Caitlin Cannon's 'The TrashCannon Album' Confronts Difficult 'Inner Garbage' With Humor
Pop, punk and show rhythms aren't always something thought to be put together -- unless you're Caitlin Cannon. Throughout her new collection, The TrashCannon Album, she combines all three for a rollicking countrypolitan mix that's quite entertaining in spite of the difficult themes she discusses, ranging from gender inequality to alcoholism, addiction, and difficult family situations, among other tough subjects. It's set to be released early next year. The first single, "Toolbag," premiered today with Glide Magazine, which notes that "with plenty of piano boogie and an uptempo beat, the song rocks, rolls, and begs you to dance along with lyrics and imagery that's gloriously dirty while also being damn fun."
On The TrashCannon Album, Cannon shines a light on hard truths -- the trash we tend to keep out of view of the world and others. Producer Megan Burtt challenged her to write a song a week in 2018, resulting in a batch of songs that confront dishonesty in relationships, the divisive effects of class structure, economic injustice and difficult family situations. It sounds like it might be a heavy record -- and it's true, she does dive deep into what she's saying -- but it's also arranged in such a way that she makes sure you know she's always looking for the humor in the silver lining.
The heavy-handed introduction to the minor chord rocker "Mama's a Hairdresser (Baby's a Life Offender)" captures the brooding over injustice and the ragged hope eked out in trying to make ends meet and make some changes to a penal system out of balance. It's a personal story for Cannon -- one of her mother visiting her brother in a maximum-security state prison in Alabama, which she has done on a regular basis for 29 years since he was 17 years old.
Many of the songs on the album deal with alcoholism and addiction. The spare country crooner "Deliver" is the first song she wrote after she stopped drinking. The TrashCannon Album is the first album she's released since announcing her sobriety.
"Dumb Blonde (Playing Dumb's the Smartest Thing a Blonde Can Do") is a gypsy strut -- complete with Django Reinhardt-like guitars -- an ode that celebrates and honors women like her idols Dolly Parton and Loretta Lynn.
And then there's "Toolbag," an anthemic assurance that she -- and women just like her -- are better than any man's games. It can be inferred, perhaps, by the title, that it's told with her trademark deadpan humor.
Cannon is a Huntsville, Alabama, native, who now shuttles between Colorado and Nashville, making side trips back to Alabama to visit her brother. The desire and talent to perform run deep in her blood -- she spent her childhood acting, following that dream to New York City. Songwriting quickly became her outlet -- though not originally intended as a career choice. She eventually formed both The Cannondolls and Caitlin Cannon & the Artillery.
The TrashCannon Album is a testament to Cannon's ability to write songs that are both fun to listen to in spite of their difficult themes and equally able to shine a light on the messy parts of life with passion and humor. "I'm almost always looking for the joke," she says. And at least now we know we're not alone in our baggage.
The TrashCannon Album Track Listing:
1. Going For The Bronze
3. Drink Enough
4. Mama's A Hairdresser
6. Barbers And Bartenders
7. My Man
8. Better Job
9. Dumb Blonde
10. Pin Cushion
11. Daddy-O Mine