Review: Rose Dorn – Days You Were Leaving

“Excuse me but I have to take a call outside / Joey or Jamie can stop me from crying”, Scarlett Knight sings on opener ‘Big Thunder’, in a line that mentions both her bandmates Joey Dalla Betta and Jamie Coster. That line is the Raison D’etre for Rose Dorn’s ‘Days You Were Leaving’, an album written about three friends’ undying love and support for one another. They write as a trio and experience life as a trio, unquestionably by the phone when a bandmate is struggling.

Their music sounds like a depressed trudge, their reverb-laden guitars and buried vocals reminiscent of Red House Painters’ slumberous malaise. What lies beneath though is unmistakably human, music that produces a concerned feeling in your stomach, that rush of empathy as if someone is in trouble nearby. That trouble they experience is normally the result of anxiety, “Got a compass in my chest and the needle’s freaking out” Knight sings on ‘Genius’, bemoaning her increase in heart-rate in social situations.

In each other though they’ve found a tonic to their anxiety. “I’m just a little obsessed with your not being upset” Coster sings on Heaven II, while ‘Deathwish’ sees them sing directly to each other, a common theme on ‘Days You Were Leaving’, “Did you hear me calling for you?”

The record’s second side is slightly more upbeat, with the jangly pop of ‘LRP’ providing needed respite and ‘Wish’ closing out the album in a more traditional indie sound. In all though, ‘Days You Were Leaving’ is a no holes barred declaration of love to one another. The album cover features the bandmates’ childhood stuffed animals—Joey’s bunny named “Bunny,” Scarlet’s horse named “Horsey,” and Jamie’s Zebra named “Zebu”—snuggled next to each other. As children they cuddled their toys when trouble raised its head, now as adults they turn to each other, and from that embrace comes something truly magical.

‘Days You Were Leaving’ is out now on Bar None Records

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