CAROLINE SPENCE REIMAGINES JIMMY EAT WORLD’S 2001 SMASH THE MIDDLE
SPENCE’S STUNNING MINT CONDITION TURNS ONE
TUNE IN TO SEE CAROLINE SPENCE ON THE ROUNDUP SUNDAY MAY 3
Toronto, ON – May 1, 2020 – Caroline Spence's wistfully reimagined take on Jimmy Eat World's 2001 smash, The Middle is available today. Spence first started performing the song last fall while on tour in support of her album, Mint Condition, and was happily surprised to realize how deeply it resonated with audiences. Listen to The Middle here (electric and acoustic versions).
Spence recalls, "I first covered The Middle on a whim one night this past fall on tour opening for another band. During a long tour drive, I had rediscovered my love for Jimmy Eat World, this song, and the whole Bleed American album. Upon hearing The Middle for the first time in a long time, it still felt relevant to me even all these years later and just as wonderful to remind myself that I was still 'in the middle of the ride.'"
She continues, "This past January, I decided to make The Middle the last song of my opening set for another tour. I think it's always good to have a cover in your back pocket as an opener, but I didn't expect this cover to be my favorite part of the set. I've always known that this song meant a lot to me growing up, but it wasn't until I played it every night for a month with the audience singing along did I realize just how much it was an anthem for the millennial generation when we felt like awkward middle schoolers and misfit high schoolers. I would play it just me and my guitar and without all the rock band production, the lyrics hold up as one of the sweetest and wisest songs out there. It reads like Wild World by Cat Stevens or Teach Your Children by Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young. It brings a smile to my face to sing it; to sing it feels like I'm comforting both myself and those in the audience. I decided to record it as a way to keep that feeling going."
Mint Condition, Spence's debut recording for Rounder, was released exactly one year ago on May 3, 2019. The album was warmly embraced by critics, who lauded Mint Condition as a "stunning journey through self-discovery" (Uncut) and "one of the best country releases of the year." (Paste). NPR Music hailed her as a "fantastic lyricist" and praised her knack for coining "the sharpest little turns of phrase," while Rolling Stone declared, "The album establishes Spence as a writer somewhere between Kathleen Edwards and Guy Clark in her deft chronicles of interpersonal complexity."
Mint Condition landed on Best of 2019 lists in Rolling Stone, American Songwriter, Paste, AllMusic, Garden & Gun, and Folk Alley, among others.
Caroline Spence will commemorate the album's anniversary with a pair of livestreaming concerts: today, Spence will do a live set on her Instagram channel at 12:00 pm CT. This Sunday, May 3, Spence will appear on The Roundup, Rounder Records' weekly live performance showcase, which airs at 1:30 EDT on Rounder's YouTube channel.