OKP Premiere: Caroline Smith - "Half About Being a Woman" [Video]
World, it’s time to get (re)acquainted with Caroline Smith. A Minneapolis-based singer and songwriter with a penchant for clear melodies and heartfelt lines, the 26-year-old has given Okayplayer the honor of premiering her newest video–a gorgeous black & white visual for the song “Half About Being a Woman.”
Smith built a strong following for herself, both in the Midwest and beyond, during the last decade releasing finely-knit folk songs that were very much in step with her local Twin Cities scene. But that sound only satisfied for so many years, and so in 2013 Smith made up her mind to return to the R&B and neo-soul music she loved most as a girl growing up in the North Country. “I set out on a mission to be myself and to draw from my musical roots, and at the end of the day, I’m still that seven-year-old girl buying her third copy of TLC’s CrazySexyCool,” she told Okayplayer.
That seven-year-old girl, though, has done some growing up, and “Half About Being a Woman” shines from all the practice that Smith has put in. Backed by an airtight rhythm section, Smith’s lyrics begin as a classic torch song, begging her lover to let her stay and fix everything that’s become broken. But as the snare’s crack keeps time she grows stronger–soon the pleading turns to poise and by the track’s end she’s the one whose silhouette is headed out the door. In the clip we watch as one Caroline weeps, but another determinedly pulls her away from her pain. It showcases the singer (and the song) as both deeply hurt and also secure. “My idea for the video came from wanting to show the part of a woman that is often viewed as ‘ugly, ‘pathetic,’ and ‘needy’ because I think it’s something not to be so ashamed of; it is what makes us unique to our femininity and it’s what makes us wonderfully complicated,” she said of the clip.
“It was a long and winding road to be comfortable in my own skin and to be confident with what I offer this world as an individual,” Smith told us. “When I got there, I just wanted to write all about it. I wanted women to listen to my record and, if only for a moment, feel strong, feel powerful, and remember that beauty comes in all sizes. For the first time ever in my musical career, the recording sessions were actually fun.”
The track is a sign of more and more soulful things to come from Smith, who confesses to lately digging deep into Ohio Players records and memorizing Erykah Badu parts day and night. Also, if you’ve been listening carefully, you already caught her vocal handiwork on the debut LP from Minneapolis hip-hop duo Toki Wright & Big Cats–a record that this very publication premiered last month in full. This month will see her and her band out on the road (check a list of show dates here), and this winter she’ll dodge the harsh Minnesota climate for some recording time at studios in LA. We can only hope that more of this smart, alluring music comes out of those sessions. Watch the world debut of the “Half About Being A Woman” video below: