Esther Rose’s music takes us on a journey through places, experiences, and moments through country indie-pop numbers. She has the sensational ability to build a world around you through song, a world that’s warm and inviting and feels like home. Listening to her music is like stopping at a friend’s house out in the country while you’re on a long road trip, and together you’re enjoying a cup of coffee and a chat out on the front porch. You feel like you can relax and breathe and really, truly enjoy the scenery around you.
Rose’s music has an uplifting tone that you can’t help but get up on your feet and dance to. Songs like “Handyman” and “Starting Over” lift your spirit with their bright and cheerful rhythms, while other songs like “Don’t Blame It on the Moon” and “My Favorite Mistake” have a more subtle, soothing tone with slower rhythms and quieter strength. One thing stays steady throughout, though, and that’s the use of classic country instruments like the fiddle, which is without a doubt her most prominent instrument in every song.
Her latest single, “Keeps Me Running,” follows the pattern of the upbeat, dancy kind of the songs. The fiddle begins the song loud and clear, accompanied by a hearty guitar strum and the pulse of a box drum. A steady and striking melody commences. Rose’s sweet, bouncy, bright voice comes in to begin painting a picture of a cozy campfire.
Strike a match and watch it burn
Now every single match will get a turn
First the smoke then flame appears
I can feel the fire drawing near
The concept is so simple yet it feels as though there is a hidden message deeply embedded in Rose’s jaunty tune.
You’re going but you got nowhere to go
Walk the streets, you’re nowhere bound
Like the king of the underground
There’s an essence of independence to the song, or perhaps, loneliness? Like the singer is attempting to convince herself that she only needs the comfort and energy of a fire to keep going, but the truth is the fire needs someone too to stay alive. There’s a compelling juxtaposition happening, as the tone of the music and the tone of the lyrics almost counteract. There’s a hope from the bounce and spirit of the sound while the words grasp for it, eliciting this fascinating food-for-thought moment of whether fire and wind is enough for us to keep moving forward, or do we need something more?
That’s the beauty of Rose’s music: deep in the crevices of the liveliness and energy and innocence of the country sounds lie hidden meanings and emotions. Blink, and you’ll miss it. It’s enough to enjoy a brisk once-through, but the more you listen and the deeper you contemplate, there’s so much more there. Rose wants you to experience the magic and familiarity along with her, and she does an exceptional job at pulling that off.