Caroline Rose - I Will Not Be Afraid
's thrilling debut album is full of her own style of smoky vocals, archetypal Americana themes, and off the scale tunes. There's not much information about this American on the internet: she doesn't promote her hometown in a bio and describes herself as "a modern day hobo". That carefree attitude is rife in her music, and a desire to do her own thing led to a crowd funded debut (of sorts) before this proper label debut as the latest in a long line of excellent acts on the Thirty Tigers label.
Blowing the doors open with the bluesy, hillbilly rock of ‘Blood On Your Bootheels’, the 24 year old has a creative approach to Americana that pulls in all kinds of sounds, inflections, and influences, all carved together in an original way. The quiet drama of ‘When You Go’, with its mix of twanging and slide guitar, and the full character of her voice that carries ‘Let Me In’ are offset by the freakshow of a song that is ‘At Midnight’, with its blasts of drum, deliberate speech patterns and strange lyrics (“And little by little / They take out your eyes / They cut off your ears / So you can’t see / And you can’t hear”). And that’s all without mentioning the Dylan-esque double whammy of the short and punchy ‘Red Bikini Waltz’ and ‘Time Spent, Money Grow!’; the beautiful ‘Shepherd’, and longing for home on ‘Back East’. I Will Not Be Afraid is an intoxicating mix of the weird and wonderful - a ballsy debut from a ballsy singer.