Video Review – Caitlin Rose “Piledriver Waltz”

June 13, 2012 - By Trigger  //  Reviews  //  8 Comments

I know I’m late to the party here, but dammit, this video is just so damn good I must expound on it. There’s so much genius in it in fact, I can’t help but think some of it is completely accidental. And the way it plays to both Caitlin Rose’s strengths and weaknesses is wickedly smart.

Caitlin Rose is an extraordinary little riddle you are in no rush to solve. She is a brilliant songwriter with a sublime voice (when she wants to show it off), yet she can tend to come across as aloof, almost bored at times. Instead of shying away from this attribute, another excellent Caitlin Rose video for her song “Own Side Now” exploited that part of her personality by inserting her in these languid moments, laying her head down on tables and such. The “Piledriver Waltz” video takes a completely different approach, donning Caitlin in clown makeup that affects an awakening of the other side of Caitlin Rose that you always have a sense is there, though she rarely displays any symptoms of.

The setting of a vacant rodeo barn is the perfect context for a song about an impending breakup. Standing in the vastness of an empty, quiet venue, with its stark white walls and bright lights, a place usually inhabited by many people and much movement, speaks to the queer head space and loneliness a breakup conjures.

Then to take the time to develop a back story for clown #2 coming from an Elvis wedding in his little white truck screaming around the corner, and the way Caitlin’s emotional conveyance is so overt in the context of the clown getup, but then countered with the shots of her in the stands that revert to the more aloof and ambivalent Caitlin riddled with self-doubt (pursed lips, biting nails), the video takes strides in creating an addicting Caitlin Rose mythos.

Caitlin is positively adorable in the video, though at the same time refreshingly plaintive. She has this eternal sympathetic magnetism about her that preys on your empathy, and she uses this quality in heavy doses in her music, including this “Piledriver Waltz” composition which is a cover of a tune from The Arctic Monkeys’ Alex Turner. It was released as a single as part of Record Store Day.

The tune itself is good, with Caitlin putting her signature stamp on it by means of some fuzzy guitar and elongating the verse timing, but the video is what allows “Piledriver Waltz” to take the prize.

Such depth and attention in music videos these days is too rare.

Two guns up!

8 Comments to “Video Review – Caitlin Rose “Piledriver Waltz””

  • ive seen most of her you tube clips and agree with you about her aloofness as a performer and also how “positively adorable” she is in this video. hadnt really paid any attention to the lyrics so didnt even realize this was a break up song lol . your comments about the lyrics and the video setting have given me a lot to think about next time i watch the video.


  • I love her Own Side Now album. Every song is awesome. I can’t even explain how much I love her voice.
    Loved this video as well.


  • Ever since your review sold me on “Own Side Now”, I’ve been hook, line, and sinker for her music. She’s one of my top favorites and it’s great to be gifted with more of her in this. It’s beautiful.


  • we’re all rodeo clowns on this bus. good video and pretty good song as well. one i’d never seen or heard before. she reminds me of a young laura calder. you’ll have to figure that one out on your own. it’s worth the bus ride.


  • She is a talent with a unique voice. Glad to see other young women being promoted here other than the auto-tuned tin-eared “role model.” Ruby Jane just graduated at the top of her high school class and is opening for big acts. Am sure we’ll hear lots more from her in the future. (And I know that Triggerman has promoted Ruby Jane – not saying you didn’t :). Lots of great young actual musical talent out there.


  • She’s badass. The steel and guitar/fuzz in this song is perfect, as it is in almost all of her songs. Can’t wait for a new album and really want to see her live. Shaghai Ciggarettes is an awesome song.
    Check out all her Youtube videos of her covering Linda Ronstadt’s Faithless Love.


  • Everybody here is just a clown, clown, clown, heading for the carnival downtown.

    I have no idea what to think of her. Never heard anything like it.


  • […] I keep coming back to this video. It’s so pretty and so perfect; a great example to showcase our genre. And, as usual, Triggerman nails it in his review. […]


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