Rosewood Alley - debut EP
As we head into our mid year holiday, we're delighted to leave you all with another Nordic band releasing their debut EP, and as if often the case, there is a link to previous artists we've featured here at Nordic Music Review. Rosewood Alley are based around a duo (although other musicians are used on the EP), singer songwriter Amalie Karijord and none other than Herman Wildhagen, whom we've featured as a solo songwriter, and mentioned him in conjunction with the excellent Panda Panda.
Unusually we're quite up to date with this debut EP, as the official release is tomorrow 20th May, and it is a really interesting set of tracks, which has a few surprises along the way too. Their music is a blend of alternative folk, rock and blues influenced sounds, mostly pretty melancholy to be honest, but delivered in a forthright and in places quite gutsy style.
It opens with 'Black Hole' and the opening is introspective and intimate, but the track grows in intensity courtesy of the repeated lyrics, acoustic guitar line, subtle percussion and the crescendo in sound as the track reaches its climax. But there's a lovely floating and harmonised tune that carries the track forward too, and I think it all works really well. 'Curse' is the track that I first heard, and its a weighty bit of songwriting close to 5 1/2 minutes long, with exposed vocals in their element at the beginning, and again the track forcefully develops with a particularly impressive bass line and crashing percussion as it reaches the end of the track.
'Daylight' is a thumping and slightly unexpected song with Herman Wildhagen's guitar line a particular highlight, and there is a simmering anger sitting beneath the surface of the track. I'd expect this band to be particularly impressive live, as they have a natural energy and passion in their songwriting which I like. The concluding track 'My Devotion' shows it's blues influences at the start, and whilst it doesn't resonate quite as much as the first 3 tracks, it again maintains an intensity which keeps the track flowing to the end.
This is an impressive and quite raw debut from 'Rosewood Alley', with a natural cohesion between the 2 main songwriters, and a real depth of emotion in the songwriting, and particularly excellent use of each instrument to emphasise the spirit and feeling within the tracks. OK so it probably isn't the most 'polished' release you'll hear all year, but that's partly intentional, as the songs have a wildness to them which makes them sound quite different to other releases that I've heard recently. I really hope you find as much in the music as I have, feel free to check their Facebook site for more details on the release.
EP Artwork by Mira Wickman