Local Recording Studio Releases First Album


Jer Coons (left) produced Caronline Rose’s (right) most recent album “America Religious” in his new Middlebury studio. (Courtesy Caroline Rose)

By Devin MacDonald

MIDDLEBURY — Caroline Rose, a Long Island native, has recently made her way to Burlington to produce and release her first major musical album, America Religious. A collaboration between Rose and her musical partner Jer Coons, a musician native to Middlebury, the album will be released on June 11, with the first single already available as of April 23.

America Religious is the third record that Caroline Rose has produced, with the other two contributing to the sound and feel of this album.

“The first two were stepping stones to get to this one. No one has ever heard the first two because I didn’t want them to,” said Rose.

The first album lacked a good enough production sound and the second was just a bit too raw, but with America Religious, Rose felt she got it right.

She is happy with her current work and she is excited to release this new album to the public. The album is the product of Rose’s wide-ranging experiences and a great deal of effort. Before recording, Rose took a road trip across the U.S. that inspired many of her songs.

“I graduated from school then basically started driving, with no destination points,” said Rose. “I would call up friends and people that I could stay with and ended up going all over the place. Basically, when you have no destination point and there’s nothing you want to do except explore, you find yourself in much more interesting situations and you meet many more interesting people.”

Driven by the desire to do something that made her feel alive, Rose wandered from her home in New York all over the  country before ending up back in the city some months later. A lot of the ideas for the songs also came from the day job she acquired upon returning to New York City.

“A lot of the ideas come from experiences and imagining what other people must feel — a lot of it is guessing,” said Rose.

The lyrics and vision are all Rose’s, but when it comes to sound, Coons came in to make the vision real. The pair recorded for four straight months starting last summer in Parhill studio in Burlington. Coons had recently acquired new equipment and moved locations to Main Street, which was ideal for the creation of the album.

“It really was perfect timing. He had just finished up with his solo career and was diving more into production and engineering aspects of making music,” said Rose.

The recording process was intensive, and Rose and Coons spent most nights asleep on the floor of the recording studio. Both artists committed considerable amounts of time to the project. They experimented with a lot of different sounds in order to get it right.

“Jer and I, our personalities, they’re kind of opposite in a lot of ways and it works really well together,” said Rose. “He’s much more technological than I am, I’m much more of a loner, thinking type, much more introverted than he is. I get up early, he gets up late, stays out late.”

Although Coons is responsible and given credit for the mixing, Rose is a self-proclaimed “tiger mama” when it comes to her music because she’s been thinking about what she wants out of the album for so long.

“I could tell you right now what I want my next three records to sound like,” said Rose.

Rose describes the recording process as serendipitous. The stars seemed to align in these young musicians lives to prime them for the creation of America Religious.

“I was kind of lost and didn’t have an apartment, etc.,” said Rose. “I’ll always look back on this and be like wow, that was just so perfect, such a perfect time.”

Rose believes that some of the appeal of the album stems from its hybridity. America Religious, according to Rose, is a mix between an Ethan Johns record and a T-Bone Burnett record. She feels as if she achieved the sound she wanted in the end, thanks to her collaboration with Coons.

“It’s basically like a Ryan Adams meets Jonie Mitchell meets John Lee Hooker or something like that.”
America Religious, to Rose, is a good place to start. She’s created her own sound, learned more about mixing from Coons, and has the drive to keep producing in the future.

For the moment, however, Rose, Coons and their manager are in the process of finalizing a tour. The pair has only been performing for about three months now, so things have yet to really solidify.

“I’d really like to be on the road with touring acts by the fall, but I don’t know what’s actually going to happen,” said Rose.
Rose and Coons love doing house concerts and private venues as well as public. Their single just came out on April 23, and was released simultaneously with the music video through Paste Magazine.

The full album comes out June 11, preceding the tour planned for this fall or the following spring. For more information visit carolinerosemusic.com