Colbie Caillat on Naked Inspiration Behind 'Cruisin” - Rolling Stone
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Colbie Caillat on Naked Inspiration Behind ‘Cruisin”

Singer visits the Ram Report to tell the sweet story behind a song from her new album, ‘The Malibu Sessions’

“What if we were six again/Parties never have to end/Life was always like a vacation/Building castles in the sand/Showing off our seamless tan/All day long be crusin’ round naked,” Colbie Caillat sings in the opening lines of “Cruisin’.”

The bouncy, fun-loving song is featured on the singer-songwriter’s brand-new album, The Malibu Sessions. The LP was recorded in a Malibu beach house, where the singer-songwriter lived for two months with several of her collaborators. But it was on another beach — in Kauai – where Colbie, her sister, Morgan Caillat Stockmeir and married duo Jason Reeves and Danelle Leverette wrote “Cruisin'” after seeing some beach goers in their birthday suits.

“There were these naked babies — as they should be naked — playing in the water and having so much fun,” she recalls. “We were all annoyed at our tan lines and our bathing suits. So we started out making a joke song about how we wish we could just cruise around naked and how in Kauai it’s perfectly normal.”

Caillat draws from a mix of influences on The Malibu Sessions – from pop to classic rock to reggae, and even a little R&B. But there’s one rock icon in particular who really provoked her sound.

“I really ultimately got inspired by Paul Simon and Simon and Garfunkel. I love their harmonies and instrumentation,” she says. “I love Simon’s album Graceland, where he went to Africa, and how he recorded it and the musicians he had on the album and background vocals — they were so cool and unique. That’s what I wanted for this album. It’s my favorite kind of music. It brought me back to life, so I wanted that for the songs I was recording and it made the recording process so much fun.”


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