Caroline Says 50,000,000 Elvis Fans Can’t Be Wrong Out Now Via Western Vinyl

August 9, 2017

Daniel Yates

Caroline Says
“Caroline Salle dives into lovelorn wistfulness like an Olympian…” – Rolling Stone
“Homespun recording, for Caroline Says, is an asset that adds to the sensations of days passing and cities flickering by.” – Pitchfork
“Something special.” – Q
“Exquisite lo-fi masterpiece.” – Soundblab 10/10
Caroline Says, aka Alabama-raised, Austin-based songwriter Caroline Sallee, saw her debut album, 50,000,000 Elvis Fans Can’t be Wrong, reissued onWestern Vinyl this past Friday, 4 August. Originally released via cassette-only, the reissue garnered praise from Rolling Stone who wrote, “Caroline Salle dives into lovelorn wistfulness like an Olympian…”, and Pitchfork who said, “Homespun recording, for Caroline Says, is an asset that adds to the sensations of days passing and cities flickering by.”  Q magazine called it, “something special.” Sallee will follow with her second album in early 2018.  Details to be announced in the coming months.
Stream the single “Winter Is Cold
Watch the video for “I Think I’m Alone Now
After college Sallee took a job as a waitress in Yellowstone as an exercise in solitude and independence.  With the money she saved there, she took a transformative journey via Greyhound to explore the West Coast before returning to Alabama where she would record her debut album in her parents’ basement.  50 Million puts us in the seat right next to Sallee where we can feel the warm West Coast light through the window, the bus route charting the lines between our youth, and our delayed future.
The modern roadblock of moving back in with your parents after college is generally painted in negative colors, often mentioned in news bumps as a sign of the stunted growth of a generation that increasingly sees itself as valueless in traditional economic roles.  What isn’t discussed is how this move can provide us with a renewed perspective on, and clarity about the formative years spent in this familiar space.  Perhaps this temporary return is a cosmic gift to a culture that’s overdue for reminders of its indelible potential – a gift that provides one last opportunity to create art in the nostalgic haze of your youth, before your time and energy are sapped by economic pressures to make it on your own.  Recorded during just such a time, 50,000,000 Elvis Fans Can’t be Wrong is a fruit of this ambivalent phase of early adulthood.
That kind of dichotomy is at play throughout 50,000,000 Elvis Fans Can’t be Wrong. Even the album title seems to refer to the contrast between what our elders tell us and the perspectives we form out of our own experiences. There’s a vacillation between idealism and realism, and it expresses itself musically in the hairpin turns from gentle folk into brazen experimental flourishes, like on “Funeral Potatoes.” The track opens with lilting, somber, Satie-esque piano, but at the halfway point, typical choices of song structure and transition are discarded in favor of a screeching, static-washed loop of violin and feedback that transcends the formality of songcraft, becoming something altogether more daring and collage-like.
The more band-driven songs on 50 Million recall an early-1990’s style of production in the way chorus-twinged electric guitars and tight, papery drumbeats point our mind’s eye to the West Coast sunset, like on the mid-album standout “Gravy Dayz”. But what makes these more caffeinated moments special is their constant proximity to gentleness and reflection. Sallee decorates the background of most songs with hushed humming that could stand alone as a minimalist-ambient choral album, and when employed on her songs, elevates the final product to an astral level.
Sallee’s gift lies in pitting the familiar against the unexpected with a delicate assuredness, never compromising the one for the other.  These kinds of debuts can sometimes feel like an over-promise of what is to come, but in the case of Caroline Says there’s clearly plenty more thread to be unraveled. It’ll be a pleasure to see where the next bus ride takes us.
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