Caroline Smith has been going through changes… pretty profound ones. The Minneapolis-based singer/songwriter recently got comfortable with womanhood, found what she feels to be her true self, and traded in an indie folk sound for something more soulful, inspired by the 90s R&B that she grew up loving. Her recent transformation can be heard on her latest album, Half About Being a Woman, out today on United Interests. The album is a collection of sassy and confident tracks, representing Ms. Smith at her most bold and brash. She also recently released a video for the album’s first single, “Magazine,” which you can see below. In addition, she has a few upcoming area appearances, including a stop this Thursday, October 10th, at Boot & Saddle and an October 17th performance at World Café Live at the Queen, in Wilmington, DE. Caroline recently took some time to chat with me about her recent realizations and transformations and those which she hopes to have in the near future.
Izzy Cihak: How is the Minneapolis music scene? I feel like I’ve been interviewing a lot of acts from there in the past year or so.
Caroline Smith: The Minneapolis music scene is really something to behold. It’s this really fascinatingly supportive and insular little community. You could really only play music in the Twin Cities and still make it as a musician. The community really stands-up for and supports their local acts. I feel extremely fortunate to be part of it.
IC: Your latest album, Half About Being A Woman, is quite a bit different from your previous works. What is it that you would say led to this evolution of your sound?
CS: I think just finding the bravery to actually play the music that I listen to and enjoy. I grew up predominantly listening to pop R&B and neo-soul, like most of us did out of the 90s, and I started writing folk songs when I was learning how to play the guitar and it stuck. I can tell you that I’m much, much happier now being able to express myself freely.
IC: Do you have a favorite track on the album, or one which best represents where you’re currently “at,” musically? I’m pretty sure I’m most partial to “Magazine.”
CS: I like all the tracks! I know it’s weird, but I like them all equally. They’re all my little children and I love them all the same. But I think, vocally, “Walking Off Strong” most represents where I am because we recorded that song recently and added it to the record right before pressing it.
IC: What would you currently consider to be your biggest influences and inspirations?
CS: I love Diane Von Furstenberg and her passion for a woman’s natural body. I love Erykah Badu for her similar statements on embracing who you are and what you look like. These women and others really helped direct the message I wanted to send with my music.
IC: You’re going to be in Philly on October 10th, playing Boot & Saddle. What should we expect?
CS: To be dancing and having fun the whole set. That’s our goal anyways and generally it works out.
IC: And what are you hoping and planning for in 2014?
CS: I just want to keep writing and honing in on further articulating the things I want to say. Also, I want to get better at dancing because if I could dance on stage, that would be pretty dope.