What’s that saying - “You can’t rush art.” A few months ago, Kalamazoo singer-songwriter Kaitlin Rose was getting antsy. It had been two years since she released an album and the pressure was on. But instead of putting out an incomplete album, Rose decided to make a short, four-song EP. She'll have a release show for the work Sunday, May 28th at 6:30 p.m. at Rootead dance studio in Kalamazoo.
Unlike her last album "The Other Side," Rose is doing this one solo. She says she's gotten some requests from fans for music of just her and her guitar.
“I play a lot solo and so a lot of people hear me in that context and I’ve also kind of found my power as a solo musician again after playing with a band for so long. And I love my last album so much, I love the musicianship and the arrangements that everyone brought to my songs. But stripping it back down and kind of going back to my roots brought back a sort of spontaneous rawness to my delivery and my approach to how I perform the songs.”
Rose’s stripped down sound in the EP adds to the personal nature of her music. In her song “Bad Mother” she talks about the struggle between trying to reach her artistic goals and being a mom. Rose says she didn't write for a few years because she was so into being a mother.
"In the moment I wanted to do nothing else," she says. "I wanted to be a stay-at-home mom. I was very into the births of my children.”
But after a while, Rose says she lost touch with certain aspects of herself. In more than one song on the new EP, she talks about trying to find herself again.
"I think that ["Bad Mother"] kind of reflects the conflict of thoughts that go in between how are you yourself as a woman and then how are you as a mother," says Rose. "And then how can you merge those two worlds inside of your own mind and body to find balance. And oh my gosh, it’s a struggle - for all parents, not just mothers.”
Homegrown In Kalamazoo
Aside from her latest release, Rose has been heading up a project called Homegrown in Kalamazoo. Every Thursday at Old Dog Tavern, she hosts performances from new musicians. Rose says it’s a great way to help them develop their art - but don’t confuse it with an open mic. She says this is for musicians that are more experienced, but not quite ready to book gigs:
"So I came up with this idea of longer sets - so everyone gets 25 minutes to play - and so it’s really like a mini opening set for a band, if you’re trying to get out there and start booking shows and opening for other musicians. And then we workshop - so everyone who plays gets a chance to sit down at this big kind of roundtable discussion after people play. I take notes, some other people take notes, and we discuss how the set went. What they think that they could work on and what we think that they could work on and also what they did really well. And we have seen so much growth with the musicians that have been coming down over the months working on their material and it’s really exciting.”