Esther Rose will release Safe to Run on April 21st 2023. The 11-track set was produced by Ross Farbe in New Orleans, LA and Placitas, NM and is the follow up to 2021’s How Many Times. Alongside longtime collaborators Farbe and Lyle Werner, Safe to Run also features the New Orleans based band Silver Synthetic on many songs, Cameron Snyder of The Deslondes, as well as Alynda Segarra of Hurray for the Riff Raff on the title track.
Now, the video for “Safe to Run” featuring Alynda Segarra has been released. The song is a gorgeous duet that directly merges the personal with the global, superimposing feelings of spiritual displacement onto the larger, looming dread of climate grief. Rose says, “Sonically, Ross and I threw every idea we had on this song and it absorbed everything as if it were just this mega-powerful container. We built so many layers into the outro. I love Ross’s counter-melody on the Mellotron and the high-pitched 1-note synth drone which he refers to as ‘the angels.’ Nick Cohon, of Bay Area death metal band Cormorant, brought the doom by arranging the ascending guitar outro. It was so meaningful to collaborate with Alynda Segarra and to hear the song start to fly. Alynda’s voice is this expertly tuned muscle; when they sing, you feel everything.”
Safe to Run is the quiet culmination of years spent fully immersed in a developing artistry, and presents Rose’s always vividly detailed emotional scenes with new levels of clarity and control. Her songwriting transfigures the chaos and uncertainty of a life in progress, but here she introduces a newfound pop element that attaches unshakably catchy hooks to even the darkest stretches of the journey. The album’s production takes a giant step forward. Across all of the tracks, the open-air, live-in-the-room sound she tended towards in the past was exchanged for an exploration of multitracking and overdubs.
After spending her formative years in Michigan, Rose relocated to New Orleans and got her start in music while awash in the unparalleled energy of the city’s scene. Over the course of her first three records, an infatuation with traditional country gradually evolved into a more distinctive style and increasingly personal material. Rose’s music traced her changes as she moved through stages, studios, and home addresses, and she eventually left New Orleans for Santa Fe, New Mexico where the two year writing process for Safe to Run unfolded. Making the transition to this new environment after spending the better part of a decade building a life somewhere else demanded looking around and taking stock.
Making the leap from the comfortable to the unknown defines every aspect of the album. All the heaviness, sweetness, levity, and self-discovery that had led up to that point began funneling into new songs that moved slower in order to dig deeper. Rose says, “My challenge every time I picked up the pen was: not another heartbreak song, look around you. Writing from depths never explored and feeling sometimes like I was losing my mind, a softness unfurled. I’ve moved out of a chaotic, transitional place. I’m not running anymore. This album feels different to me than everything I’ve made before it. But who knows? I’ve traded hurricanes for wildfires.”
Safe to Run tracklisting…
- Chet Baker
- Safe to Run (feat. Hurray For The Riff Raff)
- St. Francis Waltz
- New Magic II
- Dream Girl
- Levee Song
- Full Value
- Arm’s Length