By Peter LaBerge, Founder & Editor-in-Chief.
We love music. Like, a lot. It inspires us, and we strive to make it with our words. Here, behind the scenes of the journal, we’ve decided it’s about time we start supporting emerging musicians we think are worthy of your ears. First up: Caroline Glaser.
That name ring a bell? It should. Last year, Caroline turned chairs (literally) and stunned audiences from around the world on the fourth season of The Voice. She made it to the top 16, and she’s been up to some pretty magical stuff ever since. Most exciting of all, Caroline released her second EP on Tuesday—you should probably give it a listen and support her. If you, for some crazy reason, haven’t heard of Caroline, never fear! You can check out her audition below (and, because we’re nice people, we won’t even judge).
Yeah. No words? Thought so. Thankfully, Caroline & I have some for you.
Peter LaBerge, Founder & Editor-in-Chief: First of all, thanks so much for chatting with me, and congratulations on the release! I was wondering if you could kick things off by telling us the (abridged) story of how this beautiful EP came to be.
Caroline Glaser, Musician: The pleasure is all mine, thanks so much! I recorded this EP at my friend, Donnie Reis’, Studio (Twelve3South) back in April. He accompanied me on the road for 3 months opening for Straight No Chaser in 2013. He was in the process of building a home studio during the tour, and by the time it had wrapped up I had written/co-written a bunch of songs that I was extremely eager to get recorded and released. It was right after the new year when we started discussing a game plan on how to go about working towards my next EP, so we blocked off the month of April and got to work on Better Days Vol. 2!
PL: Is there a track that you feel particularly connected to on this EP? Why?
CG: That’s a tough question… I was going through a lot during the writing/recording of this EP, so a lot of the songs are pretty personal. I chose to name the EP after the track "Better Days" because I felt like it was a good summary of the rest of the tracks. Most of the songs have a vulnerable/sad element to them, but also pertain somewhat of a hopeful message. That was the main inspiration behind “Better Days.”
PL: How do you get inspired? It’s funny—I often feel like my best poems originate from listening to the emotion behind music; I have to wonder if there’s a universal artistic impetus, whether there’s some kind of universal dialect of emotion that all artists are able to speak.
CG: I get inspired by a lot of different things. Obviously personal experience is one of them, but I also find books and movies to be incredibly inspiring. Just hearing other stories can sometimes spark a song or lyric idea for me.
PL: Describe the EP using only three words (and as much punctuation as you’d like).
CG: Eclectic, Mellow, and [hopefully] Inspirational.
PL: Here’s a conceptual one: how do you feel about the relationship between song and poetry? I’ve noticed over the years that some artists (Regina Spektor, Ingrid Michaelson, etc.) seem to approach songwriting poetically, while others (not naming names) seem to not.
CG: Ha! I love this. I have a feeling we are on the same page with this one… Every artist writes differently, but I tend to connect with the more poetic lyricists such as Regina Spektor, Ingrid Michaelson, etc. Those two are actually some of my personal favorites, and I idolize them a lot as female singer-songwriters. Although some song lyrics aren't as poetic and moving as others, I think all songs are poems in their raw form. Whether it’s a rap song or country song, music is a form of art and poetry. I personally just tend to gravitate more towards the Ingrid/Regina poets of the world.
PL: Of course, I have to ask one question about The Voice. How did participating in the show and working with Adam & Blake affect the way you produce and interpret art?
CG: My participation in season 4 of The Voice has undoubtedly changed my life in the best of ways. Before I auditioned I had always loved playing music, but I was very kept to myself about it. I did little open mic nights once a week at a local coffee shop, but other than that I wasn’t performing out or seriously pursuing it. I never looked at music as a realistic career path for me, but being a part of the show gave me the platform & fan base to full on pursue my art. I honestly couldn’t be more thankful for the show! I’m extremely blessed to have been a part of such an amazing/talented group of artists.
And with that, go check out Caroline's brilliant release! Do it. Really, though.
Alright -- one for the road. But only because I'm really, really diggin' it.
Peter LaBerge is an undergraduate student at the University of Pennsylvania. His poetry appears in PANK, A-Minor Magazine, Best New Poets 2014, DIAGRAM, and Weave Magazine, among others. He currently co-edits Poets on Growth (Math Paper Press, 2015), and serves as the Founder & Editor-in-Chief of The Adroit Journal. His debut chapbook, Hook, is forthcoming from Sibling Rivalry Press.