Caity Krone is catching up with me about her astonishing debut EP, Work of Art, from her home in West Los Angeles. At the moment, Krone's home town is covered in smoke from the fires raging in the state.
“The air quality is disgusting,” she says. “Luckily, we're not in the direct proximity of the fire, so it's okay in terms of safety. One of the points of solace for a lot of people I know during the pandemic has been going on these long walks or runs. It's this new chapter of the pandemic because you literally can't go outside.
“Not to be all hoo-ha-Stevie-Nicks-witch about it,” she laughs, “but it says something that the world is literally forcing us inside after we're being so terrible with public restrictions and disrespecting the environment.”
Stevie Nicks is a huge part of Krone’s early influence. “'Dreams' was a really big song for me," she says. "One of the songs that was a point of contention on Work of Art was 'I've Been Lonely',” says Krone, who switched management mid-EP.
“To be fair, the writing on that song is not the most interesting and the lyrics aren't overly academic or vivid, it's just made up from these simple moments.
“Something about 'Dreams' that really stumped and amazed me is the way that the vocal, melody line, and very simple production can bring together this moment, in a way that makes the song bigger than all of its parts,” she says. Krone cites Phoebe Bridgers as another example – “she just creates these moments you can live in” – as well as Taylor Swift’s folklore.
“The interesting thing about Stevie and Taylor is that they have imagery that repeats almost incessantly throughout their work. With Stevie, it's the moon and the stars and the witch, and with Taylor it's enchantment and the princess and the fairytale. You see it in the phases of their life, and how their relationship to the imagery changes.”
Whatever Krone is feeling before the imminent release of her debut, she needn't be worried. Work of Art deftly crafts a cozy, lived-in space much like the work of her contemporaries. Nowhere is this more evident than on ‘Sunday Paper’, a gentle and mournful piano offering set in London.
“Everyone that I know in L.A.had this infatuation with London in their early twenties,” she recalls. “I went the summer I graduated high school, and I fell in love with it. Then when I went back and picked up photography, I fell in love with North London. There was a sort of romance to it. The person the record is centered around lives in London and L.A. When you like someone, there's this romanticizing of any place they've been. It feels like you're sort of in their wake, in a way.”
Don’t mistake Work of Art for a breakup record, though. “I call it an 'unrequited crush' record,” laughs Krone. “It was a very overwhelming, serious, and ridiculously deep crush that I was trying to make sense of. Here's a secret,” she giggles. “I've only ever been on one date, my whole life.”
After reading an interview with Amy Allen, who was putting out her first record at the time, Krone subscribed to often-heard advice that writers need to live wild lives in order to write well. But part of the beauty of Work of Art is that it gives value to the experiences Krone has lived. “The thing that happens for me is that feelings get too overwhelming to carry,” Krone notes. “When something affects me so much that I’m off-kilter, I have to write about it so it doesn't fester anymore.
“Crushes have a way of being obsessive and seeming irrational. If you make serious work of it, you can make something that's tangible and doesn't feel so silly,” she says. “That's what this EP was for me.”
Feature image by Ben Helscher.