We’re starting to get into the third round of the Ear to Ear Project, so let’s review…
Ben Arthur pointed to Balthrop, Alabama, who offered Caithlin De Marrais, a songwriter with a delightful twang and deep sense of place. I’ve fallen for her well-crafted lo-fi-ness (not something I normally say), where everything sounds real and present and unaltered, and oh-so-true.
So let’s meet Caithlin…
How did you get started playing music?
My band, Rainer Maria, recorded and toured from ’95-’06. I was on bass/vocals, Kyle Fischer–guitars/vocals, Bill Kuehn–drums. In the film “The Wrestler” Randy the Ram says that the ’90s sucked, but I thought it was an ok time to be in a band. The music industry hadn’t imploded yet and there was an “us against them” camaraderie between us indie bands. I always wore my heart on my sleeve when I played.
What was the first recording you ever purchased?
My awesome little brother and I would go to the Trumbull mall and buy 45s. We collected dozens and dozens–everything from big hits to obscure gems–Prince, Peter Gabriel, Bow Wow Wow, A-Ha, Eddie Grant, Nena, Musical Youth, Van Halen…much dancing and head banging in the living room ensued.
How would you describe the music you play now?
“Like a soft slap to the face.” (thanks Pitchfork!)
What instruments do you all play in your band? How did you pick that combination?
Josh Kaufman is my wingman on electric guitar. I have two excellent drummers, Jason Lawrence and Konrad Meissner. Many other wonderful musicians make appearances on My Magic City, including one of my most cherished guitar heroes, Dean Wareham, and his gorgeous bandmate, Britta Phillips.
Somehow along the way I discovered how fun it was to record and play music with my mad, brilliant friends.
Is there a comparison you would make between your music and something non-musical? A painter, building, dish of cereal?
My Magic City has a golden honeycomb center surrounded by delicious milk chocolate, just like a Cadbury Crunchie bar.
Who would you consider your musical inspiration?
For My Magic City I was ruminating on my love of Spacemen 3, Spiritualized and Galaxie 500.
If you could pick a perfect lineup (dead or alive) for a show where you were the headliner, who would it be?
The kid in me wants to go back to the ’70s when Stevie Wonder performed “Superstition” live on Sesame Street. That was cool. But since I don’t have a time machine, I’d like to reform The Smiths and open for them. All I need is 3 million dollars or so.
What attracts you to a particular song? An artist?
Dance-ability! Or alternately, heartbreak-ability.
Who should I be listening to right this very moment? Why does their work get you excited?
Best two new releases I’m listening to right now: El May. Her amazing self-titled debut album is out Jan 19th. And Owen. His latest album New Leaves is a gem.
Best two Pandora stations I’m listening to right now: Roxy Music Radio. And Julie London Radio.
Listen to Caithlin:
And pick up a disc!
A note from Caithlin:
My latest record, Seb & Cait Live at Joe’s will be released on End Up Records in Feb. It’s a live recording of a show at Joe’s Pub in NYC, I played with the artist, Seb Leon. Also check out Seb’s record, Cranes of Glitter. It’s like a French souffle with Bowie and Roxy Music inclinations.
~~~~~~~~~~~~Balthrop, Alabama → Caithlin De Marrais