Band: Rose Cousins
Label/Vertrieb: Outside Music / Bertus Musikvertrieb GmbH
Bravado is the sound of a heart trying to open. The LP explores the complication of emotion, its irrational tendencies and its wisdom. It invites us to feel the courage it takes to be vulnerable. It is a record for those who struggle with loneliness and those wishing they had more time alone. It’s for those attempting to make their hearts go in more than one direction and those trying to make it go in just one. It’s for those who present a version of themselves to the world that doesn’t quite match how they feel inside. It’s for those who feel misunderstood or unseen. It’s for those who have a hard time saying what they feel, who hide or can’t let themselves off the hook. It’s for those asking, 'is this it?' and questioning if the character they play in the movie of their lives is authentic or just a role they’ve accepted. It’s for those who have a hard time asking for help and for those desperate for and terrified of change.
"I think about how we're so disconnected,"says Cousins. "I get sucked into my phone and forget to go for a walk because of this sense of obligation that I have that convinces me to get as much work done as possible. It feels like we’re not connecting in person as much as we used to and that we may be the loneliest we've ever been. We're missing what's actually happening, like, the earth being on fire. We get caught in the spin of comparing our lives to social media depictions, false standards of a good life. I’ve been thinking about how we must be getting close to a breaking point."
For Cousins, this chapter is a personal and professional metamorphosis. She is in the producer chair, applying her years of experience, trusting her own ear and pulling thoughtfully from her network of talented colleagues.
"I booked some studio days in February with the intention of making a single and working with some Toronto based musicians I’d always wanted to including Joshua Van Tassel on drums, Robbie Grunwald on keys, Brian Kobayakawa on bass, Dean Drouillard on electric guitars and with Chris Stringer as engineer. Soon after, I realized I was chasing a theme and a feeling I’d been pondering for months and it turned into a whole record of, perhaps, my best writing."
The record is flanked by two distinct renditions of the same song, "The Benefits of Being Alone" and "The Reprise" reinforcing the record's examination of emotional duality. Though the journey starts in Bravado’s swagger, it asks us to pause at tracks like "The Fraud" and "The Time Being (Impending Mortality Awareness Society)", reminding and inviting us to be honest and present. The album lifts to its highest level of hope and most pop production in "The Return (Love Comes Back)", exploiting Cousins' collaborative nature as an international choir of friends joins in at the end. "The Lullaby (My Oldest Love)" written with Tim Baker (Hey Rosetta!), touches the desperate need for affirmation, "The Benediction (A Good Woman)", a yearning for acceptance.
Recently, Rose Cousins shared her version of Prince’s classic, "I Would Die 4 U", recorded together with Bear’s Den and Christof van der Ven while all were serendipitously in Toronto on a day off from tour.
Cousins' last project, Natural Conclusion, received notable acclaim, including a nomination for a 2018 Grammy Award, a nomination for Songwriter of the Year award at the 2018 JUNO Awards, and three wins at the East Coast Music Awards. Cousins also writes for film and TV and her songs have appeared on the programs Grey's Anatomy, Supergirl, Reign, and Nashville, among others. She has shared stages with heroic songwriters such as Patty Griffin, Shawn Colvin, Lori McKenna, Mary Chapin Carpenter, Jann Arden, and Ron Sexsmith.
01 The Benefits of Being Alone
02 The Expert
03 The Agreement
04 The Fraud
05 The Time Being (Impending Mortality Awareness Society)
06 The Din
07 The Return (Love Comes Back)
08 The Swimmer (To Be an Old Man)
09 The Lullaby (My Oldest Love)
10 The Benediction (A Good Woman)
11 The Reprise (The Benefits of Being Alone)
PRAISE FOR ROSE COUSINS
"The simplicity of these songs is deceiving; as sparse as they feel, her voice draws you in until you realize you are at the heart of the storm" - The Guardian
"deeply caresses her exquisite vocals through a dozen songs that form an exploratory, intimate meditation on the mysteries of being human" - LA Times
"When Rose Cousins sings she soars and swoops, never to show off but always in service to the song" - The Washington Post
"hazily atmospheric and strikingly intimate" - Montreal Gazette
"Rose Cousins strips songs to their pointed and somber essence" - The Philadelphia Inquirer
"an emotional landscape full of beauty and conquest" - No Depression
"intimate, acoustic and beautiful" - Exclaim!