By Nic Sanderson

The three tracks on roses’ self-titled EP eloquently juxtapose a sense of longing with a sense of defeat. He produces a small, refined sound that calls to mind the feeling of sitting alone in a dark room and purging the burden of your own insecurities. It’s vulnerable and human to the point that it almost seems grotesque in a serene sort of way, like coming to terms with the disturbing nature of reality. It requires an uncommon form of courage to be able to find that vulnerability, reshape it into an accessible form, and then demonstrate it to other people.

“roses” is gentle and reserved. Limited instrumentally only to mostly unaffected guitar and occasional piano melodies that merely emphasize the most powerful phrases, it is dependent on vocal delivery. roses sings with a willowy frailty that shadows his strumming patterns like a thin trail of smoke. His relatively flexible rhythm gives room for embellishments and alterations to usher his expression through.

I saw roses perform a few weeks ago, somewhat incidentally. I had a lot on my mind at the time, so I was a bit distracted between sets. His performance was unassuming and almost introspective, but mesmerizing. My distant problems dissolved as I experienced a cathartic numbness fueled by his placidity. It was empowering in a way. Good for you, roses, for getting it out, and good for me for finding you.

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