Austin-via-Alabama songwriter Caroline Sallee aka Caroline Says has premiered a video for “Mea Culpa”.  “Mea Culpa” is featured on the second Caroline Says album, No Fool Like An Old Fool, which arrived in March on Western Vinyl, Stereogum, and landing Caroline on the cover of her hometown's music paper, Austin Chronicle.
Discussing the video’s creation, Caroline stated:  I made this video with my friend James Pritchard. I asked him to film it because I liked his instagram photos . He told me he had never filmed anything before, but we went for it anyway. We decided to make a video that was entirely shots of reflections of water. We spent 2 days  wandering around looking for different puddles and creeks for him to film my reflection. I think James bought a camera that shoots video after we made this music video.



Austin-via-Alabama songwriter Caroline Sallee aka Caroline Says has shared a second single, “I Tried”, from her upcoming albumNo Fool Like An Old Fool, which will arrive March 16 via Western Vinyl. 

Of the single, Sallee stated:  "When I was in college, I worked at a grocery store where a former celebrity would shop and he’d bring bodyguards with him even though no one at the grocery store cared to bother him. I became fascinated with the idea of someone transitioning from celebrity to has-been and what it must feel like to know your prime is behind you. “I Tried” is from the perspective of a washed up Hollywood actress, remembering her careless youth."

Caroline Says



Austin-via-Alabama songwriter Caroline Sallee aka Caroline Says announces that her second album, No Fool Like An Old Fool, will arrive March 16 via Western Vinyl.  Her self-directed and animated video for the first single, “Sweet Home Alabama”, premieres today 


 Of the single, Sallee stated: "When you grow up in Alabama, “Sweet Home Alabama”

by Lynryd Skynyrd is ubiquitous. It follows you. It’s on the radio. It plays at sports games. I learned to truly hate the song in the 5th grade when it would blare over the school’s morning announcements once a week. It’s a song that represents pride in the worst aspect of the state's history and it’s an embarrassment to me. I wanted to appropriate the song title “Sweet Home Alabama,” because of how much my song contrasts Lynyrd Skynryd ‘s celebratory Alabama homage."


Sallee recorded No Fool Like An Old Fool while simultaneously working three jobs – finding the time was no easy task and her living situation didn't make it any easier.  Caroline explains, "I lived in a disgusting mildewed basement apartment that was like living in a gross cave. My landlords were a crazy old couple that lived above me and it was like living inside of a drum. I could hear their footsteps and their dog’s footsteps and a lot of the time it just sounded like they were throwing things on their floor. It was so hard to find a perfectly quiet time to record. I recorded all my loud stuff (amped guitar, drums) during the day and had to do quieter stuff, like vocals, late at night."    The hurdles she navigated to record naturally led to ad hoc recording techniques, and endless sonic experimentation, often leading to her use of the computer as an instrument.  She remarks, “I did a lot of recording in a state of exhaustion from working so much. I was so worn down that these songs were able to just come through.”

The first few notes of the Daniel Rossen-esque opener “First Song” dutifully establishes the surreal and slightly tragic tone of longing maintained throughout the album. The curiously upturning melodies ride out on a rich ambient texture before “Sweet Home Alabama” cuts the fog with a crackling 60's soul loop that's charming and catchy enough to induce a cathartic laugh from the listener.  The brightness fades with the frosty and propulsive “A Good Thief Steals Clean,” which features lyrics inspired by the 1971 film ‘Panic in Needle Park’ and the idea of being in love with a heroin addict. “I tend to write from the perspectives of characters in dark situations, even though my songs may sound bright,” Sallee notes of her alluring juxtaposition of sunny production and grim lyrics.  She employs this dynamic again on “Rip Off,” a frenetically percussive song with lyrics inspired by an NPR story about a young Iraqi man who was killed in an ISIS bombing just before moving to New York City to become a professional dancer.  Inspired by Terrence Malick's ‘Badlands’ and Bruce Springsteen's Nebraska, the song “Black Hole" features multi-voice harmonies sung from the perspective of 50's spree killer Charles Starkweather.
No Fool Like An Old Fool is a fine soundtrack for a kind of liminal state… honest in its weariness, glad to be done with the day, carrying itself into tomorrow with a bleary-eyed sense of wonder and hope for the future.



 Work in an agile environment.Alabama-raised, Austin-based songwriter Caroline Sallee, aka Caroline Says, will see her originally cassette-only debut album, 50,000,000 Elvis Fans Can’t be Wrong, reissued 4 August on Western Vinyl, before a collection of new material, destined to be her second record, arrives in early 2018. Pitchfork praised album opener, “Winter Is Cold”, last month, describing the track as, “atmospheric folk that envelops you.”  Caroline Says now offers up a video for the more upbeat, “I Think I’m Alone Now”, today via YouTube




Alabama-raised, Austin-based songwriter Caroline Sallee, aka Caroline Says, has signed to Western Vinyl to reissue her originally cassette-only debut album, 50,000,000 Elvis Fans Can’t be Wrong, on August 4, before a collection of new material, destined to be her second album, arrives in early 2018 – stream + share “Winter is Cold” via Soundcloud

After college Sallee took a job as a waitress in Yellowstone as an exercise in solitude and independence.  With the money she saved there, she took a transformative journey via Greyhound to explore the West Coast before returning to Alabama where she would record her debut album in her parents’ basement.  50 Million puts us in the seat right next to Sallee where we can feel the warm West Coast light through the window, the bus route charting the lines between our youth, and our delayed future.
The modern roadblock of moving back in with your parents after college is generally painted in negative colors, often mentioned in news bumps as a sign of the stunted growth of a generation that increasingly sees itself as valueless in traditional economic roles.  What isn't discussed is how this move can provide us with a renewed perspective on, and clarity about the formative years spent in this familiar space.  Perhaps this temporary return is a cosmic gift to a culture that's overdue for reminders of its indelible potential - a gift that provides one last opportunity to create art in the nostalgic haze of your youth, before your time and energy are sapped by economic pressures to make it on your own.  Recorded during just such a time, 50,000,000 Elvis Fans Can't be Wrong is a fruit of this ambivalent phase of early adulthood. 
There are rays of youth beaming through this music, but they never outshine a kind of maturity that betrays the fact that Sallee was just 22 years old when 50 Million was made. Our trek starts with album-opener “Winter Is Cold” which somewhat fittingly shares its title with the 1969 Wendy & Bonnie song of the same name. Bouncy, alternate finger-picking marks a gentle beginning, safely and surely generating momentum while setting up the story through a frank quatrain: “I’ve never been to the West Coast, I’ve always heard it’s the best though.” Sallee then immediately confesses the kind of realization that’s a benchmark of setting out into the world alone: “I think it’s okay, just not all they say.”
That kind of dichotomy is at play throughout 50 Million Elvis Fans Can’t be Wrong. Even the album title seems to refer to the contrast between what our elders tell us and the perspectives we form out of our own experiences. There's a vacillation between idealism and realism, and it expresses itself musically in the hairpin turns from gentle folk into brazen experimental flourishes, like on “Funeral Potatoes.” The track opens with lilting, somber, Satie-esque piano, but at the halfway point, typical choices of song structure and transition are discarded in favor of a screeching, static-washed loop of violin and feedback that transcends the formality of songcraft, becoming something altogether more daring and collage-like.
The more band-driven songs on 50 Million recall an early-1990’s style of production in the way chorus-twinged electric guitars and tight, papery drumbeats point our mind’s eye to the West Coast sunset, like on the mid-album standout “Gravy Dayz”. But what makes these more caffeinated moments special is their constant proximity to gentleness and reflection. Sallee decorates the background of most songs with hushed humming that could stand alone as a minimalist-ambient choral album, and when employed on her songs, elevates the final product to an astral level.
Sallee’s gift lies in pitting the familiar against the unexpected with a delicate assuredness, never compromising the one for the other.  These kinds of debuts can sometimes feel like an over-promise of what is to come, but in the case of Caroline Says there's clearly plenty more thread to be unraveled. It'll be a pleasure to see where the next bus ride takes us.

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