Read a profile on Meghan Rose here.
Sample the album and videos here.
The CD Release event for In Your Bones is Friday, February 13 at the Inferno with DJ Wyatt Agard, Les Cougars Burlesque, German Art Students and Modern Mod.
Meghan Rose has been blowing through Madison like a hurricane, leaving music fans devastated whether it’s with Damsel Trash, I Saw the Creature, Little Red Wolf or now as a solo artist. This debut release tears through its eleven tracks with substance, variety and a whole lotta chutzpah. The songs are gutsy, catchy as hell and damn sexy. In addition to hauling fellow musical warrior Emily Mills across the Canadian border to record In Your Bones, Rose “kidnapped” I Saw the Creature guitarist Jake Ripp-Dieter who turns in several strong performances.
Despite her cred, obvious talent and professional drive, In Your Bones surprised on several counts. The album was produced by Darryl Neudorf who has worked with the biggest Canadian acts in contemporary music and recent indie rock including the Sadies, Neko Case and the New Pornographers. Neudorf was himself a drummer and the drum tracks, played by Emily Mills, sound extraordinary. Rose, who is primarily a bassist in most of her musical roles but is in fact a classically trained pianist, turns in some really cool keyboard tracks. The compositions are also remarkable; well-written, arranged and performed. But beyond all that there are the vocal performances by Rose who growls, croons, screams and harmonizes with orgasmic results.
The title track opens the album with a roar; a taut and punchy track ready for radio play with Ripp-Dieter’s electrifying guitar solo recalling a Presence-era Jimmy Page if he were playing in Hole. Rose plays some equally hot keyboards while Mills’ drum break brings the song down, only to build it back into a rousing buildup to the final chorus before it comes to a screeching halt. Awesome. More, please. And Rose does bring more, the next three tracks kicking similar ass. “I Don’t Care if You Love Me” is a declaration of independence, Rose screaming the refrain and launching the song into the stratosphere. Hints of Fiona Apple show up in “Under Your Foot,” the emphasis moving to piano, with Ripp-Dieter tossing off a spooky, tremelo-ridden solo. One of the jewels on this recording, “Blood is so Thick” heats its detuned Nirvana vibe into a boil with Rose’s vocals building into another blissful crescendo. Like “I Don’t Care if You Love Me,” there is a recurring theme of independence and breaking free of family suppositions. Rose is living dangerously in the lyrics which occupy a place where “things are not going to be okay.”
In Your Bones is nearly a tale of two albums and as things progress the songs turn increasingly to keyboards and atmospherics. “Can’t Stay” is highly evocative of Neko Case, a poppier approach with some cool chord changes, an infectious chorus and a nice slide guitar solo. From here the recording gets a lot more introspective. “Brick by Brick” is a harmony vocal exercise with intriguing intervals, Rose accompanied only by a fingerpicked electric guitar and a beautiful bowed bass solo from Ripp-Dieter. I’ve always loved the sound of a voice harmonizing with itself, a technique that Kate Bush, Jane Siberry and Neko Case do so well. Here Rose’s voice is sublime, the results rising to Beatle-esque stature. “Spare Time” is dreamy and reflective, breaking the seven-minute mark, demonstrating that Rose can go deep when the sentiment calls for it. A glorious exercise in indie-rock, the Sonic Youth-inspired tail end of the song is a cacophony of electricity and raw nerves. “Belong to Me” is a sizzling torch song that emphasizes Rose’s absolutely mental vocal abilities and her classical training. “I’m an orphaned wolf in a friendly pack / I’m an experiment strapped to a rocket / And you’re just a baby next to a dangerous socket / The lonely love to lie and I’m spying on you / I lie awake in your sweet arms but you do not belong to me,” Rose croons in a sultry voice while Mills’ brush work haunts the tune in the background. “Déjà Vu” is such a pretty slice of indie pop you almost forget about the possessed screamer that opened the album. Ripp-Dieter cuts loose in the coda, bringing this incredible work to a lofty close. An instrumental reprise of “Can’t Stay” is all that’s left, a meditative study of piano and guitar harmonics complete with the sounds of Ontario backyard wildlife.
It’s startling that this entire album was recorded in a mere ten days in Neudorf’s Operation Northwoods Studio in Mono, Ontario in November of 2013. Why Rose waited nearly a year-and-a-half to release this exceptional piece of work is a mystery but Madison has another young star itching to break out. Smart, strong, poised, delicate and roaring, In Your Bones will certainly be one of the year’s prominent local recordings and should propel the tornado that is Meghan Rose straight outta here. In Your Bones has set the bar this early in 2015, vaulting into the Madison consciousness and perching very high in the pecking order of one of the best recordings to come out of this city.