Rose Cousins releases her new album
For her new album, Natural Conclusion, Rose Cousins took a deliberate break from her active touring performance schedule. Instead she traveled to create. Her goal was to connect with artists, writers, and producers to make songs in new ways, new sounds with new people, not knowing where they would go and not needing to.
“It is liberating to spend a year making music that isn’t billed for me as an artist,” says Cousins. “Some for film, TV, or even for someone else to sing. Freeing to walk into a room as a writer. To wake up, have a morning, meet people, make something that didn’t exist and get to bed at a decent time. Read more books. Creating feels like a good use of my time and this is the first time I’ve ever allowed it to be my focus, counterintuitive considering songs are what my career is built on. Songs and photographs have always explained better, what I mean and how I feel.”
Natural Conclusion was conceived during that period, with first single and album opener “Chosen” leading the way. “I was having a solo introspective morning, attempting to sort a particular feeling. Looking for inner confidence and reassurance to move forward with what I’d set out to do personally and professionally. I think it’s hard to be alive without accepting there are always questions in the passenger seat. We wish but can’t ever know for sure how things will work out and that can feel uncomfortable and risky. The song reflects an honest and raw moment from inside this questioning and was the spark that made me think I could make another record.”
Due out on February 3 via Outside Music, the new album is produced by Grammy Award winning producer Joe Henry. She and Henry each gathered trusted colleagues and met in Toronto. Henry brought longtime collaborators from Los Angeles; Engineer Ryan Freeland, drummer Jay Bellerose, and bassist David Piltch, who collectively worked on many notable projects (Bonnie Raitt, Solomon Burke, Allen Toussaint, Billy Bragg).
Cousins invited Toronto pianist Aaron Davis (Holly Cole, Jane Siberry) and guitar player Gord Tough (Kathleen Edwards, Sarah Harmer); touring mates Asa Brosius (Anais Mitchell, Heavy Blinkers) from Halifax on pedal/lap steel and dobro, and Zachariah Hickman (Josh Ritter, Ray Lamontagne) from Boston on bass; friend and fellow PEIslander violin/violist Kinley Dowling (Hey Rosetta!) added strings and joined the choir that also included Hickman and longtime friends Jill Barber, Caroline Brookes (Good Lovelies), and Miranda Mullholland (Great Lake Swimmers).
“Cousins says, “This band created a space for me to rise as a musician yet let me lead. Ultimately this is a record of performances, the moment, raw, vulnerable and real. I suppose not unlike the subject matter within.”
A native of Prince Edward Island, Rose Cousins lives in Halifax Nova Scotia. Cousins’ 2012 album We Have Made A Spark won a JUNO Award, 3 East Coast Music Awards, a Canadian Folk Music Award, was nominated for the Polaris Music Prize, and made picks/best of lists in USA Today, NPR Music, and Oprah Magazine. Her music has found its way into several TV shows including Grey’s Anatomy.
Rose Cousins will perform in Charlottetown April 8 at Confederation Centre of the Arts.