DittyTV brings you 5 Questions with Caitlin Jemma to learn more about her upcoming LP True Meaning, set to arrive September 17th via American Standard Time Records, plus an exclusive performance video highlighting the Cosmic country artist’s positive and personal approach to music.
5 Questions with Caitlin Jemma by Sam Shansky
1) Will you share some about the album’s overarching theme and what it means to you?
True Meaning is an album that explores the full emotional spectrum of being human, while posing an age-old philosophical question: “What is the true meaning of life?” It was inspired by long, solitary drives on desert highways through Texas, healing from heartbreak, surviving existential crisis, and growing through grief. I wrote many of the songs during some of the most challenging times of my life, and they are meant to serve as ballads that heal and offer hope.
2) Will you tell us about touring cross-country in your van (that you converted into a home) and highlight some of the more magical moments you’ve experienced along the way?
When I decided to live in the Honda Odyssey, I was also deciding to go to places in the US that I loved or had yearned to explore. I was healing from the ending of a long term relationship and it was important to me at the time to explore the world on my own. I went to my first ever Mardi Gras, where I found myself enjoying the magic of New Orleans and late night parades throughout the city. Other favorites include Barton Springs in Austin, TX which offers some of the best swimming in the world, and I got to see the Blue Ridge Mountains for the very first time.
3) What is your musical background and who were some of your musical heroes in your formative or early teen years, and do you still listen to those artists today?
When I was first learning to play guitar I was listening to a whole lot of Bob Dylan and Cat Power. I was basically into modern indie folk and folk from the 1960s and 70s. I still love those artists, and my musical taste has expanded to include soul, R&B, indie rock and classic country.
4) What’s a song that you’ve discovered in the past year that gave you a real jolt, and why do you think it had that effect?
In 2020 I almost exclusively listened to Carole King. “Way Over Yonder” was a song that was deeply healing for my heart. It’s a song that acknowledges the dark parts of life, but feels light and hopeful.
5) Bonus: You seem to have a great bolo tie collection. Do you have a personal favorite tie, and is there a story behind it?
I love making bolo ties because no two are alike. Some of my favorite stones to work with are turquoise, picture jasper, and quartz.
Bonus: What is something that few people know about you that you’re willing to share?
I’m a puppeteer! I am really inspired by The Muppets and I love the magical quality that puppets can bring to the world. It’s particularly beautiful when adults get to talking to my puppets and share things about themselves that they may not always share with a stranger — puppets help us connect to our child selves and invite more play. I love it!
• Please enjoy this exclusive performance from Caitlin Jemma •