Caity Krone Is the Songwriter Making Timeless Pop Ballads
Influenced by Laurel Canyon folk and current icons like Adele and Feist, Caity Krone is a rising songwriter with a flair for timeless pop ballads. With tracks like her first single "Thank You for the Sunday Paper" and her latest "I've Been Lonely," her work is seemingly suspended above the trendy, often kitchy-ness of indie pop today. Growing up as an avid reader of poetry and short stories, Krone's "I've Been Lonely," proves her devotion to lyricism and to creating music that lasts longer than its three minutes and twenty-one seconds.
A dream-like story of what could've been, "I've Been Lonely" feels incredibly vulnerable with lines like "I've been underwater since we met." Often using vivid imagery, Caity Krone's words are clearly influenced not only by the reading she did in childhood but also by her career as a music photographer. A way to fund her own artist career, Krone has taken countless photos for up-and-coming musicians in Los Angeles, and she has used her background in photography to create stunning music videos to accompany her work, including for her most recent release "I've Been Lonely."
Ones to Watch got to speak with Caity Krone to discuss her latest single, how she blends her photography with her music, and the best advice she's been given as a songwriter.
Your latest single "I've Been Lonely" feels incredibly personal, could you walk me through the story your lyrics are telling?
Caity: We started I've Been Lonely in late 2017, and at the time it was me daydreaming about being in a relationship with this person, trying to sonically paint how it would feel to be with them. I listened to it and I felt in love, but I also felt like the weight of longing for it and how shut out I felt. I spent the following two years writing and recording, and the process made me start trusting myself and believing in the fact that I deserved something real instead of spending all my time trying to change myself into someone for the sake of someone else, and that my songs deserved someone who stood behind them rather than building her dreams around someone who didn't want her. I felt a new sense of belief in my work, it felt like I could breathe again. When we finally recorded 'I've Been Lonely', the producer Will kind of said to me "this song needs another section, and you need to admit that this whole song is an idealization of a person rather than a relationship with them", and I sang "I've been underwater since we met", because that's exactly how it felt.
Do the stories in your songs always draw from personal experience or are you also inspired by outside influences?
Lyrically there's been a lot of escapism, and a lot of longing to be a part of things that I've idealized far past the point of reality. I build stories from that, and sometimes try and incorporate elements of fantasy to support feelings and experiences that are very real. I've only recently started to write about my life and past experiences in a more straightforward way. A few weeks ago, my friend Jensen said to me, "You need to write about your life and the life that will have you, not the one that leaves you out", and it really made an impact on the perspective of my writing.
You've said your love of music and songwriting was inspired by the Laurel Canyon folk scene, why have these artists been so particularly influential to you? And do you have a particular favorite artist from this scene?
The intersection of rock with traditional folk storytelling and harmony is something that I've always been drawn to, especially being in the concert choir in high school. Joni Mitchell and Carole King are my lodestars when it comes to the songwriting, but I also have a real soft spot for the romanticism of Graham Nash demos.
Apart from your music, you take photos for other artists. Did your background in photography impact the music video you made for "I've Been Lonely"?
Yes! I've been able to meet so many incredibly talented photographers and videographers through my work in photography, as well as learn so much about what styles would suit my music. I love the inherent character that film has, so incorporating Super8 and Camcorder footage was our way of doing that without the budget to shoot entirely on film. I love the pastels of Kodak Portra, and Ashley Kickliter brought out that dream-like quality in all of the digital footage through her color work.
You began songwriting at 15; what is the part of crafting a song that comes most naturally to you and why?
Growing up I always loved writing short stories, poetry, and persuasive essays, so the lyrics come most naturally to me. I'm learning chord theory now, and finally getting to a comfortable place playing guitar, so I'm hoping that adds some confidence to those elements of my writing process.
This is your second release in 2020, following your single "Thank You For The Sunday Paper," can we expect more singles or a larger project coming later this year?
Both "I've Been Lonely" and "Thank You for the Sunday Paper" are off of the debut EP, Work of Art, that I'm releasing this summer.
What does a typical day look like in quarantine for you?
I really like the quiet of the mornings, so I try and wake up, make my breakfast and coffee, and kill an episode of Gilmore Girls. I'm re-watching it from the start. I've been doing a ton of walking and listening to my friends' playlists to find new music or deep cuts from artists I already love while I walk. I've also been taking virtual guitar lessons, which has led to more writing than before. Trying to find the balance between evaluating the fear that is behind me not doing what I love regularly without expecting myself to be productive all the time.
Who are your Ones to Watch?
Jensen McRae and Georgia Greene - two of my favorite vocalists and storytellers in the world, who I am also so lucky to call my friends. I also have been loving Jeff Pianki (his new song Bad Timing' is so great) and Remi Wolf (her new song Disco Man - insane)