Caroline Rose Talks Austin’s Music Scene, Locally Shot Short “The Art of Forgetting”

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Caroline Rose, a musician from Austin, has garnered attention for their upcoming album ‘The Art of Forgetting.’

The album comes out on Friday and Rose is busy getting ready for the tour. They spoke during a Zoom interview on Monday — literally on their way to tour rehearsals — about Austin and the community they’ve found in his music scene, album, and accompanying short film, which shares the same name as the album.

Some songs from the album have already been released, as well as two music videos for the songs “Miami” and “Tell Me What You Want”, which make up chapters 1 and 2 of the short film, which will be released later this year.

The film’s plot follows the fallout of a relationship between Caroline and their partner, played by Massima Bell, with the themes that every heartbreak feels: sadness, anger and finding yourself, which doesn’t always happen in a healthy way. Also, there’s a meta twist at the end.

Filmed in Austin

There was “magic on set,” Rose said. The short filmed in Austin at the Austin Motel, Sagebrush and ATX Film Studios.

It’s a little mixed at first in its presentation of where it takes place, but if you’re an Austinite, you’ll probably immediately recognize the Austin Motel as one of the main locations. And it’s realistic for Rose; she said it was the only place she had any real, meaningful experiences.

  • Massima Bell (left) and Caroline Rose (right) at the Austin Motel in the short film ‘The Art of Forgetting’. (Screenshot from the short film “The Art of Forgetting”. Courtesy: New West Records)
  • Massima Bell (left) and Caroline Rose (right) at the Austin Motel in the short film ‘The Art of Forgetting’. (Screenshot from the short film “The Art of Forgetting”. Courtesy: New West Records)

“It was important to me to incorporate, for example, some of the real locations, just because I thought it would make it more powerful and more realistic,” Rose said. “And she did. It was kind of psychotic because it was really painful in so many ways for me.

Rose also called the feeling of filming something so personal and real “bizarre”.

“I was kind of depressed after it was actually done. Maybe it wasn’t depression, it was really like… You know, when a project you’re really excited about ends. There’s a little bit of sadness in it,” Rose explained. “But there is also some relief. But the material — and you know, the fact that it was a really bizarre recreation of the past, but in a very fictionalized way — made me feel very bizarre when it was finished. What just happened? Like a twisted dream?

  • Massima Bell (left) and Caroline Rose (right) at Sagebrush in Austin in the short film “The Art of Forgetting”. (Screenshot from the short film “The Art of Forgetting”. Courtesy: New West Records)
  • Massima Bell (left) and Caroline Rose (right) at Sagebrush in Austin in the short film “The Art of Forgetting”. (Screenshot from the short film “The Art of Forgetting”. Courtesy: New West Records)

Rose has been making music for a decade, spanning genres from blues folk to indie pop-rock. Their next album delves more into the rock side of her genre pool, but also keeps close to her folk roots.

Rose calls The Art of Forgetting a genre-blending album, incorporating chamber-type orchestral music with folk, rock and pop. It’s a step forward in the New York native’s journey, but she doesn’t leave her story behind.

“I feel like something, I’m just picking things up as I go along. So you know, I started with folk music, and there’s still a lot of folk in my music, for me. I just added more diversity to the soundscape. And there are different types of tools that bring different types of textures. So for me, I’m just following what I feel will suit the songs and where I am in my life.

“And hopefully, by the end of my life, I’ll look back and see all of these albums as different moments in time of who I was as a person, and what I was feeling, what I was going through, and what I cared about. But yeah, for me , I think I grow with each one.

The short was born out of Rose’s love of cinema and always wanting to make one. A lot of her music is also film-inspired, Rose said. They have never had the opportunity to create their own short film before due to time and money constraints. Those challenges were still there for this project, but Rose said she felt really committed to the idea and she had a vision of a short film that went with her music.

It came together quite organically, Rose said. The director, Samuel Aaron Bennett, and Rose have been close friends for a long time. They were talking one day and Rose told Bennett about the idea, and he thought it was perfect to help him make it happen.

“[He’s] one of my oldest friends, he knows me really well, this is such an intimate album for me. It just felt like a perfect fit,” Rose explained. “And he was so taken with the idea and had all this amazing, really brilliant creative input. We work really well together. there were a lot of things about it that really defied the odds.

Rose’s move to Austin

Rose is originally from Long Island, New York, and after living in New York City and Vermont, moving to Austin about five years ago was a “happy accident” for her. She says it brought her something she never had before in the music industry.

“And I really love it. I’ve never had such a close-knit community before, especially in the art scene, like the music scene,” Rose said. “There’s so much support in Austin for musicians. It’s kind of unreal to me. I’ve never experienced this before.

Tapping into that community, the short features primarily Austin locals, on camera and behind the scenes. Rose’s friends, other local musicians and artists were involved.

Jonathan Krugman, an Austin-based makeup artist, did the hair and makeup for the film. They said it was an interesting experience working on such a project because they had to find creative ways to make certain scenes work.

“Because we shot the scenes out of order, we had a few scenes where Rose and Massima had to look like they just got out of the pool and I was constantly wetting their hair to get drips and tendrils that happened over multiple takes,” Krugman explained.

Krugman also said he was challenged by having to recreate Rose’s hair on blonde wigs and used eyeshadow to simulate Rose’s darker roots.

Austin-based freelance graphic designer and illustrator Polly Morwood has been in Austin for 12 years. Around that time, she became good friends with Rose and was asked to be her in the film a few days before her.

“There’s something so special about seeing your friends in their element and absolutely killing them in their life’s profession,” Morwood said, “and being able to help out in the smallest, silly way was so cool.”

Rose and their team are screening the film in person in New York and online for people who have pre-ordered the album, but are working to find ways to show it to more people before it’s released, which will likely be in the summer. .

The album will be released March 24 on New West Records. Rose’s next show in Austin is currently scheduled for September.

The author of this story, Abigail Jones, played a small role in the short film as an extra.

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