Caro Emerald

"Just One Dance"

Caro Emearld - photo by Adrie MouthaanPhoto by Adrie Mouthaan, courtesy Grandmono.

From the Album
Deleted Scenes from the Cutting Room Floor,
Grandmono [Netherlands]/ Dramatico [UK], 2010.

Caro Emerald - Deleted Scenes From the Cutting Room Floor

Caro Emerald "Just One Dance" (30-second clip)


Dutch chanteuse Caro Emerald is a truly amazing overnight indie music success story.  This trained jazz vocalist had already spent a few years in the music industry working as a for-hire backup singer when in 2007, producers Jan van Wieringen, David Schreurs and songwriter Vincent DeGiorgio hired her to demo a song they wrote called “Back It Up” that they were intending to pitch to another group. They liked Caro’s voice, her lovable personality, and her gypsy-like beauty, and decided to keep “Back It Up” for themselves, and create a Vintage-inspired music project with Caro as lady frontman just for fun. Caro performed “Back It Up” on the Dutch TV channel TV5, and local response was so strong, the musicians released the song as a single on their own indie label Grandmono Records.  The result has been the unlikely beginning of the emergence of the new Vintage Music phenomenon.

The origins of Caro Emerald’s gypsy/Dixieland-influenced sound go back to the music of  guitar virtuoso and musicologist Bob Brozman, whose extensive knowledge of international folk and roots music led him to mix and match these sounds in unique and pioneering ways in the 1980’s and early 1990’s.  One of many creations he assembled was a combination gypsy/Dixieland jazz hybrid that managed to translate well to the current times. The Squirrel Nut Zippers then had a platinum-selling album with the album Hot (1996), sporting a sound that was largely lifted from Brozman’s sound. Hot yielded the charting single “Hell,” which was semi-plagiarized from Brozman’s 1988 song “Death” (aka “Death Calypso”).

After this, composer Benoît Charest incorporated Brozman’s gypsy/Dixieland hybrid into the soundtrack of the brilliant animated French film The Triplets of Belleville (Les Triplettes de Belleville, 2003), namely in the “Belleville Rende-vous” theme music. Charest incorporated a strong bottom end, as well as watertight arrangements and performances, into Brozman’s sound.  Caro’s producers/songwriters/indie label cats took this to the next level in creating a transitional vintage sound that expanded Charest’s take on the Brozman sound further, adding neo-swing and other similar elements whilst keeping the gypsy/Dixieland vibe intact on songs like “That Man,” the excellent “Dr. Wanna Do,” and “A Night Like This”. 

“[W]e had to…convince radio stations, ‘No, it doesn't fit your format. Yes, your audience will love it,’” Caro’s producer David Schreurs recalls. “That's the kind of thing I wanted Caro to be—once you heard a short piece of it on the radio, you'd be hooked.”  Caro’s debut album, Deleted Scenes from the Cutting Room Floor (2010), has since gone multi-platinum in many countries and dominated the charts throughout Continental Europe and The United Kingdom.

Furthermore, Caro has had the privilege of influencing fellow This is Vintage Now artist Blake Jones and the Trike Shop, who created an instrumental calypso track called “8 ½ Ice Skaters” after the ideas presented in Caro Emerald’s “A Night Like This”.  This is the first time of hopefully many that one This is Vintage Now artist has influenced another.  “8 ½ Ice Skaters” will be on Blake Jones and the Trike Shop’s upcoming Bachelor Pad EP New Experiments in Sound (2012), which will be offered as an exclusive, limited-edition release in This is Vintage Now’s fundraiser later in the year. 

The Caro Emerald song featured on This is Vintage Now, “Just One Dance,” is an instance of neo-swing done correctly, with crisp production, tight arrangements, and horns that add excitement and power without being overbearing. It’s a great example of the “Vintage Now” sound in action.


Caro Emerald Discography:

“Back It Up” (Initially MP3 only; reissued as CD single in 2010) (Grandmono, 2009)
Deleted Scenes From the Cutting Room Floor (CD and 12” double LP w/ red vinyl) (Grandmono, 2010)
“That Man” (CD single) (Grandmono, 2010)
“A Night Like This” (CD single) (Grandmono, 2010)
Deleted Scenes From the Cutting Room Floor, Platinum Edition (CD/DVD set) (Grandmono, 2010)
Live in the Netherlands (3-song live EP, MP3 only) (Grandmono, 2011)
“Stuck” (CD single) (Grandmono, 2011)
Live in Concert (3-Disc CD/DVD/Blu-Ray set; MP3 album) (Grandmono, 2011)
“Back It Up” b/w “That Man” (7” 45 rpm single) (Grandmono, 2011)
“A Night Like This” b/w “Stuck” (7” 45 rpm single) (Grandmono, 2011)
“Riviera Life” (CD single) (Grandmono, 2011)
Deleted Scenes From the Cutting Room Floor, Live From Amstedam (CD/DVD set) (Grandmono, 2011)
"You're AlI Want For Christmas" (featuring Brook Benton) (Grandmono, 2011) (non-LP CD single, also released on MP3)
“Dr. Wanna Do” (CD single) (Grandmono, 2012)
"Tangled Up" (CD single) (Grandmono, 2013)
"Live at Le Poisson Rouge" (MP3-only 2-song EP made available briefly to fans) (Grandmono, 2013)
The Shocking Miss Emerald (CD, 12" LP, MP3 album) (Grandmono, 2013)