Caroline Smith

Caroline Smith

Merging '90s R&B and neo-soul with her indie-rock roots, Caroline Smith's new music has settled comfortably into a new backdrop as she takes a step from girl to woman. Half About Being a Woman is a record about self-acceptance and growing into yourself; it's about going back to the roots of 'feel-good' music. "I wanted to find my way back to the reason why I started playing music in the first place," says Smith. "Over the last year I began to embrace that being a strong, confident, opinionated woman is something to be proud of, not subdued. I have to embrace where my roots are and stay true to who I am: an unabashed fan of 90′s R&B, pop, and neo-soul."

While some might be surprised by the transition, the truth is that Caroline has never stopped evolving. From folky beginnings and an indie rock second album, she has been consistently pushing herself to new heights. With soaring vocals and catchy melodies at the heart of all three albums, Caroline is settling into a sound that feels more like home. "I feel I've finally created something that is a nod to some of my favorite records while being able to use my own voice to illustrate my personal transition into woman hood; That time in a woman's life when her 'fat butt' becomes her 'phat ass'. I wanted to make music to celebrate that and to encourage other women to do the same." This glimpse of an artist in flux was captured perfectly in the PBS documentary on Caroline, My Way Back Home.

The video for "Magazine", created by director/editor Dan Huiting (Bon Iver, The National, Local Natives, Andrew Bird) and DP Ryan Thompson, perfectly captures the the theme of a woman actively embracing her femininity and transcending societal expectations. The album, released by United Interests, was produced by Jake Hanson (guitarist- Mason Jennings, Solid Gold), recorded at Near North Studios by Brett Bullion (Dark Dark Dark, Chris Walla) and mixed by Paul Marino (Mint Condition). It includes contributions from long-time bandmates Jesse Schuster and Arlen Peiffer (Cloud Cult) along with several guest musicians including Mike Lewis (Bon Iver, Andrew Bird). The band will be touring through the fall to support the album – starting with an expected sold-out show at First Avenue in their home town of Minneapolis, MN.

Lowland Hum

Shortly after they were wed in 2012, Lauren and Daniel quit their odd jobs and decided to try doing music full time. They devoted their days to singing Daniel’s songs for as many groups of people in as many places as possible. They wrote new songs too, and Lauren stepped into the songwriting process for the first time as Daniel left space for her to discover more of her voice as a writer. They were constantly dreaming up additional ways to combine their creative strengths. An illuminated installation and hand-bound lyric books made their way into the duo’s live performances, incorporating Lauren’s background in visual art. Out of these early collaborations Lowland Hum was born and before the end of their first year of marriage, their debut album, Native Air, was underway.

While recording in the basement of Daniel’s childhood home, Native Air became symbolic to the two of their integration as a couple. Many of the songs explore concepts of identity and were written in a season when Daniel and Lauren were sorting out daily what it looked like to join two lives and two creative minds together. It was a year of discovering how to continue to grow as individuals while maintaining unity. The album was released in the fall of 2013 and to the duo’s surprise and delight, Native Air was met with overwhelming affirmation. Their work was praised for its sincere lyrics, sparse arrangements and haunting harmonies. They spent the tail end of that year and the bulk of 2014 touring relentlessly across the United States, carving out time for recording sessions in between tours. Their EP Four Sisters was released in the fall of 2014 with accompanying videos that Lauren made using public domain home movies.

Now in 2015, coming off the heels of Four Sisters, Lowland Hum is ready to share their sophomore full length release, a self titled collection of songs written during the fast-paced blur of the past year. Though the songs began with one acoustic guitar and two voices, many of them grew in size and scope while the band recorded them at a small studio outside Charlottesville, Virginia. Daniel and Lauren enlisted the help of good friends Edd Kerr, Joseph Dickey and Dan Faust (engineer, bassist and drummer, respectively) to allow the songs the kind of expansion they were hearing in their imaginations. Lowland Hum was released worldwide on April 14 2015. The record debuted as an NPR Music First Listen stream. Following the release of the new album, Lowland Hum hit the road, supported by a rhythm section, touring all over the East Coast and Midwest. In September, the LH signed with San Diego-based indie label, Randm Records. Currently, the band is on the road again, this time as a duo, taking the new songs across the country to the west coast and back. They will continue touring through the end of the year.

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