Former trumpet player and anxious adventurer Caroline Cotter had been constantly on the move performing hundreds of live shows since 2015. At the dawn of the pandemic she had a full album in the can and ready to go. When the world shut down, so did she. She set her songs to the side and didn’t pick up her guitar for a long while. She left her city of Portland, Maine and headed even farther north to the Acadia region and reconnected with nature: i.e. hugging as many trees and rocks and one woman can. Also during that time, she had the opportunity to sit with her shelved album. She discovered something amazing in that stillness: She, along with co-producer Alec Spiegelman, had made a fucking bomb record. She went forward with release plans, blew up her Kickstarter goal and finally gave us her third album, Gently as I Go, this past August.
In our conversation, Caroline talks about what she’s like to work with in the studio (hint: she is not a relaxed and calm dreamboat) as well as her relationship to rest. As someone who has struggled with anxiety, she did not take to rest naturally, however, she’s cultivated a yoga and meditation practice in order to maintain calm. We also dig into her history: talking about how the ocean has remained a constant in her relationship to home. Growing up in Rhode Island, she and her siblings all took piano lessons. Heading to college, she majored in art with a minor in Spanish. She has a reputation for being a globe-trotter, which began in her travels to Thailand, Spain and Portugal as an international educator. She quit her day-job in 2015 to pursue music with a basically nonexistent fanbase. These days, Caroline’s fans are many and they are dedicated. You don’t find many independent musicians with such a devoted crowd as Caroline: they buy her music, they attend her shows, they put her up when she’s in town. So hello all you Cotter-Kickers, hope this conversation does your favorite songwriter justice.
Photo Credit: Katherine Emery