Rosie Carney
I dreamed I was the night ep
Color Study/Ultra Records

A cliché but still how it happened: Anglo-Irish singer-songwriter Rosie Carney was ‘discovered’ as a ‘revelation’ at the tender age of 16 courtesy RTÉ’s Other Voices talent TV show, and was signed to a major shortly thereafter. A tempestuous relationship developed between the artist the label, with the latter attempting to turn a startlingly deep talent into a pop hit maker. Thankfully for all of us, their efforts failed, and what is left is the breathtaking talent that is Rosie Carney. At the age of 20, Carney released her debut solo album Bare to critical acclaim, and her latest EP, I dreamed i was the night, continues to build what will surely be an extensive career well worth watching.

When I look at you’ begins as a seemingly simple folk song of guitar, voice, and piano, yet the song’s inherent texture appears if one takes another rewarding listen. Texture and exquisite instrumentation develop as the song progresses – a low hum of organ, flutes, a twinkle of piano and strings; all of which match beautifully with the lyrics, that recount the end of an affair of the heart where impossible love still lingers for both parties. Despite what one might consider a typical songwriting theme, Carney’s interior world is far richer than most, her lyrics ever-so-slightly jarring yet tender: “Tonight I’ll go to sleep, with another ghost inside of me and I know you’ll forget what its like to be stuck inside my head…” Absolutely watch the video, that Carney choreographed herself and which has a colour-drenched chrysalis and doomed Sleeping Beauty theme to it.

 

I spoke to god’ is a more contemporary tune with synth and a drum track (a tame one, don’t panic) but still features Carney’s trademark haunted voice that seems to glide effortlessly across thought and emotion. There are hints of the complexity of British avant-garde musician Imogen Heap here, but Carney is far more orchestral and emotive in her approach. The refrain is luxurious and vulnerable, and what every lover wants to hear: “Put your love around me, hold it closer I can see again out of my eyes so I can say baby come back to bed…”

‘I dreamed I was the night,’ the title track, is a velvety, melancholy ode to lost love that won’t tug at your heart strings so much as sucker punch you in the gut and then glide away in beauty. “And if I were you, I would say something say something you usually do, but you’re quiet and it is so loud, won’t you do something do something before I walk out, if I leave I’m never coming back, I’ve given you everything I have…” It’s a relationship’s demise distilled into 2 minute 58 seconds, right down to the poignant piano echoes that bring the song to an end. Carney speaks for all of us who love hard and who are – just maybe – a bit hard to love.