It all started with Poison and Wine on a Sunday. That was after Whintney Caroline went to see Keilan Creech play a local show. The two started talking about music and decided to meet up to share ideas. It was an abnormally warm February afternoon when they played the song Poison and Wine by The Civil Wars on a balcony in Richmond. “I was like, wow! Our voices. What’s going on?” says Keilan. The two continued to meet every Sunday and after 5 or 6 weeks of writing they saw that something special was forming.
Fast forward to November 20th and The Tide Rose’s self-titled EP was released. With a self-proclaimed nautical folk sound, the Tide Rose is a beautiful marriage of voice, lyrics, and musicianship. The seemingly effortless harmonies and melodies combine to become a single force that carries the listener off on a voyage across uncharted waters to a place where one could simply loose themselves in peaceful reflection. The Tide Rose has certainly caused the currents to ebb and flow to a better place with this collection of 6 soul bearing works of art.
I was fortunate enough to see them perform live and then have an opportunity to speak with the duet about life music and everything in between.
RVA Music Scene – What is your process when it comes to writing your songs? What is the dynamic?
Keilan Creech – “We will start off with a major idea. That idea, for me, informs the music.”
Whitney Caroline – “For the most part K is the instrumentation and I really enjoy playing with the words. We make each other better.”
KC – “Sometimes we build a song from a single line or hook. Come Home, she (Whitney) had that in a dream. The whole chorus was taken from her dream and we built a song around that. Other times I have a whole song built and we just add a few things here and there.”
RVA Music – What are some of your early musical influences?
WC – “The Civil Wars and the Fray. They have this dark lyrical vibe. A lot of solo stuff I have written is pretty dark. I also really like Mumford and Sons.”
KC – “When I first started playing guitar I was really into Coldplay and John Mayer. I would watch John Mayer play and watch his fingers to see what he was doing and I loved the melodies and falcetto of Chris Martin and I musically started blending the two. I also like The Civil Wars, Ryan Adams, Sufjan Stevens and other song writers. And Fleet Foxes is all I have listened to in the past year. I grew up in Brazil and so I have also have a lot of musical influences from Brazil. Playing in groups there and church groups. That sort of thing.”
RVA Music Scene– What has been your favorite place to play thus far?
WC – “I had this idea… to do a show on the Richmond Canal on the Riverfront Canal Cruises because some of our music is inspired by the water and that sort of thing. So, we booked one of the private charters and sold out our first boat show which is hilarious because it wasn’t even a real venue! It was very personal and special and different.”
KC – “I would have to agree. It was really intimate. We were just riding down the canal on the front of a boat with 30 people crammed into the boat and there were people on the side watching and waving and probably thinking, ‘what in the world is this?’ (laughs) It was a lot of fun. We ended on the song Come Home and the boat happened to coast under a tunnel and the sound was reverberating right at the last chords. It was just perfect.”
RVA Music Scene – Where do your ideas come from?
WC – “Definitely day to day life. I heard a quote once, something like, capture in the chaos and create in the quiet. Throughout the day, if I notice something or think of an idea, I’ll write it down. When we get together to write I will bring in whatever I have experienced. It’s all completely relevant to what we are going through.”
KC – “It seems like we have had a lot of similar experiences so we can pull from that. Definitely, when I write, it is always very personal. I look at the songs I write as a diary of sorts and a way to express the things that I am going through and choices I make every day.”
WC – “I think a lot of what we want to do with the songs is to take a personal experience and then bring it to a bigger idea that other people can relate to as well.”
We spoke for about 40 minutes and tackled deep subjects like Whitney picking the marshmallows off of Thanksgiving sweet potatoes, Keilan’s insistence of having the “slice” of cranberry sauce that has the imprint of the can still in it, Whitney’s tendency to laugh during live performances, and how Whitney is up to date on her entertainment news.
WC – “I can tell you so many things about Justin Beiber!” (laughing)
KC – “It’s true. She is like, ‘Keilan, do you know such and such about whoever? And I am like, Whitney, I don’t care!” (laughing)
WC – “We launched our EP the same day as Adele’s 25. We were worried we might take away from her release!” (more laughing)
I asked them where they thought their partnership was heading and Keilan replied, “We just want to do the songs justice.” The Tide Rose is playing locally in the RVA area with ambitions to take their act further with mention of New York and California as possibilities. Do yourself a favor and catch them live. Also, take the time to say hello. They are great people!
– Donut, Senior Staff Writer
Want to learn more about The Tide Rose? Check out their social media sites!