Own Side Now
Nashville’s Caitlin Rose has forged a unique, stripped-down country sound that hints at the quirks found in indie rock and folk circles without actually joining the beardo brigade (okay, that could present a challenge for her). Songs like “Learning to Ride” and “Own Side”—pillowy tunes with pedal steel, piano, mandolin, and gentle acoustic guitars—and the shuffling “Shanghai Cigarettes” are exemplary showcases for Rose’s writing talents, with melodies that stay for days and smart, gut-punch lyrics. “Who’s gonna want me / when I’m just somewhere you’ve been?” she wonders, but then she proclaims: “I’m through asking you / if you knew love.” They’re simply great tunes, regardless of how you categorize them. Every song except the cover of Fleetwood Mac’s “That’s Alright" was written by Rose (on her own, in most cases). She’s got a touch of the wide-eyed “oh, I’m singing?” style of Zooey Deschanel, but she also has the wry confidence of Feist; it’s a perfect combination that should win Rose a wider audience outside her adoring Nashville scene.