Up-and-coming singer/songwriter Mary Caroline has had quite an interesting life as she splits her year living in a trapper’s cabin on the shores of the Liard River in Canada’s remote Northwest Territories, about 600 kilometers from Yellowknife, and while living there she learned how to live in the old trapper’s lifestyle, which often included sustenance farming and hunting. The other part of the year, she lives in the Toronto area. And the material on her debut full-length effort, Life on Earth, which interestingly enough saw its official release today, is based on personal experiences, namely falling in love, being betrayed and the like, and the rugged beauty of a tough life in the Great North.
With a great deal of its songs written in the isolation of the Great North, it shouldn’t be terribly surprising that the material takes on a hushed, pensive quality while drawing quite a bit from country, folk, pop, the work of Norah Jones, as well as Elisapie Issac who are as Mary Caroline admits in this phone interview is both big influences. Lyrically, the material at times possess both a quiet acceptance and the determined resolve that could only come from those who are fiercely independent.
I spoke to the Canadian singer/songwriter as she was preparing for a mid-winter tour which includes dates in the Hamilton and Toronto area, and a date at the Folk Alliance International in Kansas City, MO on February 20. We talked about Mary Caroline’s influences, her new album, life in the Northwest Territories and more.