Tag: Anna Rose Behold A Pale Horse

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.”

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Over the course of the soon-to-be six year history of JOVM, New York-based singer/songwriter Anna Rose has developed a growing national profile with the release of a self-titled EP and two full-length efforts Nomad and Behold A Pale Horse — and of course, over that time, the New York-based singer/songwriter has also been a JOVM mainstay artist since its inception.

Officially seeing its release today, Strays in the Cut is the long-awaited follow-up to the New York-based singer/songwriter’s exceptional Pale Horse and as Anna Rose has explained in press notes, the songwriting and recording process forced her and her collaborators to look at everything differently, with a careful and deliberate attention to telling a particular story and evoking a particular period within the artist’s life with a conciseness that wouldn’t necessarily happen on a full-length album. Interestingly, because of that very conciseness the material manages to possess a laser focus — not only do the New York-based singer/songwriter and her backing band play and sing with a greater sense of self-assuredness, the material possesses a visceral and emotional weight to it, as lyrically the songs come from a much more personal, truer place.

I recently spent a few minutes chatting with Anna Rose about the new EP, her and her collaborators songwriting and recording process and how it changed for the EP, her upcoming acoustic tour with guitarist Adam Stoler, her father’s influence on her and her music, the video concept for the EP’s first single “Start A War” and much more in a revealing and very funny interview. Check it out.

 

Although she’s the daughter of Alan Menken, the pianist and musical theater and film composer famously known for composing the scores of several beloved Disney animated films — including Beauty and the BeastAladdinThe Little MermaidThe Hunchback of Notre Dame, Pocahontas and others, the New York-based singer/songwriter and JOVM mainstay artist Anna Rose has developed a growing national profile with the release of her self-titled EP, her full-length debut effort Nomad and her sophomore effort, Behold A Pale Horse. Whereas both her self-titled EP and Nomad were mostly acoustic-leaning singer/songwriter efforts with conversational and confessional lyrics, Behold A Pale Horse was a both a change of sonic direction and a bold, brassy announcement of an artist who finally found her most natural and singular voice. But if there’s one thing that holds all three of those efforts together, it’s the fact that all of them reveal that New York-based singer/songwriter and guitarist as a complicated and interesting woman who kicks ass and takes names, who is strong yet vulnerable, seductive yet innocent, wizened through experience and yet youthful.

Slated for release in 2016, Strays In The Cut EP is the long awaited follow-up  to Behold A Pale Horse and the EP reportedly has the New York-based singer/songwriter pushing her musical and songwriting boundaries. As Anna Rose explains in press notes  “I am very much an album artist and a storyteller, so the idea of scaling it all back to the size of an EP was a challenge in itself. It forced me to look at the songs in a different way, the production, everything. These six songs needed to tell the whole story. The limitations I placed on the length made the process so much more imaginative in every other aspect.” “Start A War,” Strays In The Cut‘s first single possesses a somewhat stripped down, country and blues-leaning arrangement that’s roomy enough for Rose’s unhurried and expressive vocals. It’s a slow-burning and spectral ballad full of lingering ghosts of past relationships and lovers, past resentments and a past that routinely finds a way to poke its way through your present at a random moment. But the song does so with a quiet and understanding acceptance a a subtle sense of regret.