Carolyn Striho brings a greater sense of intimacy to her latest release.
The illustrious Detroit rock singer-songwriter openly shares her vivid, poignant collection of song lyrics and poetry through a new self-narrated audiobook edition of Detroit (Maiden Energy).
“You pick what you want to read, but it’s a little weird because it’s your own. Like when you’re doing it at a gig or a club, it’s way different because you’re performing. If I was reading somebody else’s book, and they gave it to me and said, ‘Read my poetry,’ it might have been easier. I was a little self-conscious in spots where I thought, ‘Well, should I recut that?’” Striho said.
Now available via Google Play, iTunes, and Apple Books, Striho’s current project commemorates the one-year anniversary of Detroit (Maiden Energy’s) original print version from Aquarius Press/AUXmedia. In its latest format, the 41-minute audiobook features Striho reciting 28 selections from her highly personal, expansive “street princess” collection.
One of Striho’s most exquisite Detroit (Maiden Energy) pieces includes “Midnight Stars,” a haunting reflection of moving between life’s brightest and darkest moments while accepting the uncertainty of the road ahead. Striho beautifully recites, “Living in two when bright lights hurt/Bright sun blurts out a ribbon of resentment/I feel like I’ve got to run and get something to drink/Only not water/To shut down the sun that’s only good in the summer.”
Outside of the struggle to balance light and dark forces, Striho celebrates her longtime Detroit musical adventures and collaborations in “City Music Lights.” The Motor City native references pivotal places in Detroit ranging from “Belle Isle” to “The Southfield” to “Masonic Temple” as she recites, “This isn’t explained in words/Just by action/Expression extension/Of my own ascension.”
“I have played with so many great people, and they’re so good. It pushes you to do better, and through the decades, I just look back, hear my voice now compared to then and think, ‘I worked pretty hard on this,’ after doing music for so long. I have never thought about not doing it,” she said.
Striho’s musical origins date back to joining the art-punk-jazz group The Cubes and being a DJ on WDET-FM’s “Radios in Motion” punk, new wave, and underground music show. She also fronted the all-star ensemble Detroit Energy Asylum before embarking on a multi-genre solo career, which has included performing with Patti Smith, Iggy Pop, Steve Earle, Don Was and The Ramones.
In 2016, Striho released her latest album, Afterthought, an introspective, timeless rock tribute to those who are forgotten. The eight-track project features an abbreviated, guitar-fueled version of “Midnight Stars” as well as collaborations with Erin Zindle, Thornetta Davis, Johnny Evans and other local artists.
As for her next creative pursuits, Striho plans to write and record new music with husband Scott Dailey and release another volume of Detroit (Maiden Energy). She’s also considering adding poetry to her next album due in 2021.
“There are some other songs, and they’re varied, which I’m excited about. I feel like there’s a new direction, and I really don’t know what it is yet,” Striho said. “For the next book, I think I would have more prose, and it would be more divided up. When I had a little bit in the current book, I got a lot of feedback from people who said they wanted to read more of my writing.”