Beautifully Crafted Sad and Brittle Modern Folk Songs.
Susanna Rose is actually from Rochester in New York State and wrote her first song in London, England, but if I didn’t know any better I would have guessed she was a key part of the burgeoning Canadian music scene; such is the haunting quality of this; her second album.
The mood is set from the beginning of opening track Working Girl; when Susanna virtually sighs her way through the story of a young woman doing ‘the right thing’ by getting an office job that wears away at her soul and leaves her exhausted; both physically and mentally.
Rose’s deceptively complex ‘rolling’ guitar work that interplays with Gabe Schliffer’s moving violin make for a very atmospheric opening.
I guess if one song was to some up the album, it would be the title track Snowbound which was written, alongside all the other songs during the long, cold winter of 2015. Susanna’s voice still sounds tired but with a warmth that comes from deep inside the heart; as she pours her heart out over a backing that builds and builds until…..well you will have to listen for yourself.
Susanna Rose has a canny way with words and her guitar; which is why songs like Lullaby and Benediction make this album stand out like a bright red poppy in a very crowded field.
If you listen carefully there are two very brave songs here.
Ancient History deals with the intimacy and heartbreak you get in families; but very few people can put into words; and the other is my favourite song here, and one that both made me smile and actually brought a tear to my eye when I listened on headphones.
“The marriage of the man I used to love/of the man I used to love” opens Old Broken Heart and while you will know what’s coming; but Susanna’s totally open hearted story of an affair with a married man will tear at your heartstrings and have you mentally shouting….”Run, Susanna….Run…leave him.” But life and emotions aren’t that simple, as she sadly explains in line after line.
For what it’s worth this is a really, really good album with that one totally outstanding song that deserves not only to be heard, but to win Awards when that time of year comes around.
Released North America January 2016
Released UK & Europe May 1st 2016