Carley Baer knows a thing or two about rolling with the punches. Her new album, You Can't Control The Weather, began production over a year ago, with a completely different track list and overall direction. Originally titled Ordinary Stone, the project suffered setbacks from the beginning. Carley then penned 'The Rain Song', ostensibly written about the sloppy winters of the Pacific Northwest, and realized that metaphors for being adaptable in the face of adversity were sprinkled all over it. At once, a new direction for the album was selected, and a new energy emerged.
After one listen to this album, it's clear that Carley is no stranger to picking directions and heading for the horizon. Born and raised in Milwaukee, WI, she always had a feeling that she didn't fit in with the college-to-cubicle crowd. She was raised by musicians and friends of musicians, and showed a talent early on for hamming it up in front of an audience. She spent a few years denying her destiny before she finally had to admit that she could only ever be happy as a musician, and so she set out on her way. In January 2006, she moved to the more fertile musical climes of Portland, OR and began to make a name for herself as a clever songwriter possessing "a talent for bending your emotions with the pitch of [her] voice" (Kris Foster, The Sleeping Giant).
The transition from Wisconsin to Oregon is showcased in the album's opening track, â€œHead Westâ€, a banjo-backed travel anthem which sets a rollicking tone that the subsequent songs maintain with seeming ease. From there, she talks about pursuing her dream of professional musicianship (â€œMy Cinderellaâ€), dealing with unbearable bouts of writerâ€™s block (â€œDryâ€), and the over-arching theme of holding on to a sunny disposition in spite of a rainy outlook (â€œThe Rain Songâ€), all with substantive lyrics and musical arrangement that defy categorization. The album finishes with a sweet, antique-sounding ukulele love song devoted to the idea that â€œwhen you donâ€™t know what youâ€™re looking for, thereâ€™s no telling what youâ€™ll findâ€ (â€œParisâ€).
Carley has been slowly cultivating her musical following, mostly by word of mouth and the Internet. With the release of this album, she has also kicked off her own label, Ursula Music. Sheâ€™s written and self-released two EPs and an LP (The Carley Baer EP, *Spare Change, and Still Life, respectively) and she has successfully booked and performed tours around the Midwest and East Coast. In 2009 she wrote â€œUnderneath the Mistletoeâ€ for the sole purpose of entering a Christmas song competition given by Paramount Music of Nashville, TN, and won the Grand Prize. Her finest achievement in her own mind is the fact that she has quit her day job and can now dedicate herself entirely to music; this album is hard evidence that she can indeed overcome any obstacle, whatever the weather.