August 14, 2017

EP: Rose Dorn - Speak Later

Rose Dorn's debut EP is easy to get lost in.

Rose Dorn, a four-piece band from Los Angeles, state their presence quietly but firmly with their new EP, Speak Later. The release is a combo of all your favorite things — country twang, shoegaze sensibilities, and bedroom pop brazenness. Rose Dorn’s songs are well-suited to their length—running each between four and five minutes—as their hazy, cycling rhythms are easy to get lost in and difficult to get bored of. Speak Later kicks off with “Dirt,” a lackadaisical tune that builds on the current trend of country/folk-influenced indie rock with its slow, loping beat.

Songwriters Scarlet Knight, Joey Dalla Betta, and Jamie Coster deliver poignant and image-packed content throughout the EP, and “Dirt” is no exception, with lyrics that paint a bittersweet and biting snapshot of a shaky romantic relationship. The protagonist in “Dirt” sings about liking their significant other’s dog more than the actual person, and track two, humorously titled “Goodboy,” continues the theme of canine imagery in Rose Dorn’s music: the song opens with the words “it’s a dead dog, pawin’ at your door / The joke isn’t funny anymore.” The chilled-out Title Fight vibes are periodically interrupted by small dissonances and crunchy solo guitar. It’s a step down in energy from “Dirt,” but “Goodboy” doesn’t feel less passionate—and the last track on Speak Later, “Heaven,” is even slower, and perhaps the most blatant display of artistry on the release. Phil Hartunian, engineer of the EP, makes subtle appearances with an infectious bass lick. The entrance of the diaphanous second vocal line is reminiscent of a sob-worthy Slowdive song; its simple, two-note melodic ahhs are refreshing and surprisingly gorgeous. The highlight of the song comes when that vocalist proclaims “I’d drown all my sins in you” in a sudden vacuum of instrumental silence, and then a wave of gnarly shoegaze guitars crashes down as both singers chant, “I’d never dream again for you / I’d follow you to heaven and I’d fall back down to earth for you.”


Listen to Rose Dorn on bandcamp.

Jess is a college student from Nashville living in NYC. She enjoys February, tape hiss, and peanut butter cups. Find her tweeting self-consciously here.