Carolyn Shulman’s “Grenadine & Kerosene” is the comfort song to help get you through your breakup. This heartfelt folk record is packed with relatable and beautiful lyrics, a lovely acoustic sonic palette, and sweet vocals. This song feels classic; like it belongs on the same playlist as Bonnie Raitt or Carol King. Carolyn’s vulnerable and deep lyrics paint the tender picture of a love that is full of passion but is also explosive and unsustainable. Most of us who have had this kind of love understand the duality of the sweetness (grenadine) and toxicity (kerosene) that both comprise a love that cannot be.
The track begins by tugging on your heartstrings with sweet and somber chords on the acoustic guitar which automatically made me feel warm in my heart. As in any good indie/folk song, “Grenadine & Kerosene” has a live acoustic feel that makes you believe she is singing right to you in your soul. The guitars, keys, backing vocals, and moments of organ create a warm and soft sonic palette that allows for such a supportive and affirming listening experience. Carolyn does a beautiful job of creating a tone that feels melancholy and introspective while also uplifting and assuring.
In her debut album, Carolyn Shulman truly outdoes herself with the title track, “Grenadine & Kerosene.” The track feels like your best friend as you go through a tough breakup. What I love about this song’s lyrics the most is that this song could be about a romantic partner or a friend or another type of person who has made an impact on your life. The feeling of losing someone you cared about in any capacity is a heartbreaking breakup that this song explores beautifully. A truly great songwriter spills their heart out in their lyrics and Carolyn Shulman surely does that and even says so in the song “when you’re on my mind you’re a glass of wine I should decline before my heart spills out of me”. Luckily she doesn’t decline sharing her heart with her audience.