Born and raised in Brooklyn Park, Maryland, Karlie Bartholomew has always had a passion for music. While shy as a child, she was able to use music to find her voice.
Following in her father's musical footsteps, Karlie Bartholomew taught herself to play guitar on his old six-string while she was in high school. Heavily influenced by artists such as Ingrid Michaelson, Norah Jones, and Sara Bareilles, she is drawn to authenticity and strives to keep her lyrics honest.
In the luscious expressions heard in her latest single, "Back Bay," we get to experience a copious offering of emotion in truth throughout this heartfelt release. The brilliant soundscape uses a seamless blend of timing and spatial cues to profess an intimate visualization of heartrending tenors. Collaborating with Sam Bush to bring life to the wistful vision, the string progressions incorporate a personal feel with how they reside in the mix.
Giving this a bold therapeutic essence that's lathered into the framework, we can't help but admire the traditional spirit held by the beauty of a minimalist musical foundation. Karlie Bartholomew's elusive timbres welcome a flame to the power of the lyrical motifs that she passionately performs. Acting as a saturated blanket of croons that tuck us into the sentiments that come rushing through our speakers and hearts, she is a master storyteller that has us fixated on the ultimate representation of vulnerability.
Taking her signature style of folk-inspired wording that rests upon jazz chord progressions, we pick up on the evolution of her sound as we take in "Back Bay." While still encapsulating these elements, she showcases a version of herself that grows through the past memories that used to carry her through her day-to-day life in Boston. By allowing us to become one with these reminiscent thoughts, Karlie Bartholomew has us drowning in the sweet and soothing kernel of her talents.
Congratulations on the release of your heartfelt single, "Back Bay." We love the personal touch that you bring to life with this piece. What was the exact moment that inspired you to write about these sentiments?
Back in 2019, there were a few months where I couldn’t finish any of my solo writes. I took a random day off and told myself my only plan for the day was to start and finish a song no matter how long it took. I woke up, made my coffee, and sat down to write without any hooks or ideas in mind. “Back Bay” was written on my living room floor during a time when I was longing to go back to college and wishing for simpler times. The song seemed to write itself, taking only a little over an hour to finish.
How was it working with Sam Bush on bringing this vision to life? How did you two come to collaborate?
I’m so thankful to have Sam on this project. The producer and engineer for this song, Rick Wheeler, as well as my electric guitarist, Daniel Schimmel, both work with Sam on a regular basis and asked him if he would play on this tune. Each musician recorded separately on this track as it was done in 2020, so Sam and Rick worked on his portion together.
You manage to have listeners feel like they are in the picture-perfect images conveyed in your writing. Do you ever find specific topics you keep off-limits in your music due to the robust nature of your writing skills?
I don’t think I’ve come across any topics yet that I felt were off-limits. I’ve always been a very shy and quiet person, especially as a kid, so writing has been my way of expressing myself. Songwriting gives me a voice I’ve often been too scared to use and helps me tell my story. I suppose this is why I tend to gravitate towards more personal topics. I’m sure one day I’ll reach that threshold of topics that are too personal, though!
What would you want your audience to take away from the central message or theme in "Back Bay?"
The main theme of “Back Bay” is to take time to appreciate the places and people you love while you can. Boston was my home while attending Berklee College of Music and I never felt I had a proper goodbye when leaving. “Back Bay” feels like my way to thank the city for the fond memories it gave me, so I can now move forward here in Nashville.