Music

Caroline Cotter Brings "Peace of Mind" to Music Lovers With New Video (premiere)

Photo: Brendan Bullock

Singer-songwriter Caroline Cotter has been all over the world in search of satisfaction that has nothing to do with material wealth, and wants to share what she has finally found.

The open road often serves as a real home for many musicians, and that has certainly proved true for nomadic singer-songwriter Caroline Cotter.

Born in Providence, R.I., in 1984, she began "rocking out in the living room by myself for hours" to the Beatles' Magical Mystery Tour at the age of four, took piano lessons and tried the trumpet, started playing her brother's guitar while in middle school, went to college and lived in Maine, then began traveling the world, spending time in 31 countries on five continents.

What was she seeking on a 15-year global journey that began as an English teacher in Thailand and included stops in India (studying yoga), France, Portugal, Spain and South America?

She describes it as "Peace of Mind", the clever name for the lovely opening song from her new album Home on the River that will be released on 9 February.

I don't want to know about / the mess this world is in
And I don't want to to cry / or blame or say it's such a sin
I don't want to hear the shouts / of the left against the right
I just want some peace of mind

The music video of that song premieres today at PopMatters. Check it out here, then continue to discover more about Cotter, who participated in an email interview for this article.

Asked what specifically motivated her to write the song, one of nine on the album she wrote, Cotter replied, "I was trying to get clear on why I'm doing what I'm doing. What's the purpose of all of this performing and traveling? What are my goals? What drives people down their path?"

The video, directed and edited by Nashville's Stacie Huckeba, was shot at two locales. Huckeba handled the concept shoot on Dec. 29 in East Nashville, Tenn., where Cotter's inner child tags along with her present-day self, and Beehive Productions took the live in-studio footage last February in Kansas City, Mo.

The performance segment was filmed during the album recording sessions and includes Cotter playing acoustic guitar with a group called the Sentimentals (M.C. Hansen, electric guitar; Nikolaj Wolf, bass; and Jacob Chano, drums).

The album, which Cotter produced with Jeff Oehler of Beehive Productions, is a follow-up to Dreaming as I Do, her 2015 debut, and was successfully crowdfunded on Kickstarter. It includes a beautiful a cappella cover of Woody Guthrie's "My Peace", featuring her sweet soprano as the perfect bookend companion to "Peace of Mind".

Cotter said she began performing "My Peace" at most of her shows in 2016 and 2017, adding it to her set list while collaborating with the Peace Flag Project, a nonprofit in her hometown of Providence.

After Donald Trump was elected president in November 2016 and Cotter was on tour across the pond, she said, "I felt inclined to respond to the reactions and events in the U.S. surrounding the election, especially as an American in Europe, and feel strongly about keeping my message positive. This song continues to resonate with me as I travel around the U.S. and I'm very grateful to Woody and Arlo Guthrie for sharing the offering with us."

So Cotter continues to "work" on finding "peace with being on a journey and carrying my home with me".

"It's a practice that will probably continue for the rest of my life," she said. As her interests in Buddhism, meditation, yoga and spiritual devotion developed, Cotter became "most inspired by the travelers that had made their lives into an educational exploration of the world."

"Some of my richest life experiences, in particular, walking the Camino de Santiago in 2007 and again in 2011, helped me experience the freedom of owning very few possessions and the richness of sharing life with people from all over the world," she added.

Seemingly content but still determined, Cotter likes where her magical mystery tour has gone while exploring all options. She has peace of mind these days, as she prepares for an album release tour that will take her to "some of my favorite communities across the U.S. and Europe," hopefully through 2018 and beyond.

"I'm really happy pursing my music right now; connecting with all kinds of different people on a personal level through my music," Cotter said. "I feel most grounded and at peace knowing that I'm doing what I feel called to do and making this dream my reality."

Michael Bialas is a journalist and photographer who enjoys writing about entertainment and sports for a number of online publications, including and PopMatters and No Depression. Follow him on Twitter: @mjbialas

Music


Books


Film


Recent
Music

Learning to Take a Picture: An Interview With Inara George

Inara George is unafraid to explore life's more difficult and tender moments. Discussion of her latest music, The Youth of Angst, leads to stories of working with Van Dyke Parks and getting David Lee Roth's musical approval.

Music

Country Westerns Bask in an Unparalleled Sound and Energy on Their Debut

Country Westerns are intent on rejecting assumptions about a band from Nashville while basking in an unparalleled sound and energy.

Film

Rediscovering Japanese Director Tomu Uchida

A world-class filmmaker of diverse styles, we take a look at Tomu Uchida's very different Bloody Spear at Mount Fuji and The Mad Fox.

Music

The Charlatans' 'Between 10th and 11th' Gets a Deluxe Edition

Not even a "deluxe" version of Between 10th and 11th from the Charlatans can quite set the record straight about the maligned-but-brilliant 1992 sophomore album.

Reviews

'High Cotton' Is Culturally Astute and Progressive

Kristie Robin Johnson's collection of essays in High Cotton dismantle linear thinking with shrewdness and empathy.

Reviews

Lianne La Havas Is Reborn After a Long Layoff

British soul artist Lianne La Havas rediscovers herself on her self-titled new album. It's a mesmerizing mix of spirituality and sensuality.

Reviews

PC Nackt Deconstructs the Classics with 'Plunderphonia'

PC Nackt kicks off a unique series of recordings dedicated to creating new music by "plundering" unexpected historical sources such as classical piano pieces or chamber orchestra music.

Music

Counterbalance 24: The Doors - 'The Doors'

Before you slip into unconsciousness, Counterbalance has put together a few thoughts on the Doors' 1967 debut album. It's number 24 on the Big List.

Reading Pandemics

Parable Pandemics: Octavia E. Butler and Racialized Labor

Octavia Butler's Parable of the Sower, informed by a deep understanding of the intersectionality of dying ecologies, disease, and structural racism, exposes the ways capitalism's insatiable hunger for profit eclipses humanitarian responses to pandemics.

Television

'Tiger King' and the Post-Truth Culture War

Tiger King -- released during and dominating the streaming-in-lockdown era -- exemplifies in real-time the feedback loop between entertainment and ideology.

Music

GOD's 'God IV - Revelation' Is a Towering Feat of Theologically-Tinged Prog Metal (album stream)

GOD's God IV - Revelation is beautiful and brutal in equal measure. It's a masterful series of compositions. Hear it in full today before tomorrow's release.

Books

Ivy Mix's 'Spirits of Latin America' Evokes the Ancestors

A common thread unites Ivy Mix's engaging Spirits of Latin America; "the chaotic intermixture between indigenous and European traditions" is still an inextricable facet of life for everyone who inhabits the "New World".

Reviews
Collapse Expand Reviews

Features
Collapse Expand Features
PM Picks
Collapse Expand Pm Picks

© 1999-2020 PopMatters.com. All rights reserved.
PopMatters is wholly independent, women-owned and operated.