Back in 2013 a girl by the name of Caroline Glaser was on NBC’s The Voice. She was personally one of my favorite singers that season, but was unfortunately stuck in a tough group and ended up going home after the first week of live shows.
An early exit isn’t always the worst thing with these types of competitions however, many popular artists out there right now came up short in their bids as well, including Kacey Musgraves (Nashville Star) and Melanie Martinez (The Voice). It was a pleasant surprise to see Ms. Glaser’s name come up in the new release section of Apple Music and an even better surprise listening to it.
I was fortunate to catch up with Caroline Glaser on the phone just a little while ago, here’s how it went.
Brandon: Well, first I want to start off by congratulating you on the new album. I am a huge fan of it myself.
Caroline: Thank you so much.
B: What’s the reaction been like for you? Has has everything been post releasing it?
C: It’s been pretty good. It’s kind of hard to tell because, you don’t get iTunes or Spotify results really for like a few months. People have been really sweet with messages and posts and stuff, so I’ve been really excited about it.
B: Well, cool. Like I said, I saw the album come up on Apple Music, and I remember you from The Voice. I thought, “Oh, I’ve got to take a listen to it.” I was absolutely so surprised. I loved you on The Voice, but you always wonder what the first album’s going to be like, and it sounded so good.
C. Thank you so much. That means a lot.
B: So, I guess we’ll get a little into the album because there’s a lot to talk about. My favorite on the album is actually “Wishing Well”…
C: Aw, thank you!
B: Yeah! I was hoping you might have a little bit more on the story behind that one.
C: Yeah, that’s actually pretty cool because I wrote that, or I started to write it, my sophomore year of high school, or it might have been my junior year of high school. It was after I saw this movie called The Lovely Bones-
B: Oh, yeah.
C: And so I got the idea of that story line. I don’t know if you’ve seen the movie.
B: I’ve read the book, so I do know about it, yeah.
C: Yeah! So it kind of followed that storyline, but it’s totally turned into…it’s kind of taken on its own meaning through the years. I actually wrote a couple of verses like last year and finished up the choruses, so it’s been a pretty long process. It’s probably like the longest writing process ever on a song. But, that one’s pretty special to me just ‘cause I started it when I was so young, and now it’s pretty special.
B: It’s funny how that happens, though, right? You think you have something perfectly written and then as time goes on you figure out there are new things to add to it.
C: Oh my gosh, yes (laughs). Like my very first song that I wrote I posted to Youtube and it’s actually probably still up there. It’s called “Rollercoaster” and I remember when I wrote it and recorded it I was like, “This is the best song ever!”
C: Like, ‘’This is awesome!” But, when I look back I’m like, “What was I thinking?” (laughs) So, it’s funny how you kind of evolve as a songwriter and just how your art kind of changes throughout the years. It’s funny.
B: I can totally relate to that, so I totally know where you’re coming from. Another favorite song of mine on the album, and it seems like probably a fan favorite of your fans as well, is “Rosalee.” And you have a live version on there, but I love both versions. So, what is the story? It’s a very unique song in that it’s very much a story. Tell us a little about what inspired you to write that one.
C: Yeah, so that’s pretty special to me as well. That was one of the very first co-writes I ever had in Nashville. It was with a super talented musician out here named Angaleena Presley. We were going into co-write… I’ve gotten pretty familiar with it over the years doing it so much in Nashville, but that was one of my very first ones. Getting in a room with an established writer and artist is super intimidating. So, I was just trying to come up with like every song idea I’ve ever come up with and kind of stemmed from…I read this story a really long time ago, and it was about this old woman who kind of lost her mind and her husband is talking about how he stuck by her through the years, and just the idea of eternal love kind of stuck by me for that song. And I wrote, I think I had the first verse written, but probably tweaked it a little bit. I brought that to her, and it turned out that her grandma was going through stage five Alzheimer’s at the time and she was like, “Oh my gosh, this hits super close to home.” We worked the song for probably an hour, which is really short for a co-write, and least in my experience. And she showed videos and stuff with her grandmother. It was just really intense. That’s why that’s always been really special to me, and I recorded it on my first EP ever, and I ended up having to take it down. Ever since I took it down I knew I always wanted to re-record it and re-release it. But, it’s really cool to kind of re-vamp it up a little bit and make it a little more fun sounding. I also wanted a more melodic, acoustic track too, so I did it twice with the live version as well on my record.
B: That’s kind of two ends of the spectrum there, right? You had a song that had a few years to finish, and then you have one that only finished in one hour, right?
C: (laughs) Right. Yeah, very broad spectrum.
B: Well it really is a beautiful song. And I remember, like I said, hearing you for the first time and thinking you had a great voice. But you sound even better on your live videos and as well as this album. You’re sounding extremely good. Now I know you’ve probably answered a lot of questions about The Voice so we won’t go too far into that, but let’s talk about life after The Voice. Sometimes it’s kind of a blessing when you don’t win, right? You get to go off and do your own thing compared to the winners?
C: Yeah. (laughs). So I really wasn’t pursuing music until after The Voice, really. Like, I never had pictured music being a realistic career path for me, like, at all. And then The Voice kind of happened, and I kept getting a lot farther than I thought I would ever get. (laughs) So, after the show wrapped up, I withdrew from school. I was going to KU in Lawrence, Kansas and it was my freshman year too. The Voice aired right around when all those first exams were happening, so there wasn’t really any good way to do that online. So I just figured I’d go back the next year after everything wrapped up, but then I have this fan base. And I was getting these offers through Facebook, these emails with labels or booking agents, and I ended up meeting, who’s still my booking agent today. His name’s Jordan Burger. I met him out here in Nashville, and he just started booking me on tours right away. I was pretty much on the road that whole year after, and then I moved the next year to Nashville. I just kind of fell in love with writing out here and it kind of snowballed. I’m just so grateful for that show for creating a platform, and it’s been really really awesome.
B: Well, it’s cool. We’ve featured a lot of artists on the site from the show, so it’s cool that there’s always a different story from each individual artist about their experience there. I think it does provide a mixture, at the very least, of very talented artists. It’s always good to find new talent there for sure.
C: Yeah for sure.
B: So, now let’s rewind back a bit since you mentioned you weren’t really sure you wanted to pursue a music career. Online there isn’t a lot about you when it comes to biographies and such-
B: So tell us a little about your younger life, and what led you to start at least writing music and such.
C: Sure, well I was very very normal. (laughs)
C: I started playing music…I got my first acoustic guitar my freshman year of high school. My dad and my uncle went together and bought me my very first guitar for Christmas. And I think it took me…it just kind of sat in my closet for about a year before I picked it up, and I started watching those Youtube tutorials that became a thing right around that year. And I started learning how to play, and then I wanted feedback, but not some people I knew. Like, I didn’t want people to know that I was playing and singing along, so I just posted it to Youtube and I started getting anonymous feedback, which I liked. And then it kind of became a thing in my high school where everyone found out. I told my best friend and then word got out that I was like a Youtube singer. I was terrified of that. (Laughs) I didn’t want that to happen, but I don’t know. That’s pretty much the gist of what I did musically as far as before The Voice, which is crazy, because it was a total 180, and I did little open-mic nights for The Voice, which kind of made me want to do something more. Eventually it would mean that I would start booking shows, but I got the opportunity to do The Voice, and everything just kind of happened very fast.
B: Now what has the move been like to Nashville for you, personally.
C: Oh, I love Nashville. I’m from St. Louis, Missouri and I moved a couple of years ago, and I just love the city so much. It’s been very, very awesome. It feels very home-y.
B: I’ve heard from so many artists that it is exactly what you said. It does feel like home to them. They finally feel like they have a place where they can, you know, really truly be themselves.
C: Yeah, yeah it’s cool, it’s ‘cause it’s just enough city and just enough little town … I’m from a suburb outside of St. Louis, so I’m definitely not like a city girl, but I’m not like a small-town girl either.
B: Yeah I totally, totally get that.
C: So it’s awesome. Yeah.
B: So, now getting back a little bit to the music. So, you have a cover on this album of The Outfield’s-
B: Of course, I can’t think of the dang title now even though I’ve listened to it my whole life…
C: It’s of “Your Love.”
B: Thank you!
C: (laughs) I’ll help you out.
B: That’s terribly embarrassing, but, you know, sometimes especially…I’m getting old, so….
B: You do a lot of different covers, obviously, and going through The Voice as well you end up doing quite a few different covers on a stage. What is your favorite song to cover to this day?
C: I love “Your Love” is really fun for me just because I feel like in my kind of genre it’s sort of a curveball to do a really classic 80s song. I think it’s so cool when artists take classic songs and kind of twist them and make them their own. That’s, like, my favorite thing, like I do “Dancing in the Dark” by Bruce Springsteen a lot, which is really fun, and then “Your Love.” I think “Your Love” is my favorite one right now.
B: It’s one that whenever it comes on when I’ve listen to the album, like you said, it is so cool because it’s so different. You know, I remember I think Katy Perry did it a few years ago, and it was different, but the progression wasn’t totally changed around that much or the arrangement.
C: Yeah, that’s right!
B: It’s so cool to hear a different version. I saw too, I think, when I was going through your music videos, I think I saw a Manchester Orchestra cover, and I’m a huge Manchester Orchestra fan.
C: Oh my God. You are?
B: Oh yeah
C: That’s super cool. Yeah, I love Manchester Orchestra a lot.
B: Oh man, I listen to their stuff way way more than I should- I’m supposed to be listening to new music, to review it, and I end up just going back and listening to Manchester Orchestra albums. (laughs)
C: (laughs) That’s amazing, o.k., that’s crazy, because I have actually become friends with Andy Hull over the years, and I was just in Atlanta, like, with him. How crazy is that?
B: You know, it’s funny because a guy I interviewed a few years ago, Kyle Lucas, he’s a rapper from Georgia, and he’s friends with Andy Hull. And I remember seeing Andy a few years ago at…the radio station puts on something here near Seattle called Summer Camp-
C: Oh, cool.
B: And he was so mad because they were trying to say that he had to cut his set short because they were running low on time and Neon Trees was next, and he basically said, “You can unplug me, but I’m staying on this fucking stage.” (laughs)
C: (laughs) That’s amazing.
B: It was one of the best live performances I’ve seen, he’s incredible.
C: Yeah, he’s crazy good. I saw him, just him and the guitar, here at a venue called Exit/In. It was a completely sold-out show, like, everyone was completely silent. It was so good. He had everyone’s attention the entire time. He’s insane. He’s so good.
B: No, I know, I actually forget what it was that I had come up, but he was touring here solo and I am so disappointed I missed it because I think it would have just been incredible. Hopefully next time he comes by I will catch the show.
C: Yeah, yeah, for sure. I haven’t caught a Manchester Orchestra show, yet, like, the whole band, but his show blew me away. It was so good, so I can only imagine.
B: Definitely. His songwriting, too, is totally inspirational for a writer.
C: Oh, totally. Yeah, yeah. He’s definitely outside-of- the-box, for sure.
C: In the best way possible.
B: Totally. Now, speaking of touring – good segue – obviously we love to see you come out west and see you live. What are your plans this year when it comes to possible touring?
C: Yeah, so we’re actually kind of in the beginning works of booking a west coast tour, which is awesome because that’s definitely my favorite coast. But I think that’s because my favorite place to tour is like California, Oregon, Seattle. Those are my favorite spots, so I’m really pumped about that. I think it’ll probably be fall-ish, like September, I’m thinking. But, we have a couple dates so far. I don’t know if they’re confirmed yet, but we’re definitely working on it, so I’m really excited.
B: Well we love to hear that you love the west coast. Obviously I’m a little bit partisan, um, so what makes you love Seattle so much?
C: Oh my gosh, well I’ve only toured probably, like, once in that area. I was on, um, a couple of years ago I was on the road with Us the Duo, and we pretty much hit every state in the United States, and that was the very last week of touring so I was exhausted, and if the places hadn’t been as beautiful as they were…it would have been so rough. I think we went from Seattle to Portland, and then we went down the California coast, and I think we ended in Albuquerque. It was just so perfect. The drive is really beautiful, and I was just driving in my Honda Pilot.
B: (laughs) Oh my gosh.
C: So it was so exhausting, and if it hadn’t been an amazing place that we were driving through and playing, it would not have been o.k. (laughs)
B: No, I know what you mean.
C: We would have, like, killed each other.
B: No, I know, I’ve driven down both the 101 and I-5 down the coast, and, uh, yeah both ways it is beautiful. I mean, I know that I am a little bit partial, but yeah it’s gorgeous.
Now, since it is the summer right now, and we all have our summer playlist, what has been catching your ear when it comes to music this year?
C: Um, that’s a good question. I just recently, like, well I guess a couple months ago now, I bought Matt Korby’s new album I’ve been listening to it, like, non stop. It’s kind of been my summer jam.
B: Well I will definitely have to check that out. Is there any place that you’ve never been to where you’d like to play?
C: Oh yeah. Well, besides the U.S. and Canada, I’ve only toured in the U.S. and I’ve pretty much hit all 50 states, besides Hawaii, which is one I would love to hit, but I would love to do a European tour. That is definitely on my bucket list for sure. I haven’t been there at all, like period, even on vacation. So I would love to tour out there. That would be amazing.
B: Well if it makes you feel any better, I am actually first-generation American and I have family in France, but I’ve never been over to Europe.
C: (laughs) What are you doing?!
B: I know, that’s crazy.
C: I need to go, and so do you.
B: Yeah obviously, I really do. Do you have anything maybe in the works for some music videos, potentially, or are you mostly going to stick with the live stuff when it comes with this album?
C: Yeah, so I have a couple things in the works for “Dreams” and “Wolves” in particular, um, and then I have a couple really cool ideas. They’re not really official yet, but I’m thinking they’re going to happen as far as live videos go. But I’m really excited that we picked some really cool spots in Tennessee. It’s gonna look really cool, so I’m excited. I hope it all falls into place.
Caroline Glaser’s self-titled album is now available on iTunes. Check out her live video of “Wishing Well” down below.
Editor in Chief of Lemonade Magazine
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