A QUINTESSENTIAL figure in indiepop throughout the '90s, Rose Melberg made a big name for herself (albeit modestly) amid the fanzine-reading, familial masses, lending a strong, knitted mitten-cozy hand in popularizing the scene and genre. As a part of Tiger Trap, Go Sailor, and the Softies, she coined her own brand of sweet-voiced, sincere, and charming songwriting, the influence of which is still present today.
Over the past five years, however, Rose has been absent (in all but spirit) from the world of independent music. Having started a family, she found her time understandably occupied. Luckily for us, however, she's managed to write and record a new album, Cast Away the Clouds.
Melberg's consistent subjects of love, longing, and heartbreak may be commonplace in popular music, but few artists are able to own them so completely. There's no drama in these songs, sad as they often are, aching and remembering better times. The rawness of emotion is somehow neutralized in the act of expression, the result coming out dreamy and peaceful. "Petals float just like summer snow/every blossom is an apple that will never grow."
A Rose Melberg song about the joy of falling in love sounds very much the same in tone and mood as a song about having one's heart broken, and this is because they are coming from the exact same place—the landscape of human emotion, the texture of life, and what it means to feel.
"A good songwriter is not so aware of the process," says Melberg. "I write in a really honest way; it's really confessional. I think it's important that an artist be sincere, because that's what people connect to... the fakers will be found out."
Cast Away the Clouds is life and love measured by seasons, and the listener experiences the songs like a rediscovered shoebox full of letters, nostalgic and pretty, despite whatever pain is present.