This summer has been an absolutely killer time to be a fan of Memphis musicians. Multiple bands and songwriters have been putting out their best work in the past few months and it’s been incredibly exciting. Normally this would be a problem, because I am a drunk shut-in who won’t leave his back yard unless he’s got to play his own show (and even that’s dicey) and I’m also a really bad friend. However, I’ve recently started writing for this website so now I get advanced copies of people’s records. Score.
One release that has gotten consistent replay and has sent me all over the place emotionally is the new EP from Rosey, A Great Day to be Swallowed by a Whale. Rosey consists of singer Michaela Caitlin, guitarist Will Forrest, bass player Will Lang, and drummer Daniel Anderson. In five tracks, the power-pop outfit covers everything from quiet indie rock with my personal favorite, opening track “Boats,” to crazed psych rock with “Opportunist.” There’s also hints of The Smiths soundwise, all with the bemused tone and lyrical cleverness that made me love The Replacements when I was first given a copy of Tim in college.
I’ve known Michaela Caitlin for quite some time. We both started playing acoustic shows around the same time and ran in some of the same house show circuits, and I’ve always marveled at her voice and lyricism. She was kind enough to speak to me about their new opus before it was released:
Wired Wrong: You’ve had a rotating cast in the years you’ve been playing (outside of your solo sets). How do you like the gang you’ve got now and how did you meet them?
Michaela Caitlin: Funny enough, I’ve known Will Forrest longer than anyone else in the band. We met at Laurel’s house probably a dozen years ago, practicing “Hallelujah” for Java Cabana’s open mic night. We didn’t speak much, back then, or at all after that, really, until Madeline insisted that we join him at his table after noticing him sitting alone one night at the P&H about two years ago. We began dating shortly after that. (Thanks Mad). I met Daniel while he was drumming for Whose Army, my favorite local band back in the day. For about a year back in 2010ish, I ran a house venue called Stash House, and had the good fortune of hosting them quite often.
Will Lang and I met by chance while I was trying my hand at the jazz scene. When we started Rosey, he was the first person I had in mind to fill in on bass. Honestly, at the time, I wasn’t even sure that he played bass at all. I just knew he’d be great, and he is.
I absolutely adore these men.
WW: What was your writing and recording process for this EP?
MC: Well, half of the songs were written between six and ten years ago, so I can’t really say that I had the EP in mind at all. Will and I chose a theme and selected songs to fit it. We went nautical, since I tend to write about the sea.
WW: Was there anyone or anything in particular you were listening to when gearing up to make the record?
MC: Not really! To be honest, I pretty much only listen to podcasts these days. (Check out My Brother, My Brother and Me.)
WW: Your lyrics are so well written, are there any authors or literature that especially inspire you?
MC: If I had to pick a couple, I’d say maybe Emily Dickinson…maybe Tom Waits. Maybe Madeline Faber. I can’t say there’s any writer that I have noticed myself taking after, but I appreciate artists whose work is direct and simple, but still fanciful and imaginative. I enjoy writers that write for themselves, but are still accessible to anyone. I learned to write because I’ve never been good at talking to people, but I have a few stories that I’ve always needed to tell. So I tell them over and over again, with different imagery, through the lyrics.
WW: What do you have planned for the future?
MC: No telling! More Rosey, definitely. Possibly a home-recorded full length album? I’ll have to let you know when we get there ♥️
Rosey’s new EP, A Great Day to be Swallowed by a Whale, is available at yesorrosey.bandcamp.com and all major download services.