Rose-colored tunes: Rocker makes upbeat songs about serious subjects

A rose by any other name: Caroline Rose describes her music as a mixture of punk, rock, and pop, while combining heavy subjects and upbeat tunes.
Matt Hogan

She’s comic and tragic, punk and pop!

Musician Caroline Rose will bring her bouncy, upbeat tunes about serious topics to the stage of Rough Trade in Williamsburg on April 3. The New York City singer describes her latest album “Loner,” as both dancey and critical, tackling a wide variety of social issues with a cheerful disposition.

“It runs the gamut — basically there are serious issues wrapped in pop format — whether it’s depression and isolation, to capitalism and misogyny,” she said.

Writing this style of music is tricky sometimes, said Rose, but her priority as a songwriter is to give listeners something serious to absorb while they are bopping along.

“I think it’s more a challenge for me because the type of songs I tend to write all fall under a more serious material,” said Rose. “I love music that makes me dance and think — so it’s a challenge for me to write a pop song that has substance and depth to it.”

Her songs also have more than a dash of humor. In the video for her song “Money” she portrays a burglar, an infomercial con man, and a maid who all “do it for the money,” in a song that takes aim at how money controls people.

“It’s supposed to be tongue-in-cheek, and at the same time it’s about power and how it shapes our lives,” said Rose. “There is so much importance placed on currency.”

The video for her song “Soul No. 5” also undercuts her own bombastic claims, as she bops around Coney Island bragging about her Croc shoes and flaunting a giant fur coat while riding a child’s scooter.

Rose is currently touring with a three-piece backing band, and she says that the live show may surprise audiences with their interpretation of songs from the new album.

“This is our first headlining tour and I’m excited to see people show up, because it’s going to be different than what people expect because there are so many different elements to it,” said Rose.

Rose also has some comic antics planned to add some extra laughs for the upcoming shows.

“It’s going to be fun for me to work out new comedy bits that I’ve been working on,” she said. “It’s going to get loud and it runs the gamut of emotions, and I’m going to give a combination of comedy and absurdist humour blended with some punk meets pop.”

Caroline Rose with opener Henry Jamison at Rough Trade [64 N. Ninth St. between Wythe and Kent avenues in Williamsburg, (718) 388–4111, www.roughtradenyc.com]. April 3 at 9 pm. $15 ($12 in advance).

Reach reporter Alexandra Simon at (718) 260–8310 or e-mail her at asimon@cnglocal.com.

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