Rose Cousins (from the album Natural Conclusion)
A winter chill still claims the north in the Americas, and the darkness cast on the land from the skies above seeps into the mood and tone of Natural Conclusion, the recent release from Halifax, Nova Scotia citizen, Prince Edward Island-native Rose Cousins. The Joe Henry produced album hears Rose Cousins voice rise up with “Freedom” as somber chords and rhythms roll across the track. Piano notes usher in the sonic stretches of “Coda” as Rose Cousins whispers of a familiar journey of her heart. She quietly creates a foundation with the piano for the assured assertions of “Tender is the Man” as fingers pound out a slow dirge of shadows passing though “The Grate” and twinkle the air with black and white key notes to let them flicker around “Like Trees”.
Rose Cousins had a goal for her songwriting. Her plan was to connect with artists, producers, and musicians in a new way, new sounds with new people. She spent long hours with her photography, and for her co-write on the songs that became Natural Conclusion, she traveled to Nashville, Toronto, Ireland, Los Angeles, and Boston. For Rose, the time put into creativity was ‘liberating to spend a year making music that isn’t billed for me as an artist. Some for film, TV, or even for someone else to sing. Freeing to walk into a room as a writer. To wake up, have a morning, meet people, make something that didn’t exist, and get to bed at a decent time. Read more books. Creating feels like a good use of my time and this is the first time I’ve ever allowed it to be my focus, counterintuitive considering songs are what my career is built on. Songs and photographs have always explained better, what I mean and how I feel’. Album opener “Chosen” holds a mirror up to her decisions, realizing that the future trips in our heads can never really know where they will land. On a writing trip to Nashville, Rose partnered with Andrew Combs and producer Jeff Bowman, adopting a theme of Bluesy Roots Rock on a slow to mid-tempo groove with the results manifesting in the dark Americana of “Chains”. The relief that Rose Cousins experienced in the process of creation can be heard in the song results of Natural Conclusion within the airy audio expanse of “Grace”, written with Mark Erelli, the fluttering piano notes that wave over “White Flag”, and the firm grip of tough-edged jazz flavored beats in “Lock and Key”.