Local Folk Artist Returns With Soul-Baring Album

May 22, 2015

The album cover for The Other Side
Credit courtesy of Kaitlin Rose

Nine years ago, Kaitlin Rose was one of the most prolific singer-songwriters in Kalamazoo. She produced four albums all before the age of 21. And in a few short years, Rose found herself in a committed relationship, she had a few kids, and she stopped writing.


Rose says it took picking up the guitar again three years later to help her to realize she wasn’t as happy in her relationship. Her new album The Other Side is about that defining time in her life.

Rose will have a release show for the album May 28th at 8 p.m. at Bell’s Brewery in Kalamazoo.

“I was writing these songs and kind of worried you know if I should share them because—and it was true, it really ended up happening this way—that if I started putting these feelings out in song which, you know, people will hear…then how I really felt about my life was going to be known,” says Rose.

On Telling Her Story

Rose has been fairly open about what she went through and how that experience is connected to her latest album.

“If someone could feel encouraged or inspired to talk about what’s going on in their life—even with me. Maybe their friends and family, like something is going on and they haven’t found the right words to say it or express something maybe challenging that they’re going through," she says. "If one of my songs could inspire that—I think it’s important for us to communicate and not feel kind of trapped and alone.”

On Perfecting Her Sound With A Backing Band

Rose is primarily known for her solo work, but for The Other Side, she worked with several Kalamazoo musicians including Ian Gorman of Red Sea Pedestrians.

“I think before I was a little more isolated in myself. I would close my eyes when I sang. It would kind of be this little world I was in. I think part of that has to do with being self-taught and I felt self-conscious about the amount of education that I had about the music I was making. I felt like it was really off the cuff and I was putting cords together and I didn’t know what key anything was in," she says.

"So playing my music with people has helped me tremendously. It made my songs almost larger than life to me.”

Most of the tracks on the album are with the band. Rose says that makes the songs she does solo really stand out.

On Making Her Lyrics Vague

Rose says she tried to make the songs vague enough that other people could plug their experiences into them and relate to them in that way. A good example is her song "The Great Divide."

“The first line is, ‘Where do you go when you go away?’” says Rose. “So is someone dying? Is someone leaving? Or is someone just metaphorically not present? I mean there’s a lot to kind of be said for that line.”