PHOTO CREDIT : VANESSA HEINS
Last month, Rose Cousins announced the details behind her upcoming album, Natural Conclusion, set for release on February 3 via Outside Music. Today, the JUNO Award winning songwriter premiered another track from the record via the airwaves on CBC’s q.
The song “Freedom” is "about the double edged sword of choice,” says Cousins. “How in order to have what you want you must often give something up. The title of the record comes from this song's bridge and I knew soon after writing ‘Freedom’ that Natural Conclusion would be the title as it revealed the common theme I kept running into. Acceptance, I suppose."
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.
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.
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.
Rose Cousins will take the road in support of Natural Conclusion in February, with more North American tour dates being added today. Full performance dates can be found 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
ROSE COUSINS TOUR DATES
9 Philadelphia PA - Ardmore Music Hall
12 Charleston WV - Culture Center Theater / Mountain Stage
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
23 Portsmouth NH - Press Room
24 Cambridge MA - Club Passim
25 Cambridge MA - Club Passim
26 Northampton MA - Iron Horse Music Hall
3 Ann Arbor MI - The Ark
10 Winnipeg MB - West End Cultural Centre / Winnipeg Folk Festival Presents
11 Regina SK - Artesian on 13th
12 Saskatoon SK - Broadway Theatre
16 Calgary AB - Ironwood Stage
17 St Albert AB - Arden Theatre
18 Victoria BC - St Ann’s Auditorium
19 Vancouver BC - Wise Hall / Vancouver Folk Music Festival Presents
22 Seattle WA - Triple Door
23 Sisters OR - Sisters HS Auditorium / Sisters Folk Festival Presents
26 San Francisco CA - Great American Music Hall
28 Los Angeles CA - Hotel Cafe
3 St John’s NL - LSPU Hall
5 Halifax NS - St Matthew's United Church
7 Moncton NB - Tide & Boar Ballroom
8 Charlottetown PEI - Confederation Center