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Alternative & Indie - Released March 6, 2020 | New West Records

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Partly inspired by the 2001 film Mulholland Drive, Caroline Rose's synth-pop latest is like David Lynch for the influencer age. Press materials say Superstar is about "an anti-hero who moves to Hollywood… after receiving a wrong number call from the Chateau Marmont." The character pursues fame without any of the self-awareness Rose herself has in spades. From pie-eyed dreams ("Got to Go My Own Way") to donning a facade to fool the world (the Saint Etienne-esque "Someone New") to the pursuit of danger ("Freak Like Me," about falling for a dominatrix) to cataloging mistakes ("Back at the Beginning"), it's a rise and fall in 13 acts. "Feel the Way I Want" channels SoCal sunshine with bright synth squiggles while exposing the mixed messages women on social media receive — love yourself, but not too much or you'll be torn down. The music is as interesting as the storyline, with melodies that channel underwater worlds, 17th-century France, even '80s R&B: "Do You Think We'll Last Forever" bounces on an audacious rubber-band bass and Mary Jane Girls-worthy chorus. © Shelly Ridenour/Qobuz
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Alternative & Indie - Released February 23, 2018 | New West Records

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Alternative & Indie - Released January 7, 2020 | New West Records

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Rock - Released March 24, 2014 | CR productions

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Alternative & Indie - Released February 23, 2018 | New West Records

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Alternative & Indie - Released February 11, 2020 | New West Records

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Alternative & Indie - Released March 3, 2020 | New West Records

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Classical - Released August 1, 2013 | Caroline Rose

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Alternative & Indie - Released November 17, 2017 | New West Records

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Alternative & Indie - Released February 2, 2018 | New West Records

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Alternative & Indie - Released January 12, 2018 | New West Records

Alternative & Indie - Released February 23, 2018 | New West Records

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One of the most enduring showbiz clichés is that of comic actors who are desperate to play serious roles and prove they have real talent. In a very real way, Caroline Rose's third album, 2018's Loner, finds her following this path in reverse. After first establishing herself as a thoughtful folkie (2010's Caroline Rose) and then as an eclectic roots rock artist (2014's I Will Not Be Afraid), Loner is a creative 180 where she embraces dance beats, lo-fi electronics, and bent but effective pop hooks and sounds freer, wilder, and more engaged than she did when she was supposedly being a "serious" artist. Loner is the sound of Caroline Rose having fun and saying just as much as (if not more than) when she wasn't playing for laughs, and her home-brewed version of contemporary dance-pop is both witty and satisfying, playful without drowning in irony. And this music has clearly energized Rose; her vocals are strong and effective whether she's aiming for moody seduction on "To Die Today" or for full-on mania as in "Money." As a songwriter, she's opened up, able to shift gears from the bratty teenage vibe of "Soul No. 5" and the Farfisa-driven pop of "Bikini" to the busted ambitions of "Jeannie Becomes a Mom" and the shadowy eroticism of "Animal." And the production by Rose and Paul Butler walks a fine line between polish and inspired trashiness, hitting the sweet spot throughout. Some of the folks who loved Caroline Rose's first two albums are going to have a hard time with Loner, but she doesn't sound the least bit worried about it, and she shouldn't be -- she's made the most interesting album of her career to date. © Mark Deming /TiVo

Alternative & Indie - Released February 23, 2018 | New West Records

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Caroline Rose in the magazine