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Caitlyn Shadbolt Breaks Down Every Track On New Album ‘Bloom & Surrender’

9 June 2023 | 10:49 am | Mallory Arbour

'Bloom & Surrender' is out now!

Caitlyn Shadbolt

Caitlyn Shadbolt (Image: Supplied)

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Caitlyn Shadbolt’s latest album, Bloom & Surrender explores the two sides of Caitlyn as an artist – the extroverted and introverted. 

Produced by Caitlyn and her partner, Matt Smith, other collaborators include Sarah Buckley, Melanie Dyer, Matt Fell and Stuart Stuart. The album overall reflects Caitlyn’s contemporary country roots, tinged with her growth as a songwriter.

As Caitlyn describes the concept behind the album, “For the most part, I’m a happy-go-lucky, country-loving, small-town girl. But like everyone, I also have a side that is reflective and introverted. I really wanted to share both sides of me but was unsure how best to deliver it. So here we are, with two ‘sides’, sharing the extroverted and introverted side of me!”

BLOOM: You ever scream a song at the top of your lungs but don’t actually know what the lyrics mean? Yeah, that’s Bloom. This side is a party! Forget trying to be serious, let your inner child out for a moment and dance. I co-wrote this side with two of the funnest people I know – Melanie Dyer and Sarah Buckley. This side feels like eating cake for breakfast. Or being the first person on the dance floor. Or going on an adventure, just because! Do all these songs make sense? No. But do they need to? Also no. Haha!”

SURRENDER: Singing, writing - music in general, is so therapeutic to me. I started writing the songs from Surrender in 2020 (you know, THAT chaotic time), and I felt like the word ‘Surrender’ really encapsulated the essence of them. Surrender to having no idea. Surrender to expectations and how you think your life will unfold. Surrender to how you really feel. Just let it happen. Sometimes I write with intention, and other times I write without realising there’s stuff I need to get OUT. So that’s Surrender. I encourage you to interpret the songs however they resonate with you.”

We’re so delighted to bring you this exclusive track by track, as Caitlyn Shadbolt talks us through each individual track: the creation, sentiment, and everything in between.

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1. MONSTERS – I think everyone has experienced at least once the tug of war between your head and heart. This song is about that. When you know you should probably go but find any excuse to stay. Toxic love? Probably. But don’t we all just love it! And to top it all off, it’s wrapped up in fun production that makes you want to dance the toxicity away.

2. LET IT IN – This song was so fun to write! I wrote it with Sarah Buckley. This song started as fun melodies and turned into a lyrical message of letting go and letting life in. I really feel like this song was brought to life by my buddy Mick Skelton, who played ALL the percussion you hear on the track. We even found ourselves at 10pm putting a microphone on the door of the Troopy and slamming it shut just to get a fun sound.

3. YOU’RE MINE – I remember writing this song in my bed at 9pm one Saturday night. I was feeling bored (which is usually when I am inspired to write) and so I came up with the riff and just put a bunch of words into this fun phrasing. This song is just fun. Simple as that.

4. LOST ON ME – I wrote this one with Melanie Dyer after ranting to her about loving my partner but also wanting to strangle him sometimes hahah. Like how is it that the person you love the most also drives you the craziest!? But despite the words that get flown across the room sometimes, I’m still grateful for everything he does, and it isn’t ‘Lost On Me’.

5. DUMB DECISIONS – Well, do I even need to introduce this one? This is the duet Mel and I released after almost weeing our pants reminiscing the fun and crazy stuff we’ve done over the years. We wrote this song with a cocktail and cheese platter. Funniest writing session ever. Full. Stop.


1. COMMON GROUND – This is another co-write with Sarah Buckley. She had this chorus melody, and I was like, ‘wooaahhh, we gotta do something with that!’ So, this song is about two different people, from different worlds, coming together, falling in love, and finding Common Ground. I think it can be applied to so many scenarios. If we take the time to connect with one another, we’d soon find that we all have something in common despite our differences… and that’s a great reminder to lead with love ☺

2. SECRET STORIES – I wrote this one on my parent’s veranda. I wanted this song to encapsulate that feeling you have when you notice chemistry for the first time. Like a little seed planted in your chest, and you hope so hard it grows into something and that you’re not imagining it. I love that feeling ☺ And I had to reaaally use my memory for this feeling cause I’ve been with Matt for 7 years now and that feeling is long gone haha!

3. GROWING PAINS – This song is super vulnerable to me. I wrote this one in 2020 when I was feeling really introverted and reflective. I have a hard time with small talk when there’s soo many important topics that could be discussed. I guess I wrote this song when I realised that growing is painful and uncomfortable. When you finish high school, you’re essentially fully grown on a physical level. But that’s when the emotional and spiritual growth begins! It’s when you start unlearning and relearning. And those growing pains feel different, ya know?

4. RUN MY RACE – I pulled this one outta the vault! I wrote this one with Andy Hopkins and always loved the chorus but could never quite find a place for it. It wasn’t until I was searching for one more song for Surrender that I realised this might just be the perfect place for it. This song is about keeping your eye on your own prize and not worrying about what everyone else is doing! There’s room for everyone ☺

5. FLY ON THE WALL – This is arguably the most vulnerable song I have released. I wrote the lyrics first as a poem, in 20 minutes, and the guitar line soon followed. I really encourage people to interpret this song however they see fit. Sometimes explaining a song in laymen’s terms takes away the magic. But the essence of this song is about going until you’ve got nothing left, but not being able to acknowledge it until you consider your situation in the third person. I recorded this song in one take, guitar and vocals in one, with no editing. It’s raw as raw gets.


Keep up to date with Caitlyn Shadbolt on her Facebook page here.