Wondering what California folk-popper Colbie Caillat has been up to over the past couple years? Check out her new album, “All of You,” she says — it’s all there in the grooves of starkly autobiographical songs such as “What If,” the flamenco-spiced “Brighter Than The Sun” and “Favorite Song,” a reggae-tinged collaboration with Common and Ryan Tedder.
It all culminates in the closing centerpiece, “What Means the Most,” wherein the Grammy winner studies her own stardom and says she’s “climbed so high it gets hard to breathe.” The record is nothing if not brutally honest.
“And that’s why I named the album ‘All of You,’” says Caillat, 26, who is scheduled to perform an intimate (but sold out) show at Bimbo’s on Friday. “Because it’s about giving all of yourself, and not being afraid of saying what you feel and who you are, and I knew it was important to say it straight-up.”
On her two previous sets, 2007’s “Coco” and 2009’s “Breakthrough,” she spoke in hazy metaphors that allowed fans to relate to the material.
“But with this one,” Caillat says, “I was just so in love that I was writing exactly what I felt, and if I was mad or sad about something, that came out in my songwriting too.”
And Caillat wasn’t afraid to call in reinforcements. Struggling with the jangly title track, she invited her chum Jason Reeves over.
“I said, ‘I need to write a song, but I need help because I just can’t express what I’m feeling,’” she says. “So I completely vented to him exactly what was going on, and he turned my words into poetry. And that’s what I do now — whenever I’m feeling it, it just comes out.”
In a nutshell, “All of You” details the demise of the “Bubbly” artist’s last relationship and her gradual realization that she was falling for one of her backing musicians, Justin Young. Her manager warned against such a workplace romance.
“It could have been very stupid for us both, but we tried it and it worked out,” Caillat says.
Together for nearly two years, they reside in a new house she bought in her hometown of Thousand Oaks.
Caillat recently played TV’s “The Bachelorette” and a Nobel Peace Prize concert in Oslo. But when a flight attendant asked her if she was living her dream, she says, “I honestly had to ... not lie, but exaggerate how much I loved it. Because singing is my dream, but not the music business or the spotlight — it means much more to me now to be home with the ones I love.”
IF YOU GO
When: 9 p.m. Friday
Where: Bimbo’s 365 Club, 1025 Columbus Ave., San Francisco