Caroline Spence Is Not Done Giving Us Great Tunes

Hear her new EP, 'Secret Garden,' before anyone else.

by Annalise Domenighini
12 October 2017, 8:35am

This article originally appeared on Noisey US.

Back in March, Caroline Spence released Spades & Roses, a stunning collection of songs that depict life in a romantic-yet-jaded way, the way you get when life's given you one too many lemons but you refuse to stop making lemonade. It's a heavy listen, full of self-reflection and apologies, a reckoning of identity firmly rooted in Spence's experience as a woman, a lover, and a musician. It's beautiful from beginning to end.

We got our hands on the B-sides of the album, Secret Garden EP, which you can listen to in full below. The collection features four acoustic renditions of songs from the record, including a heavy-handed version of "Wishing Well," one of the more up-tempo songs on the actual record. The acoustic version of "Slow Dancer" bears a more somber essence on this release – what was a melancholy appreciation of a love that shakes you to your core is now a somber reflection, suggesting that maybe the change was less affirming than initially thought. "Cocaine" becomes less of a wistful, passive warning when played acoustic, gaining an angrier, more direct delivery. You wouldn't want to be on the receiving end of this song. Oh, and she covers Bruce Springsteen's "Secret Garden," which closes the EP like a warning to those who still underestimate the complexity of the person Spence's songwriting focuses on: the one you love. "When we were selecting the songs for Spades & Roses, I had just fallen deeply in love with this song, because I thought that a woman would have written it about herself," Spence says of the cover. "I felt that the woman who "Secret Garden" is [about is] also the kind of woman who could have written the songs on Spades & Roses."

"My songs always start with a voice and guitar," Spence says, of the full record."If the story is there, the song can be complete with just those elements. Although the production of Spades & Roses helps to complete story, some of these songs speak just as powerfully in a stripped down setting. This is something I've learned while touring since the release. I wanted to get back in the studio give a second life to the stories of these songs, honouring where they came from originally."

You can listen to Secret Garden EP below, in full. It's out Oct. 13.