PHOTO CREDIT : VANESSA HEINS
There are many turns along the journey of a heart breaking, mending and thriving again. Moments of sorrow, bareness, determination, courage, risk, restraint, and resilience. When acceptance finally appears, we arrive at what is and always would be a Natural Conclusion.
On her new album, Natural Conclusion, Rose Cousins steps boldly forward, a fully mature writer and artist in her next great stride. Cousins took a deliberate break from her active touring schedule and traveled to create – Toronto, Los Angeles, Boston, Nashville, Ireland. Her goal was to connect with artists, writers, and producers to make songs in new ways, new sounds with new people, not knowing where they would go and not needing to. Her catalogue and perspective expanded.
“It is liberating to spend a year making music that isn’t billed for me as an artist,” says Cousins. “Some for film, TV, or even for someone else to sing. Freeing to walk into a room as a writer. To wake up, have a morning, meet people, make something that didn’t exist and get to bed at a decent time. Read more books. Creating feels like a good use of my time and this is the first time I’ve ever allowed it to be my focus, counterintuitive considering songs are what my career is built on. Songs and photographs have always explained better, what I mean and how I feel.”
Natural Conclusion was conceived during that period, with first single and album opener “Chosen”leading the way. “I was having a solo introspective morning, attempting to sort a particular feeling. Looking for inner confidence and reassurance to move forward with what I'd set out to do personally and professionally. I think it's hard to be alive without accepting there are always questions in the passenger seat. We wish but can't ever know for sure how things will work out and that can feel uncomfortable and risky. The song reflects an honest and raw moment from inside this questioning and was the spark that made me think I could make another record.”
Due out on February 3 via Outside Music, Cousins enlisted Grammy Award winning producer Joe Henry for the recording of Natural Conclusion. “Joe is a poet, a thoughtful, contemplative writer,” says Cousins. “That poetry and thoughtfulness transfers to his approach in production. It’s about the right life for the song and the right musicians to make that happen.” She and Henry each gathered trusted colleagues and met in Toronto. Henry brought longtime collaborators from Los Angeles; Engineer Ryan Freeland, drummer Jay Bellerose, and bassist David Piltch, who collectively worked on many notable projects (Bonnie Raitt, Solomon Burke, Allen Toussaint, Billy Bragg).
Cousins invited Toronto pianist Aaron Davis (Holly Cole, Jane Siberry) and guitar player Gord Tough (Kathleen Edwards, Sarah Harmer); touring mates Asa Brosius (Anais Mitchell, Heavy Blinkers) from Halifax on pedal/lap steel and dobro, and Zachariah Hickman (Josh Ritter, Ray Lamontagne) from Boston on bass; friend and fellow PEIslander violin/violist Kinley Dowling (Hey Rosetta!) added strings and joined the choir that also included Hickman and longtime friends Jill Barber, Caroline Brookes (Good Lovelies), and Miranda Mullholland (Great Lake Swimmers).
“My goal was to be wide open emotionally,” says Cousins. “This band created a space for me to rise as a musician yet let me lead. Ultimately this is a record of performances, the moment, raw, vulnerable and real. I suppose not unlike the subject matter within.” The result is what Cousins calls “the most honest and vulnerable thing” she has made to date.
WATCH THE NATURAL CONCLUSION EPK HERE
PRE-ORDER NATURAL CONCLUSION HERE OR HERE
A native of Prince Edward Island, Rose Cousins lives in Halifax Nova Scotia. She deeply values being part of multiple music communities, and is constantly fueled by collaboration. Cousins’ 2012 album We Have Made A Spark celebrated her Boston community and featured a cast of musicians Cousins had known and played music with for a decade. It won a JUNO Award, 3 East Coast Music Awards, a Canadian Folk Music Award, was nominated for the Polaris Music Prize, and made picks/best of lists in USA Today, NPR Music, and Oprah Magazine. Her music has found its way into several TV shows including Grey's Anatomy.
Today, Rose Cousins has also announced the first wave of dates in support of Natural Conclusion. The tour will commence on February 14 and will take her coast to coast across Canada. All performances are listed below.
PRAISE FOR ROSE COUSINS
“Some voices hit you hard from first blush and this is one of them.” Exclaim!
“Stark, impeccably written songs … elegantly understated …” NOW Toronto
“achingly candid” USA Today
“It’s no wonder Cousins is the object of audience affection…” The Boston Globe
NATURAL CONCLUSION TRACKLIST
02 Like Trees
04 White Flag
06 The Grate
07 My Friend
08 Tender Is The Man
09 Lock And Key
ROSE COUSINS TOUR DATES
14 Paris ON - Dominion Telegraph
15 Kitchener ON - Centre in the Square
16 Toronto ON - The Great Hall / Massey Presents
17 Ottawa ON - Studio Theatre / National Arts Centre
18 Montreal QC - La Sala Rossa
22 New York NY - Rockwood Music Hall
24 Boston MA - Club Passim
25 Boston MA - Club Passim
3 Ann Arbor MI - The Ark
10 Winnipeg - West End Cultural Centre
11 Regina SK - Artesian
12 Saskatoon SK - Broadway Theatre
16 Calgary AB - Ironwood
17 St. Albert AB - Arden Theatre
18 Victoria BC – Ste Anne’s Auditorium
19 Vancouver BC - Wise Hall / Vancouver Folk Festival Presents
3 St John’s NL - LSPU Hall
5 Halifax, NS - St Matthew’s Church
7 Moncton NB - Tide & Boar Ballroom
8 Charlottetown PEI - Confederation Centre