Singer-songwriter Caroline Rose is celebrating the release of their latest studio album The Art of Forgetting with a 24-city North American Tour. On April 6, Rose stopped at the Royale for a special night for Boston fans.
Rose’s former bandmate Abbie Morin kicked off the night with their band Hammydown. During the opening set, Morin spoke about the nuance of sad gay songs and how well-appreciated they are.
The Art of Forgetting is a great example of said nuance. While the album was prompted by a difficult breakup, it also began a deep exploration of self. “I was addressing all these painful memories from a recent relationship that meant so much to me, trying to learn from them, but then in the process, some even more painful memories would bubble to the surface from when I was a kid,” Rose said in a press release. “I realized my mind had voluntarily forgotten these traumatic experiences as a means of survival. All the while, I was getting these calls every day from my grandma, who was clearly losing her memory. It got me thinking about all the different ways memory shows up throughout our lives. It can feel like a curse or be wielded as a tool. ‘The art of forgetting’ can mean so many different things.”
Home video clips of Rose’s grandmother were projected onto five translucent screens behind Rose as they played through the album. Behind the screens were their band members who were lit up in perfect time with the swirling guitar plucks and various beats and rhythms of the album.
The lighting was a major aspect of the performance, as Rose and one of their bandmates designed it together.
“This is the most professional-grade DIY light show you’ll see,” joked Rose in between songs.
When artists choose to play through an album, especially when it is a recent release, they risk losing a connection with the audience due to a sense of scriptedness. Rose evaded this problem by weaving in genuine personal stories about the process of recording the album, the situations which prompted its creation, and sentiments on the current state of the world.
Rose physically connected to the audience multiple times throughout the evening too, with a climb up onto the bar and a dive into the captivated crowd.
After the album had been played through, the screens on stage were quickly broken down and carried away. What was left was Rose and their bandmates all together, with time to play a few hits.
With ears listening to the words of the album in the first part of the show, and mouths singing to well-known lyrics of past projects in the second, these two “sets” came together as a beautiful example of learning, remembering, and therefore forgetting.