According to the press release, “there are many moments, memories, people, and places stretched across Alex Rose’s Arcadian Pages. The debut album from the Los Angeles-born, Austin-raised
musician is a project four years in the making; an intimate and evocative collection of mental snapshots, born in homes, houses, cars, and hotels spanning from Washington to New York to Texas and California.” Certainly, for a first album, it’s an adventurous and (at times) daring collection of songs.
Starting with an acapella opening for most of the track “Ty”, you immediately are drawn in by Ms. Rose’s voice – there are no distractions and it’s a warm, embracing and genuinely sweet sound which is infiltrated a little more than halfway through by random (yet fitting) guitar twangs and notes – no chords or “accompaniment”, which – again – is a daring moment. “Elephant Eyes” is also restrained but has delicious harmonies and stark guitar/bass/percusssion/keyboard accompaniment – the production has very little gate on her voice, leaving it pure and effect-free and the “band” sound is live; “A Gun Called Patience” is haunting, with guitar and (what sounds like) violin scratching-interplay and soundscapes; certainly the most powerful piece on the album and “Howling Wolves” is another spacious piece with intricately quiet guitar, intermittent harmonies and is the other high moment of this collection.
All in all, a fine and ponderous debut effort, which I like. I always appreciate when you have to think about what you’re listening to, rather than always being automatically presented with an “obvious” lyric, etc. Her voice is captivating and I would hope that on her next release, she can elevate what she’s done here to even greater effect.
Arcadian Pages is currently available