While My Father Sleeps
Park The Van
This, the latest from Washington band Oh, Rose, is a fascinating – catchy-af – album of songs about lead singer Olivia Rose coping with the 2017 death of her mother. We know this right from the opener, 25, Alive which bursts from the speakers in a crunch of guitar riff to start with an implied question, “Am I strong enough to tell my truth”, before the title’s age and status is announce and then a suggestion of anger. This is hooky, tuneful and there’s a sorrow to the refrain, “I don’t want to feel anger anymore” as much as there’s a hope of acceptance.
That sentiment continues throughout – with impassioned vocals – making this one of the least wallowing of “death” albums; this is about working through grief, channeling, professing. At one point (Baby) there’s even a hark back to John Lennon’s Plastic Ono Band techniques, even if it arrives more via The Julie Ruin than anything Beatle-esque.
Believe It is a power-pop anthem the likes of what The New Pornographers have pumped out for two decades now, same with Easy – the first real album highlight. And in fact this maybe sounds like what the Pornographers would if it was just Neko Case at the helm rather than A.C. Newman.
Elsewhere on this choppy, rather brilliant set of pop songs there are bits of Hole (Phoenix) and a lot of this takes the shape of an American version of Florence + The Machine; which is to link to a lead singer putting both their name in the band’s title and their heart on the line.
By the time of closer, Be Kind To Me, I can hear some of the vibe of Kirstin Hersh. Which is a Joni Mitchell-level comparison for this type of music.
A great wee album this. Well worth finding and hearing.
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