Updated: Jul 18, 2018
American singer-songwriter, Caitlin Canty, is dropping her third full-length record, Motel Bouquet on March 30th. Dark Matter was lucky enough to listen to the whole record and pick her brain around the beautiful masterpiece before its release. The ten tracks take you through a journey of bracing for a storm, surviving through it, and seeing the sun again.
After doing some research, we found out that she recorded the entire album live over a period of three days. LIVE. So, we asked Canty why she would do something so insane? “Actually, every other way I’ve tried to do it is more insane,” she said. “The way I’ve
Photo by David Mcclister made records that I loved in the past is live over just a handful of days with musicians who can turn on a dime and can bring their own ideas to the songs, and it’s live. If you make a record in the way it’s traditionally made by stacking things up, record the drum then the base, record vocals, then do all the studio magic, for me—you can hear beautiful records that way—but anytime I’ve done anything similar to that, it sounds like a robot. The passion goes out of it. So I’ve found I don’t enjoy it, and then the result isn’t so spectacular. Live is just the way to go. I can only record with these top-notch musicians.”
She explained that she worked with Grammy-nominated producer, Noam Pikelny to map out the song. She described it as, “having a party for the music.” What she described as a party, we would describe as a lot of stress and pressure, but behold, her system does work for her. After listening to Motel Bouquet, start to finish, three times, you’d Photo by David Mcclister
never guess it happened over several days.
Canty has released four songs from the album, the first being “Motel.” She explained that she was going to trash it, but a friend convinced her not to (thankfully). She described the song as, “too light or too yellow for the darker blues I like.”
“That song is the lighter-hearted side on this record. It was the sunniest disposition I’d had writing a song in a while… I tend to the darker corners of music and darker corners of lyrics, more minor keys. I’m happy there. It was a moment where I felt well-rested and didn’t know how tired I was. It was that moment you are happy and didn’t realize you weren’t for a while. “
The second released song is a bit edgier, “Take Me For a Ride.” Canty said the album has a lighter and darker side; this song is in between.
“It was the first song we played with the band on the first day,” she recalled. “It felt like the natural start for the record. It’s a little dreamy with darker pockets... one side is coming out of a storm and feeling the light again. The other is that this storm is coming or you’re either in it. ‘Take Me For a Ride’ felt like a bridge between the two, almost like I was flirting with disaster.”
We like to ask those hard-hitting questions so we made her choose one song from the new record she is proud of.
“The song ‘Who’ is what I’m most proud of and feel connected to. That’s the kind of music that moves me. It was the last song we cut in the studio. When Stuart Duncan played his last solo, I just couldn’t believe that was happening on a song I wrote on a record I’m putting out. It felt so right.”
We can see why. The song starts with a dreary, yet hauntingly, beautiful entrance, and when Canty’s voice comes in, chills go up your spine. Not to mention, the incredible string instruments and solos within the song. What most may not know, is that she graduated with a degree in biology. If you Photo by David Mcclister listen to her music, nature is a reoccurring theme. In fact, she told us that she was sorry for rambling because she just came from outside planting a tree (we love it). She does it all, folks.
“I constantly feel so happy when I’m outside in the natural world. That’s usually a serene experience for me as a person, but there’s so much more going on in the natural world, not just climate change. I’m getting to see different dessert spaces or now, I live in Tennessee where I used to live in the Northeast. What was natural to me then is not the same here or when you’re standing on a mountain in Idaho, you can see the weather coming. You can see the little thunder-clouds truck along in the sky. It’s a touchstone for a lot of my songs. Lately, I’m so much more aware of that.”
“I put a lot of miles on my songs between the last record and this record, so I feel like things have evolved. There’s a cycle of songwriting for me that is really important for me to get them in front of other people. I can’t write and be the natural type of songwriter who has an office and bangs out songs every day and somebody else takes them on the road. I need to have that quiet time on my desk and then take them on the road. So getting on Milk Carton Kids’ bus and opening for their crowds and then touring with Darlingside in their van and opening for their audiences, those things besides doing my own headlining shows, help anyone grow as an artist. You figure out what songs work better live.”
She’s currently on tour promoting her new songs. She's going to be all over the U.S. so see if she’s coming to a show near you! She also mentioned that she’s excited for the Station Inn show in Nashville as she currently resides there, but also the musicians she recorded the album with, will be playing with her. “It was a really cool feeling of this community of people who were well-aware of each other but haven’t sat down and played music together. Moving to Nashville, people have porches, backyards and guitars and bring them out and play them all the time. It’s a really idyllic life for me.”
The last hard-hitting question asked was, “What do you hope listeners take away from your album?”
“You hope listeners take a CD from your show or a vinyl,” she joked (kind of). “The greatest hope I can have for my songs is that they get under someone’s skin like great songs have gotten under mine
Photo by David Mcclister before. There’s something about a song you love that sticks with you and gets you through hard times and make your good times even better.”
Was that not just a poetic, perfect response? Her last request was to make her “sound personable and brilliant,” but we think she did that by herself. Motel Bouquet is out everywhere March 30th.
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