Rosie June
Listening Post


4.0
excellent

Review

by Adrian Hertzberg CONTRIBUTOR (31 Reviews)
March 22nd, 2013 | 46 replies


Release Date: 03/09/2013 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Lush, hazy, captivating, and distinctly west coast.

Canada’s West Coast music scene has been experiencing some sort of revival lately. As local artists like Japandroids, White Lung, Hey Ocean!, Dan Mangan, and Mother Mother start to get more mainstream exposure, the international music community is beginning to take Vancouver (and its surrounding areas) seriously as a place that fosters new and exciting talent. The latest buzz-worthy album to come out of this scene is the debut album by Vancouver Island based songwriter Rosie June. Listening Post is a singer-songwriter album for the 21st century. Instead of simply carving a singular niche for herself and her music, Rosie June has demonstrated that she is comfortable with a number of different styles and approaches. This results in a complete listen overflowing with variety, which is immensely refreshing in a time where folk-centred singer-songwriters are a dime a dozen.

First and foremost, Rosie June is a singer and a lyricist, and Listening Post certainly plays to these strengths. The lyrical themes perfectly walk the fine line between cryptic and straight-forward, with just the right amount of reliability thrown into the mix. On ‘Feel Better,’ Rosie croons: “ There’s no way to tell / I couldn’t ask / Why you’re always hanging around / Why you’re always hanging around / The sound of your voice is trying to guess / guessing what you already know / guessing but you already know,” and it’s never quite clear what it is, exactly, that she’s on about. Nevertheless, it somehow draws you in and the emotional weight of the lyrics finds some way to tug at the heartstrings and have you rooting for the protagonist. There is an air of vulnerability on this record, though at the same time, it screams confidence.

What will most likely hook first-time listeners are the angelic vocals, and the care that they are treated with to bring a unique effect to each song. At times, they are layered in such a way that brings out previously hidden qualities, and creates a beautiful wall of dreamy noise. In this respect, sonically, this album could almost be compared to the bubbling dream-pop scene and bands like Wild Nothing or The Pains of Being Pure at Heart. The lush guitar tones and angelic layered vocals combine, at times, to create a sense of atmosphere that is hazy and completely engrossing. This is most noticeable on ‘Lion on Your Side,’ a definite highlight. The track starts as many on the album do: a solitary guitar line combined with Rosie’s signature dreamy vocals and a minimalistic, swelling synth line. As the track builds up, more instruments and layers are thrown into the mix, including a catchy drum beat, some glitchy electric guitar, a beautiful piano line, and much more. By the time the track reaches its climax, the listener is greeted with a cacophony of mesmerizing melody. Artists that can create this sort of captivating tonal quality are few and far between these days. It is worth mentioning here that this album is produced absolutely brilliantly (credit to the incredibly gifted Jonathan Evans here). Listening Post probably could have been released as a stripped-down, guitar and vocals affair, and it would have sounded just fine. However, the tracks are all treated with extreme attention to detail, and include the sorts of finishing touches that fans of huge-sounding, polished music will appreciate. Strings are used sparingly throughout the album, as are cymbal crashes, electric guitar effects, and numerous other perfectly picked bits of instrumental flair.

The music is hard to pigeonhole, genre-wise, which is one sign of a truly great album. Suffice it to say that Rosie June’s debut is an incredibly well-crafted, lush, dreamy soundscape of lyrically focussed indie-rock that represents the scene on the coast (and more specifically, Vancouver Island) very well. We are almost certainly sure to hear more from this rising star in the near future. For now, we have Listening Post which is an incredibly accomplished album, especially when you consider that this is her debut. As long as this young musician continues to evolve and perfect her enchanting sound, the future looks bright for Western Canada’s independent music scene.



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user ratings (7)
Chart.
3.8
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
Aids
Contributing Reviewer
March 21st 2013


23826 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

buy/stream/download: http://rosiejune.bandcamp.com/

vote for Rosie in "Searchlight" CBC's hunt for Canada's best new artist: http://music.cbc.ca/#/Searchlight

Tyrael
March 21st 2013


20877 Comments


Well

as much as I like the few songs that are available for streaming it doesn't look like I'll have the money to buy it any time soon so meh

no rating/endorsement from me

review is stellar, of course

Digging: Darkspace - Dark Space III I

foxblood
March 21st 2013


6797 Comments


looks cute, and i'm always down with dreamy stuff

Omaha
Staff Reviewer
March 21st 2013


10203 Comments


DAT SHINY NEW TAG! =]

Digging: The Contortionist - Language

mindleviticus
March 21st 2013


8229 Comments


Great review

Digging: Cultes Des Ghoules - Henbane

Jash
March 21st 2013


4244 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Awesome review man, gotta wait until I grab the vinyl at her release party till I hear the whole album but I know it'll be amazing. Can't wait to remix "Figure 8"

Aids
Contributing Reviewer
March 22nd 2013


23826 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

lol that's like the one picture of her ever and I think they just went "FUCK we need an album cover! whattya got?!"

Josh you're gonna love it. Figure 8, honestly, one of the weaker tracks. Go stream Lion on Your Side right now, that shit is next level. Also, Hey Stranger has Radiohead drums.

NeoSpaz
March 22nd 2013


4518 Comments


Great review Aids, I'll need to see if I can find this.

Jash
March 22nd 2013


4244 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

It's on her bandcamp page rosiejune.bandcamp.com

And I asked her to remix that track because the vocals in the chorus are just so catchy. Gonna get her to do vocals on a deep house track for the album it's gonna be sublime

Aids
Contributing Reviewer
March 22nd 2013


23826 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Oh nice I get you. Yeah you told me about that I think, gonna be the best thing ever probably.

Aids
Contributing Reviewer
March 22nd 2013


23826 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

the second half of Lion on Your Side jesussssssssssssss

fish.
Contributing Reviewer
March 22nd 2013


21964 Comments


Wait, so who is this?

Aids
Contributing Reviewer
March 22nd 2013


23826 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

a local musician that rules damn hard, you should check her out

SgtPepper
Staff Reviewer
March 22nd 2013


4424 Comments


Excellent work, mr. contributor.

ChuckGnarly
March 22nd 2013


8 Comments


Vancouver Island represent! Great to see some of the local talent featured here. The Archers debut should surely deserve the same attention when it's released.

fish.
Contributing Reviewer
March 22nd 2013


21964 Comments


So you know her?

Xenophanes
Emeritus
March 22nd 2013


10594 Comments


Ung so glad you got a promo

Digging: Grouper - Ruins

Typhoner
March 22nd 2013


852 Comments


She really looks a lot like the leader of the flemish liberal party...

Anyway, I liked her appearance on the intriket album, so I guess I'll have a listen, then.

Digging: Banks - Goddess

Jash
March 22nd 2013


4244 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

She's gonna be on my next album too ;)

Tyrael
March 22nd 2013


20877 Comments


'She really looks a lot like the leader of the flemish liberal party...'

omg yea



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