Alexa Rose has the rare ability to find strikingly original melodies that nevertheless sound like they must have existed for a long time, stored away maybe in the ether of creativity, self-evident and awaiting discovery. Moving deftly between complex dexterity and heart-tugging familiarity, Rose achieves a sound that pushes gently alongside the bright vocal experimentalism of Joni Mitchell and Joanna Newsom while maintaining the brassy attitude and simple refrains that run straight through American roots music from mountain ballads to rock n roll.
Rose spent her formative years curating original music in the Blue Ridge, releasing two albums in her early twenties. You can often catch her sporting her dusty Frye boots in some southern lagoon, or on the regional radio stations that spin her latest full-length release, “Low and Lonesome.” Written on a hand me down guitar from her mother, the title track is a toast to Rose’s heritage, and its anthem-like chorus haunts the listener with a somberness evocative of Gillian Welch.
Amidst the sea of earnestly soft-sung songs on the Americana circuit, Rose’s voice stands out with depth and complexity, capable of gymnastic yodels and deep resonance. Rose’s sound evokes the likes of Hurray for the Riff Raff and Margo Price, but she cultivates her own hard-working perspective without imitation or posturing. What separates her from the crowd is a tangible, relatable sense of hunger and realism about the sacrifices of the road, the elusiveness of fulfillment, and the bittersweetness of dreams.