Essential New Music: Rosali’s “Out Of Love”

rosali

Loving me, you or anyone is tricky and nonlinear. So Out Of Love, as an album title, is an abject (if commanding) lie that draws attention, then fakes us out. The debut from Philadelphia’s Rosali Middleman bisects romance—ups, downs, outs—wearily and gorgeously. Though her default genres are country and folk, sinuous, Fleetwood Mac-indebted pop informs this Love, most notably on “Hangin,” where transitions between chord changes shimmer or vanish.

The spent, spare “Your Song” settles its emotional accounts with acoustic bass and vocals that scale beyond the clouds. “Black As Ashes” drowns its pathos in clipped, strummed swarms. On “Blind Bird,” Middleman interestingly complicates a hunk of prime Nashville bubblegum, her que sera, sera nonchalance colliding with a fear of herself. “Alone in this life, I’m free/Alone in this life, nobody but me,” she asserts on “Alone In This,” making a breakup’s aftermath sound like the most thoughtful, unrequested gift anyone could ever hope to receive.

—Raymond Cummings

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