Throughout the bulk of my time as a music journalist, critic and blogger, I’ve managed to write about the New York-based singer/songwriter, guitarist, label head and longtime JOVM mainstay Anna Rose, and throughout that period of time, she has effortlessly and restlessly bounced back and forth between singer/songwriter folk, blues-tinged, power chord rock and twangy, country-tinged rock over the course of growing, critically applauded catalog that includes two EPs and two full-length albums — her self titled EP, her full-length debut, Nomad, 2013’s sophomore album Behold a Pale Horse and 2016’s Strays in the Cut EP. Adding to a growing profile, the longtime JOVM mainstay has shared stages with a lengthy list of notable artists and acts including Ron Pope, Von Grey, Marc Cohn, Joan Osbourne, John Waite, Lez Zeppelin, Crystal Bowersox, Howie Day, Teddy Geiger, Tony Lucca, Lee DeWyze, Tyler Hilton and Live’s Ed Kowalczyk among others — and she’s spent time material for other artists, as well as for film and TV.
A couple of years have passed since I’ve written about Anna Rose, and her first single of this year, the Paul Moak-produced and Rose and Mando Saenz co-written “Nobody Knows I’m Here” is a slow-burning song that sounds indebted to beer soaked, honky tonk country and breezy, hook-driven 70s AM rock. In some way, the song is part of a gradual return to her Nomad-era singer/songwriter days while sounding as refined, self-assured as Behold a Pale Horse and Strays in the Cut. However, “Nobody Knows I’m Here” may arguably be one of the darker songs of Rose’s growing catalog, as it feels a bit like the lonely and world weary sigh of someone who has led a messy and complicated life, complete with small victories, crushing defeats, bitter regrets, dumb luck and bad luck, good ones who got away and bad ones who’ve stayed far too long. Subtly touching on themes of anonymity, the loss of ego and wounded pride, the song as Rose explains in press notes is “about choosing to envelop yourself fin darkness in order to find the light again.”