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Bio : Caroline Vreeland
Very few artists achieve association with an adjective like ‘ubiquitous,’ but that’s perhaps one of the best-suited descriptors for Caroline Vreeland. Whether you know Caroline Vreeland, the music mainstay, whose career encompasses co-signs from industry leaders Ryan Seacrest and Scott Scorch; Caroline Vreeland, the fashion muse, coveted for campaigns and magazine covers alike; or Caroline Vreeland, the heir to a famous family name who made it on her own...Caroline Vreeland is everywhere.
It’s through this public and personal evolution the singer-model uncovered her truest self: Caroline Vreeland, the artist. Raised by a single mother between the Bay Area and Jamaica, Vreeland moved to Los Angeles as a teenager to pursue a career in entertainment — sharing a vocal coach with Bobby McFerrin and releasing a series of smaller projects while making ends meet as a bartender. The great- granddaughter of beloved editor Diana Vreeland, Caroline’s early career saw her determined to distance herself from her name, describing the decision as a “classic case of an artist getting in their own way.”
“It’s an honor to be related to this incredible woman, but I was really boneheaded and couldn’t accept help from anyone,” she explains. “I would shy away from that connection because I wanted to make sure it’s about music, but now that’s how people are starting to see me. I don’t do this because I’m hoping for the result, I like the process, I like to be in it.”
Emerging a modern fashion icon with Instagram’s explosion, Vreeland’s sudden demand saw her take a brief hiatus from music. After following love to Miami, she spent the last two years working on her first full-length offering. Notes On Sex And Wine (out February 28th), Vreeland’s impending debut album, is reminiscent of a tell-all memoir — unreservedly confronting her failed relationship, familial disappointments, and finding comfort in vices.
“I’m honest to a fault,” Vreeland admits. “There are a lot songs where I’m saying ‘fuck me,’ like you don’t have to like me you just have to love me, or the fantasy of cheating but not doing it. I wasn’t getting what I needed out of this relationship so I was grasping at what I could, often at the bottom of a wine bottle. The album really covers the whole spectrum: it’s pain, love, melancholy, and it took me about the span of the relationship to write it.”
Of the eight-track album, there are two standout songs that never fail to elicit audience adoration. “Sonically, it was everything I wanted to achieve,” Vreeland claims of her personal favorite, "Love Is Here." The track seamlessly builds upon a foundation of traditional blues with 21th century soul-pop, epitomizing the album’s overall tone. "Madonna Whore," alternatively, best represents Notes On Sex And Wine’s thematically. It’s Vreeland’s opportunity to confront and unpack the male gaze — Drink down you like red wine / Make you wish we’d never met — sardonically stripping down her objectifier until they’re left just as vulnerable.
“We all know men who are so in love with the idea of who their woman should be,” Vreeland says of the song’s inspiration. “She’s on a pedestal...and for that reason they cannot do to them what they would do to whom they consider a lesser woman.”
Vreeland’s candor is also a response to Instagram culture. She hopes to not only use her pain to debunk the myth of living a “perfect life,” but also as rebuttal to online critics who disparage her sex positivity.
“I didn’t think pigeonholing was going to happen until I was knee-deep in it. I want to be open about my sexuality and not put boundaries on myself. I know who I am, I do and say the things I want.”
The result is a heady, blues-heavy body of work that draws both inspiration from 20th century supernovas Nancy Sinatra and Patsy Cline, and comparison to early Amy Winehouse. Vreeland’s sultry vocals throb in perfect accompaniment to twangy guitar melodies, hybridizing jazz and pop with old-world glamor. On her gospel-infused single, “Stay Drunk With Me,” Vreeland implores her lover in a sonic celebration of hedonism.
“I tried everything and now I feel like I’ve come back to what I know and love — it’s taken me so long to work out I was right all along. For better or worse all my writing has come from negative experience, but I was listening to Al Green and Nina Simone and realized music doesn’t have to be dark because the subject matter is dark...I feel like I’ve found my place in this album.”
Keep an eye out for Notes On Sex And Wine, dropping February 28th.