Spades + Roses
Reviewed by: Lauren Rosier
When an artist is praised by Miranda Lambert, you know there’s something special there, and there definitely is in singer/songwriter, Caroline Spence, and her second LP, Spades & Roses. Her musical style spans the bridges between both folk and country genres with a voice comparative to the singer/songwriter era of the ‘90s (think Sarah McLachlan’s Lilith Fair).
On Spades & Roses, Spence creates a record filled from top to bottom with emotional songs which musically and lyrically illustrate her personal experiences, while her sweet, yet emotionally raw voice helps to effectively convey the message of each song.
The record opens with the beautiful track, “Heart of Somebody,” a love song about finding oneself, and longing for a real connection, a real relationship with someone, as she sings “I need something more/I want something else/this is the well/and I want top shelf” and “I want to lose myself/in the heart of somebody/I want them to need me there/not just to want me.”
The heartbreaking “Hotel Amarillo” tells the story of the loneliness that the music industry can cause, playing shows “with no guarantee that anybody’s ever gonna give a damn about me,” and going through a breakup simultaneously. Between her storytelling lyrics and her emotional voice, she’s able to evoke incredible loneliness, sadness, and melancholy upon listening. She sings “out here/it’s the little things/that you start to miss/that long, hot shower/that slow, deep kiss.”
She touches upon the important subject of drug addiction on “You Don’t Look So Good (Cocaine).” She sings about a story about a relationship with someone who is addicted to cocaine and her concern for this individual’s well-being. She sings about how drug addiction really grips oneself in its claws: “yeah, you get so high/can’t come back down/can’t see what you lose/except a couple of pounds” and “some people can handle it/oh honey, you can’t/can’t find a way to go to the bar/sit out for the dance.”
The entire record provides a platform in which Spence shines. From her beautiful, sweet voice to her incredible knack for songwriting, Spades & Roses shines in so many ways. Spence creates a beautiful collection of emotional, heartfelt songs that will strike a chord with you. She’s one of the best original artists I’ve heard in a while in any genre and has everything that gets me excited about music. Artists like Caroline Spence are the future of music, the future of folk, country, and singer/songwriters, and she, just like other musicians, deserve our listening ear.