By Beverly Kreller.
Seasoned singer-songwriter Caroline Wiles is releasing a masterful, upbeat pop and country album Grateful on October 1st, 2021. The album, her fifth, will be available on Apple Music and Amazon.
Caroline Wiles' new album Grateful is packed with pop music that sounds as if it's exploding out of '70s AM radio, in a perfect combination of her husky, Ann Murray/Karen Carpenter voice; glorious CSN-style multiple harmonies; Beatlesque chord structures; and the poetic lyricism and Canadian sound of her hero, Gordon Lightfoot.
In fact, Lightfoot himself has kindly complimented Grateful, saying that it's got "a lot of really strong material, wonderful vocals and harmonies."
Fittingly, Wiles' first cover song to be recorded in her entire career is Lightfoot's "Talking in Your Sleep" – whose faithful tribute to the original testifies to her great love for the Canadian icon.
The title song, "Grateful," was written in Lightfoot's style, and came to her as if plucked out of the air. Penned the day after John Prine's death, it's dedicated to Wiles' sister, as a reminder and acknowledgement of their love.
Songs like "Shine Shine Shine," "Splendidly," and "Make a Memory With Me" are bubbling over with positive energy, even in the face of adversity, as much in the resplendent combination of voices and sunny melodies as in the optimistic lyrics.
While Grateful is largely a pop album, Wiles takes a brief excursion into country, with "Lovey Dovey" and "That Old Country Song," both of which feature the inspired Shane Guse on fiddle. The former song delves into our common humanity, while the latter is a song about Wiles' father, delivered in his beloved '50s country style.
Wiles is grateful for a long-running partnership with world-renowned, award-winning producer Bob Doidge. The owner of Hamilton's famed Grant Avenue Studio has worked with everyone from Bob Dylan and Gordon Lightfoot to U2, often in the company of old pal Daniel Lanois. He's also helmed all of her albums, and works his audio alchemy once again here.
Wiles is clear about the reasons she makes music. "It's not about a need for attention," she says. "I'm not doing this for fame. I'm not doing it for fortune. I'm doing it because I feel it's what I'm supposed to be doing: To make music that's enjoyable and uplifting. That's my goal and that's my purpose."
Caroline Wiles was born and raised in Quebec, she began singing and playing guitar at age 11. She became a full-time professional musician at 18, fronting a rock band. By her early 20s, she was living in the Toronto area and writing songs. A self-taught artist and songwriter, she's spent a lifetime honing and practicing her craft. Her self-titled first album appeared in 2000, followed by 2006's I'd Like to Know, 2016's Lovers Lane, and 2019’s Living In The Now.
Her first two releases earned multiple awards, including the whimsical "Little Boobs" winning the Ontario Council of Folk Festival’s Songs From the Heart Award in the humour category. Lovers Lane garnered her nominations for Best Female Artist and Best Contemporary Folk Recording at the Hamilton Music Awards, along with two Music Industry Award nods. As a performer, she's shared the stage with artists such as Ian Thomas, Tom Cochrane, David Bradstreet, and Tom Wilson — and moonlights in the local trio McCurlie, Doidge, and Wiles.