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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 identify 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 turn out to be a logo of empowerment; fairly than the planet being destroyed, its energy is amplified, nevertheless briefly. The Nashville singer-songwriter has consciously kept away from 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 good friend and collaborator Jordan Lehning, who co-produced the album along with her. Making it additionally meant eliminating any preconceptions about what a Caitlin Rose album signified. Greater than a uncommon, nearly unintentional incidence by which enlightenment outshines the specter of combustion, Cazimi finally turned a continuing 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 fireplace and residential, and in historical Roman instances, the cult of the Vestal Virgins was identified to guard the town by conserving 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 internal hearth. Whether or not or not you relate to among 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 – communicate for itself. It’s each gasoline 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. After I was in center faculty, I sort of had a fairly large anime part. They known as me anime woman in like sixth grade, which, I don’t know if I like that. However it’s type 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 great rating and theme tune. 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 per week the place I stored taking part in the theme tune, and even taking part in the intro – Jordan has an enormous display screen within the monitoring room, so I stored placing that on. I listened to loads of OSTs once I was rising up, so there’s a type of manufacturing worth of the mid-90s anime, which could 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 as we speak.” And there was a few week the place I used to be making an attempt to binge that complete 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 few 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 slightly little bit of curiosity in that, which pale fairly shortly, however I do take pleasure in it nonetheless.


You’ve talked about what the title means for you, however I’m curious if you began serious about the idea of Cazimi within the context of your life and the way it took on that resonance, as a result of the side of astrology that I’m excited about 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 bear in mind there have been a number of cazimis that may occur over the course of this document and moments that truly had 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 had been actually all of the instances we had been recording. I bear in mind one in November or October the place I’d despatched it to a publicist, who I instructed I wished to name it CAZIMI, and she or he stated that’s a terrific thought.

It’s humorous, there’s loads 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 trying on the astrology for the day or one thing and I used to be like, “Oh, that’s sort of cool.” I actually preferred 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 jot down about each month to get the clicks, but it surely works in that means.

There’s part of me that was extra afraid of utilizing a buzzword, as a substitute of considering 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 couple of phrases and ideas, just like the idea of Vesta. Vesta turned, , 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. Curiously, sort of like that anime, the place taro is a strategy to push the narrative. It doesn’t actually make sense, the concept is that she does a tarot studying and she or he’s transported to a different world. It’s ridiculous. However it’s how one can sort of timeline it. It’s a strategy to contextualize emotions and instances and frames with out having to be so scientific about it. I feel that that’s poetic contextualization.

By it, you imply astrology generally?

I feel it’s an excellent factor for that, yeah. There’s loads of causes I like it, however that could be a large 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 could possibly open minds, but additionally, such as you stated, simply the language of it could possibly open a inventive world that you simply 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 evening once I was 9. [laughs] I sort of grew up on Boomer humour, and Canadian reveals like that had been popping up on Comedy Central late at evening anyhow. The theme tune [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 provides me this immediate hit of youthful dopamine, or “up at evening watching TV once I shouldn’t be” dopamine. [laughs] For me and Jordan, I feel I instructed him, “I wish to make one thing that seems 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 tune. Let’s write Shadowy Males tune. Let’s write a surf document.” 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 loads of that, ‘Holdin’’ carries a few of that. It’s not a significant inspiration – it’s only one thing more I instructed Jordan that I preferred.

I’ve a video of someone 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, probably not 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 severely. And I feel that was perhaps an angle as properly that I used to be bringing into this sort of state of affairs: irreverent, simply having enjoyable, nothing is absolutely severe – 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 eternally. It’s this place the place I musically grew up, it’s the place loads of the reveals that me and all my associates performed. It’s the place I had reveals that type of shifted trajectories, like I feel I received Street 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 had 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 type 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.

She got here as much as me – and I don’t bear 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 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 vital 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 handy to me – it wasn’t like an intimate, quiet dangle second it. It was actually within the insanity of the present shifting by way of.

‘Lil Vesta’ was one of many final songs for this document, however in exploring the Vesta imagery, it represents that internal hearth. The Vestal Virgins, they stored the fires going. You understand, 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 could be the factor you’re searching 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 exhausting to determine what’s going to inspire you, what’s it really – why are you even right here?

Vesta was type of that, and it was simply weird. [laughs] It was a kind of bizarre Nicole Atkins moments, I don’t know the best way 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 automotive 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 everyone 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 simple factor to drink. You’re not making an attempt to get screwed up on Guinness, . However generally, it simply was type of the vibe in there, was correct pints and civilised conversations, I assume. 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 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 understand how concerned that was –  you possibly can’t simply get a keg of Guinness, it’s important to get principally this whole setup. He might need spent like $1,000 making an attempt to arrange a Guinness keg.

It’s nearly this document the place it was way more of a journey than I feel he was ready for. [laughs] By the tip of it, truthfully, the final day of overdubs once we really wrapped, it was type 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] However it was a very humorous a part of the method. That’s one of many enjoyable issues about making a document, having some weird, silly story to inform. Should you don’t wish to discuss in regards to the music, you possibly can speak about how enjoyable it was to make it, ?

Black Dragons

It’s so foolish, but it surely’s reflective of the way in which I attempt to clarify my visible equal to a sound. It’s the way in which I discovered the best way to discuss listening to music; I didn’t learn music, I communicate in the way in which that some individuals discover actually obnoxious. And Jordan understands it, and may communicate 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 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 loads 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, but it surely’s sort of what sure songs I actually wished to really feel. And so, yeah, black dragons.

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

That’s the opposite factor, it’s so imprecise and so dumb that it truthfully doesn’t matter what it means. It’s a temper, perhaps. He’s additionally a very large Lord of the Rings fan, so , 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 type of dumb, but it surely 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 bear in mind what tune 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’d really hear loads of this document in these data  – I bear in mind sooner or later I stated, “I’d actually love so that you can carry a few of that Non-Com vibe into this document, as a result of it’s one of many issues I at all times beloved that you simply 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 bear 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 combined this document, who I’ve identified for most likely 15 years. And it actually did turn out to be sort of just like the Robin Williams – we’d all “Oh Captain, My Captain” him loads. I simply haven’t gotten to speak about Joe sufficient. He’s a tremendous engineer. Should you have a look at his AllMusic, he’s performed 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 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 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 secure 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 type 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 good friend 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 document are complete whomp-whomps. A part of me thinks it’s like a muppet, however combined with – I don’t know what it’s, but it surely’s large muppet vitality.

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

Caitlin Rose’s CAZIMI is out now through Names.



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