indie punk roots, and even briefly singing to punk label SideOneDummy (a restricting of personnel caused them to part ways amicably), before independently releasing her highly-anticipated full-length debut, Sunset Blush, last year. Fully embraced by the substantive intersection of emo, indie, and punk, Kississippi has shared the stage in recent years with acts like Dashboard Confessional, Tancerd, Foxing, and Have Mercy, still maintaining a DIY ethos, while also becoming a must-know act for fans of earnest, captivating, and pop accessible indie rock. Don’t miss her set!
Caroline Rose and Kississippi will perform tonight, April 24 at The Basement East. The show is 18+, begins at 8 p.m. (doors at 7 p.m.), and tickets are available to purchase for $15.