Why We Picked This Album
Michael Penn II: I know we have a very mutually-supportive relationship with Caroline Rose… what made us wanna take this record to the next level and make it a sub record?
Alexandra Berenson: We first started working with Caroline on her previous record Loner, which came out on New West. I had been fairly aware of who she was: she was on a record label that I had previously worked on, but I’d never really taken the time to dig into her music. So when that album came to me, I was like "Okay, well I know who she is, this will be interesting.” And I listened to it, and I was pretty immediately blown away because I had an idea in my head that her music sounded one way, and the reality is that she’s just an incredible pop artist! (laughs) I mean, even if it’s just a pop artist within the indie rock space, she just writes great pop songs.
I truly felt that Loner was a 10/10, there was no fluff, and every song on there was great in its own way. All of the creative aspects around it were really incredible. So we did an exclusive pressing of the record, and as we started doing more artist-focused creative projects - like Hi-Fives, or when we did our first Rising showcase at SXSW - we basically always immediately were like “Oh, if she’s down, we have to have Caroline do this.” She’s so funny, and witty, and smart, and talented, and there’s something about her that’s really captivating.
She ended up - very nicely! - saying yes to almost everything we’ve asked her to do between Loner coming out, and Superstar, because she loves us as much as we love her. When her label told me that the new album was done, it was like a footnote at the end of this long other email, and I didn’t even really see it for like a week. And then I went back to that last email, and read that whole thing, and saw that last footnote and was like “Ho-ly shit!” And put the album on, and was just completely blown away.
I think Superstar is a huge step forward for her, both from a production and songwriting perspective. There’s a very clear theme running throughout the record, but she manages to keep the songs incredibly catchy, and really fun to listen to, and really interesting… which is a very difficult thing to do. Especially when people put out a concept album, they tend to be stuffy or overly complicated, and Caroline was able to strike this very nice middle ground that I think is really difficult for artists to do, and not a lot of people are able to do it successfully.
Once the music team at large listened to it, we came to a consensus that if we’re gonna put our weight behind a new artist this year, it should be someone that we have a great relationship with, that we wanna see succeed, that everybody at the company can be like “Fuck yes, we’re doing this project!” And she was just the perfect candidate that checked off all of those boxes. We're so proud to do this with her.
AB: Superstar is on this super-loud, really intense neon-pink vinyl that we’ve never pressed a ROTM on before. Caroline was heavily involved in picking the color on this one. There’s Spot UV on the jacket, where it says Superstar. And we also have an exclusive photo and lyric booklet. It’s on a heavyweight tip-on jacket, and it’s a really beautiful package.