Esther Rose - Tara MacLean - Pieta Brown & JT Bates

Esther Rose - Safe To Run.

Esther Rose will release Safe to Run April 21, 2023 via New West Records. The 11-track set was produced by Ross Farbe in New Orleans, LA and Placitas, NM and is the follow up to 2021’s acclaimed How Many Times. Alongside longtime collaborators Farbe and Lyle Werner, Safe to Run also features the New Orleans based band Silver Synthetic on many songs, Cameron Snyder of The Deslondes, as well as Alynda Segarra of Hurray for the Riff Raff on the title track.

Yesterday, the video for “Safe to Run” featuring Alynda Segarra was released. The song is a gorgeous duet that directly merges the personal with the global, superimposing feelings of spiritual displacement onto the larger, looming dread of climate grief. Rose says, "Sonically, Ross and I threw every idea we had on this song and it absorbed everything as if it were just this mega-powerful container. We built so many layers into the outro. I love Ross’s counter-melody on the Mellotron and the high-pitched 1-note synth drone which he refers to as ‘the angels.’ Nick Cohon, of Bay Area death metal band Cormorant, brought the doom by arranging the ascending guitar outro. It was so meaningful to collaborate with Alynda Segarra and to hear the song start to fly. Alynda’s voice is this expertly tuned muscle; when they sing, you feel everything."

Safe to Run is the quiet culmination of years spent fully immersed in a developing artistry, and presents Rose’s always vividly detailed emotional scenes with new levels of clarity and control. Her songwriting transfigures the chaos and uncertainty of a life in progress, but here she introduces a newfound pop element that attaches unshakably catchy hooks to even the darkest stretches of the journey. The album’s production takes a giant step forward. Across all of the tracks, the open-air, live-in-the-room sound she tended towards in the past was exchanged for an exploration of multitracking and overdubs.

Rose previously shared the Joshua Shoemaker-directed video for the album’s first single, “Chet Baker.” Of the song, she says, “Someone sent me a DM, asking ‘do you remember me.’ I was transported into a decade-old memory; a weird weekend with a crew of dangerous college preps, a car crash. What came out is this short study of my townie life in Ann Arbor. As I was writing this song, it occurred to me how lucky I was to have survived that time of willful recklessness. I wanted to empathize with my younger self, like, ‘it’s alright, you were 23. You were out of control. I got you now. You’re okay.’”


Tara MacLean - Let Her Feel The rain.

Renowned Canadian singer-songwriter, Tara MacLean, wrote “Let Her Feel The Rain” following a breakup at the age of 19 which was deeply affecting.

“I noticed that I felt numb, and I went and laid outside on the grass at night in the rain, and just let it fall on me. I just needed to feel it, to feel the pain, and then let the rain wash it away. And it did. I wrote this song when I came inside, still wet and muddy. This was the song that made me realize that music was going to save my life,” explains MacLean.

Decades later, MacLean has reimagined the song with layered background vocals and strings evocative of the lush environment which she calls home in the Pacific Northwest.

“In so many ways the song is about rebirth,” says MacLean. When it came time to shoot the video for “Let Her Feel The Rain,” MacLean returned to her ‘nest’ on Salt Spring Island to perform the song, complete with hair and makeup done by her children.

“Let Her Feel The Rain” is taken from Tara MacLean’s upcoming new album, Sparrow, released on March 31st. Reimagining 10 tracks from her catalogue, the album is the companion soundtrack to Song of the Sparrow, MacLean’s debut memoir with HarperCollins which is out now, exploring the transformative power of music in her life.


Pieta Brown & JT Bates - In This World / Thing or 2.

Beloved singer/songwriter Pieta Brown and acclaimed drummer and producer JT Bates (Bonny Light Horseman, Big Red Machine, Taylor Swift) have teamed up for a new pair of singles titled “In This World” and “Thing or 2.” Out now through Righteous Babe Records, the tracks were mixed by Tucker Martine (Madison Cunningham, Calexico, My Morning Jacket) and mastered by Huntley Miller (The Cactus Blossoms, Sylvan Esso, Bon Iver).

After leaving the road suddenly last year due to an unexpected shoulder complication that prevented Brown from touring for a while, Bates reached out and offered a much welcomed distraction in the form of new song collaborations while healing up at home. “Making these pieces with JT was another musical and production experiment that I learned so much from,” stated Brown. “I'm still mesmerized by how these songs I had already written with my guitar could morph so fluidly into these other sonic realms. It was fun to play the Casio, and to really explore how to sing these songs without my guitar. As a singer I love experimenting with phrasing - the subtlest shifts can make such a difference. One slur and breath and suddenly it all works. JT and I have an on-going musical chemistry that I'm not sure either of us really understands, but is what allows for our spontaneous remote collaborations to happen, without ever feeling distant.”

While the two new singles sound very much like Brown, with no guitars in the mix her voice and melodies shine in a new way. On “In This World,” an ambient hook-driven Kate Bush-esque folk-pop song, she delivers a deceptively simple lyric with her quintessential blend of emotion and irony: “Days where roads are endless dark / Nights, I could just fall apart / In these cities, old and new / Far far away from the morning dew / Oh I'd do anything in this world for you / Anything in this world for you…”

“The essence of ‘In This World’ for me is this feeling of ‘push and pull,’” she continued. “So often I feel like I would do anything in this world for the people I love. But then some days I can't even find time or space to answer a simple text message from a friend. The push of the isolating hyperspeed at which we are all receiving information. The pull of this energy I get from feeling I would do anything in this world for the ones I love.”

On “Thing Or 2,” Bates’ mastery of rhythm and electronic layering provides a stunning backdrop for Brown’s deeply moving performance that spotlights her unique and powerful use of vocal phrasing. Drifting into almost jazz territory, influences like Weather Report, Joni Mitchell, and Bill Frisell can be felt throughout the track.