The Salty Caramels
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The Salty Caramels

Columbus, Ohio, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2012 | SELF

Columbus, Ohio, United States | SELF
Established on Jan, 2012
Band Americana Rock

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Music

The best kept secret in music

Press


The four gals in The Salty Caramels give as good as they get on their new full-length, Damn Good Woman, balancing songs about nursing a broken heart with darker numbers where they’re the ones gearing up to dole out the punishment.

“He better get a head start running for his life,” the crew harmonizes on the 1960s-leaning, Shangri-Las-influenced “She’ll Be Coming for You,” the sweetness in the singers’ voices serving as a candy coating around the tune’s tart core.

“The music can be poppy and fun, but it sometimes has a dark side to it,” said band founder Molly Winters, who joined co-singer/songwriter Sarah Overdier for an interview at a Bexley coffee shop in early June. “We write songs about love and life and things that are actually happening, but then every once in a while I do get off the beaten trail and write songs … that have no connection to [reality].”

While the Caramels’ roots stretch back to 2010, this current incarnation of the band, which also includes Emily Ng and Paige Strickling, has only been playing together since the fall of 2012 (original members Angela Perley and Bree Frick departed the group following the 2012 release of its self-titled debut, a chain of events that momentarily left Winters feeling, in her words, “let down”). In spite of the rejiggered lineup, the Caramels’ sound has remained remarkably consistent, hewing largely to roots-rock and folk, with brief side treks into ’60s girl-group pop and sun-kissed numbers that would sound perfectly at home played at an oceanfront luau.

“I always loved the old-timey artists like Willie Nelson … because his music crosses genres while still sounding like him, which is something I always wanted to do,” Winters said.

Both Winters and Overdier are classically trained musicians and self-described perfectionists — traits that led to some minor frustration over the course of the year the quartet spent working off-and-on on Damn Good Woman at Groove U, a music industry trade school in Victorian Village.

“When you’re in the studio you’re really pressured, like, ‘I want to hit these notes perfectly,’” Winters said. “Live you’re just having fun, and there are cables everywhere and Emily is wearing steam-punk goggles and we’re all [swapping] instruments. Live you can let things get weird.” - The Columbus Alive


COLUMBUS, Ohio — Caro High School graduate Sarah Overdier is known in her hometown as a terrific vocalist, musician, and author of the song “Caro,” a musical tribute to the town where she grew up.

But it’s in her new home, Columbus, Ohio, where Overdier is gaining recognition for her talent and musical taste.

Overdier and her compatriots in the four-piece band The Salty Caramels — Emily Ng, Paige Vandiver and Molly Winters — recently released their album, Damn Good Woman, which features an eclectic blend of styles and instruments that are difficult to classify — but easy to enjoy.

“We like to call ourselves Nostalgic Americana Rock,” Overdier said. “Most of our music is mostly original, but we do Andrews Sisters covers and songs from the earlier 1940s, and we also are very inspired by the Shangri Las and good old groups from the 50s and 60s. We also play rootsy, bluegrass-type songs.”

The 11 tracks of Damn Good Woman play almost like a college survey course in popular music of the 20th Century — from rootsy to modern, country to coffee shop — all tied together with solid two- and three-part vocal harmonies. Unique, folky instruments like glockenspiel and the washboard figure big in the album’s sound.

“We have a singing saw, and we have these sort of novelty insturments: kazoo, suitcase drums. We play chains on ‘Damn Good Woman,’” Overdier said. “We pull all these weird instruments together.”

But while The Caramels draw influences from a simpler time, as the band’s name implies, there is a salty, wicked streak simmering under the surface of the band’s sweet sound.

“Half of our album is sweet, and half is salty,” Overdier said, explaining both the band’s name and sound. “First (Salty Caramel) is a local ice cream flavor, in Columbus we’re known for Jenny’s Ice Cream. It’s an all-girl group, and we love the idea that women are naturally salty and sweet. If you listen to the album, some are love songs and some are actually kind of mean. Instruments like the chains kind of add to the grit.”

Tunes like “Washboard Love Song” sound like classic country music of the 50s and 60s, while the next track, “She’ll Be Coming For Ya,” has a more produced, poppy sound. “Broken Two” highlights the band’s outstanding vocal capabilities, while “Warmest of Hues” is a simple waltz-tempo tune that sounds like a folk song that could have been written in the 1920s. The final track, “Will You Run,” sounds most similar to Overdier’s song “Caro,” which along with tracks from Damn Good Woman, still gets airplay on Caro radio station Mix 92.1 FM.

The album features one cover tune, the song “Rum and Coca-Cola” which was made popular by the Andrews Sisters, which Overdier said is a good example of the bands salty/sweet aesthetic.

“When you just listen to it, it sounds like a little happy song,” she said. “But when you listen to the lyrics, it’s actually pretty racy.”

The band hosted a well-attended CD release party earlier this summer, and Overdier said that the Columbus media helped get the word out. In July, Impulcity.com’s Matt Teaford listed the Caramels in his column “15 Columbus Artists You Need To Listen To Right Now.”

“We were really lucky, we had seven media coverages in a week: four print articles. two radio interviews and a TV spot,” Overdier said.

Beyond their musicality, Overdier said that the Caramels have managed to turn their band into a self-supporting business.

“We’re really proud that we’re an independent group,” Overdier said. “We managed to be completely in the black as far as our band fund. We utilitized a lot of local studios and engineers artists. Now we own all of our own material, and 100 percent of the sales goes to us. I work for a music college called Groove U, … and the album started out as a project for a student. She was really interested in doing some sound recording. She did such a good job that she tracked the entire album and we paid her, So we recorded the thing at Groove U.

“We get money from gigging, selling merchandise at our shows, and selling albums (online). We do a really good job of balancing paying ourselves and putting money back into the band fund. We do all our own accounting. Because of the nature of our sound and our demographic, we’re really hoping to put out a vinal version of the album and do a soft run of that.”

For more on The Salty Caramels or to order a copy of Damn Good Woman, visit their website at thesaltycaramels.net. - Tuscola County Advertiser


What can four lovely ladies with beautiful voices and great style accomplish? Well, quite a bit, it seems. The Salty Caramels have quickly risen to popularity due to their unbelievable musicality and lovable stage presence. Their harmonies kept us mesmerized as they sang, and they have all kinds of eccentric instruments that they pull out every now and then (including a slide-whistle). If you haven't had the chance to catch them yet, you're definitely in for a treat. They'll be taking the stage at the Park Street Patio on July 23rd to bring their Americana styles right to the heart of downtown. Yeah, we could say the Salted Caramels are pretty... sweet. - Impulcity


They’ve been called the best all-girl band in Columbus, and it’s time for you to find out for yourself. The Salty Caramels have been rocking the city since the fall of 2012 and are about to release their first album as their new, sweeter, sassier selves. They’ve got a new line-up, which is now includes Sarah Overdier, Emily Ng, Paige Vandiver and Molly Winters. They are releasing Damn Good Woman this Friday, June 13th. The show will be at Woodland’s Tavern at 8pm, and also feature the Hocking River String Band of Lancaster, Ohio as well as The DewDroppers, and Mary Lynn. Read on the learn more about The Salty Caramels via and Q&A with Emily Ng, who plays viola, bass, and singing saw.

Q: How did The Salty Caramels meet?

A: We all met through Molly. Sarah and Emily knew Molly through the local music scene; Sarah played solo and Emily was in other folk-y bands. Paige met Molly out of the blue at Byrne’s in Grandview listening to live Irish music. Molly learned that Paige played drums and that was the beginning!

Q: How did you pick the name The Salty Caramels?

A: We were named after the world-famous salty caramel ice cream from Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams. We also like the metaphor that women can be both salty and sweet!

Q: How did you choose the name for your new album?

A: We narrowed down our album choices based off of songs from the album. We narrowed it down to three titles and then asked our friends on which album name to choose. Our title track Damn Good Woman was what we chose because I guess it can also describe us as a group.

Q: I see one of your members plays glockenspiel, what does a glockenspiel sound like?

A: The glockenspiel is similar xylophone, but made of metal, not wood. Some people might think of a glockenspiel as a version of the xylophone or bells.

Q: How would you describe the sound of The Salty Caramels to someone who hasn’t heard you before?

A: Nostalgic, Americana, Rock. We play songs with an old-timey vibe, but the songs are still pop-rock. It’s unique because we use slightly different instrumentation than a traditional band and we try to have tight three-part harmonies.

Q: Is there anything else everyone should know before they come see your release show?

A: Be prepared to be caramelized (just kidding). All four of us have grown tremendously musically and became closer as a band. We’re so excited to release this album because we’ve put so much work into it. At the show, we’ll be doing some collaboration with our friends the Hocking River String Band and of course, songs from the new album.

Check out The Salty Caramel’s website at www.thesaltycaramels.net and don’t forget to head out to Woodlands Tavern this Friday to be caramelized. - Columbus Underground


Local songstresses The Salty Caramels are about to release its album, “Damn Good Woman,” on Friday. To celebrate the occasion, the fetching foursome will be hosting a record release show at 9 p.m. Friday at Woodlands Tavern.

The Salty Caramels consist of Molly Winters (vocal, guitar, bass), Sarah Overdier (vocals, guitar, glockenspiel), Paige Vandiver (vocals, percussion) and Emily Ng (viola, bass, singing saw). Vandiver and Ng both spoke with UWeekly about the upcoming concert, being crafty, the band’s new record and their thoughts on Columbus’ musical diversity.

UW: Do you consider yourselves as operating in the Americana music genre?

PV: We do. We go for Americana and we also like to call it “nostalgic rock” because we play a lot of instruments like the saw, the glockenspiel, kazoo and things like that. We have just weird instrumentation, so since “nostalgic rock” isn’t actually a genre, we want to make it one.

UW: How long did it take to record “Damn Good Woman?”

PV: Let’s see … recording we started back in August. It was really sporadic at first, but like we really started putting our nose to the grindstone later in like February/March. So, it did almost take more than half a year to record. A lot of the songs were already written. I know Molly (Winters) already had probably four of the songs or so, and then when Sarah (Overdier) came on board, she wrote a few more. So, that was back in 2012.

EN: Yeah, these songs really have been on the top of our minds for a while now.

UW: What do you have in store for the record release show at Woodlands?

PV: Well, we’re playing with three other bands that we absolutely love. We’re playing with mary lynn, The DewDroppers and the Hocking River String Band. So, we’ve got a really special show. We crashed the Hocking River String Band’s rehearsal. They actually live right down the street from Molly and I. So, we’re going to perform several songs with them.

EN: We’ve definitely been crafting and trying to build our stage … like with decorations, so hopefully those all go well. We’re nervous about that part.

UW: Based on your Facebook page, it looks like the band is big into making crafts like buttons to give out at the show. Do you think it’s important that fans can leave with a memento of the concert?

PV: We do. I think that’s one special thing about our band. We put a lot of ourselves into it, so there’s a lot of personal touches and it’s a bonding experience for all of us. We had a bottle of wine and stayed up until midnight crafting those buttons the other day, so we get together not just to rehearse. We all really love each other and we’ve become really, really close friends throughout this whole process.

EN: We also love to craft!

UW: Where did the band name come from?

PV: That is actually from the Jeni’s Ice Cream “Salty Caramel” flavor.

EN: And we kinda liked the idea that women are both sweet like caramel, but also salty at times.

UW: Why do you think Columbus has such musical diversity?

PV: I moved here from Birmingham, Alabama, in 2012 and I had no idea what I was moving into and I was really super impressed with the music scene here. Everyone just seems to love to make music and live music seems to be a really important part of Columbus culture.

EN: I think it’s partially because of venues like Woodlands, Rumba (Café) and Ace of Cups that support local bands are willing to book them. It makes them feel valued and want to write music. I’m from Columbus. I think the people are very open and welcoming. It’s easy to find people who are into the same music as you. - UWEEKLY


Discography

Still working on that hot first release.

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Bio

The universe was missing something. So in the fall of 2012, four sultry women set out to fill that void by forming a stellar, all-female band! The Salty Caramels emerged with a sound both sweet and salty that would soon inspire audiences of all ages. 

Based in Columbus, Ohio and named after their favorite local ice cream flavor, The Salty Caramels will rock your socks off with their sassy yet nostalgic tunes, fun outfits, and witty banter. You can expect to hear a variety of instruments ranging from classic guitar, and fiddle to quirky suitcase drums and kazoos.

Band Members