The lyrics of “California One/Youth and Beauty Brigade” from The Decemberists’ debut album set the scene for our introduction to this new artist. “Take a long drive with me / on California One / from Golden Gate to roaring cliff-side” calls to mind picturesque vistas while driving on that famed stretch along the California coastline. The highway cuts through the small seaside town of Stinson Beach, which happens to be the hometown of emerging singer/songwriter Rose Paradise.
When we first heard her music, we wondered if perhaps she had been inspired by that song during a long drive herself. Then we realized this new talent was born a year after The Decemberists recorded their Cutouts and Castaways album, so she isn’t old enough to drive yet.
That’s right: Rose Paradise is barely a teenager, and she already has two albums in her discography. The thirteen-year-old multi-instrumentalist released her debut LP in 2014; her latest, Bloom, is out tomorrow. It further explores the themes she knows and loves: nature and the beauty found in its elements.
Growing up along an idyllic California beach has given young Rose an exposure to ample sunshine. Its brightness and energy feature prominently on this album of piano-focused indie pop. With crystalline vocals and poetic lyrics, Rose Paradise seems poised to join the pantheon of her female pianist/singer predecessors. The music here has the playfulness of Fiona Apple or Regina Spektor while her vocals (especially her falsetto on the second track, “Mountainside”) are reminiscent of Sara Bareilles or Sharon Van Etten. She even tips her hat to an icon of female singers with her cover of Stevie Nicks’ “Wild Heart.”
The album’s standout track, “Sand and Snow”, shimmers with delicate strings and breezy vocals. Just as sun rays dance across water, this song floats with a graceful, mellow warmth. Its extended length (7:28) makes it ideal for long sunset drives along any scenic route, no matter how far you might be from California One. Rose Paradise finds inspiration in her surroundings and that harmony with nature is evident in her songs. The 13 tracks on Bloom (one for each year of her life) were recorded at Panorama House north of San Francisco where My Morning Jacket recorded their latest album, The Waterfall. The scenic beauty surrounding the recording studio was a perfect fit for Rose Paradise, the new voice of California’s youth and beauty brigade.
Bloom is available April 15 from iTunes. You can follow Rose Paradise at her social media links below.
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