Calling Caitlin Lucia a free spirit is an understatement. The twenty-year-old singer/songwriter turned down an opportunity to attend the London School of Business and Finance to pursue a career in music, and recently returned from a solo mini-tour that took her up and down the California Coast. After penning several songs leading up to the tour, she came back determined to record the new material. She laid down the five-track EP, Us, in less than week, and now Lucia and her backing band The Daisy Train are pulling into The Constellation Room on Saturday, April 16 for their first headlining gig at the venue.
Lucia’s string of February dates was her first real taste of life on the road, and she took pride in booking the dates herself and traveling alone on the solo tour. The Santa Ana local shares that the experience was liberating, leading her into new cities and serving as inspiration for new material. She also feels the two-week stint motivated her to get back in the studio with her Daisy Train, comprised of guitarist Anthony Grisham, bassist Cameron Lew, and drummer Eric Bumb.
“There was a moment on the tour when I was in San Francisco—it was like 3 a.m. and it was pouring rain on me—and I just took a moment and was so thankful. There I was, on this tour I booked myself, playing shows, and on top of all of that I was making money. I couldn’t believe it. I had this overwhelming feeling like this is it, this is the beginning,” Lucia says.
The rain-soaked epiphany may have been confirmation of a new beginning, but she’d arguably already made a name for herself over the last two years. Lucia appeared on The Voice in 2014, and despite missing out on an infamous chair turn, she continued performing on her own playing local one-off shows. Though she notes that the experience on The Voice was beneficial and fun, it ultimately left her swearing off reality singing competitions. However, when the producers for the last season of American Idol contacted her to come on the show, she felt as though she couldn’t pass on the opportunity.
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“I was really lucky to have the chance to be on both shows, especially since this is American Idol’s last season. I couldn't turn down the opportunity when they reached out,” Lucia said, who made it through to American Idol’s Hollywood week before being sent home. “That being said, at this point I’m over reality TV. I’m trying to focus on the music I love and be my own person.”
The young singer is currently on a path of self-discovery, and it’s working in her favor. Her sophomore EP is a step forward, offering a sharper sound with wider vocal range. Lucia’s heartsick lyrics are relatable and at times playful, and the addition of the harmonica to her Gretsch Resonator guitar adds a new layer of emotion to her sound. The Daisy Train, who will continue to play select dates with Lucia throughout the summer, give the music a more solid foundation and round out her folky, twang-infused style on Us. And while her free-spirited muse has led her up and down the coast and onto multiple television shows, she’s staying focused on her goal of being able to support herself as an artist.
“You choose your path in life, you choose to be happy,” Lucia says. “I just want see where this road takes me, and I’m certain it’s one of the best experiences I’ll ever have in my life. If you want something bad enough, you’ll do what it takes to make it happen.”
Caitlin Lucia and The Daisy Train perform with Banter and Ellie Mae and The Ricochets at The Constellation Room on Saturday, April 16, p.m. 8 p.m. $10. For more info, click here.