ARTIST: The Rosebuds
TITLE: Life Like
BITRATE: 207kbps avg
PLAYTIME: 0h 33m total
RELEASE DATE: 2008-10-07
RIP DATE: 2008-10-01
1. Life Like 3:14
2. Cape Fear 2:27
3. Border Guards 3:38
4. Bow To The Middle 2:30
5. Nice Fox 3:28
6. Another Way In 3:10
7. Concordia Military Club 5:01
8. Hello Darlin 2:14
9. Black Hole 3:49
10. In The Backyard 3:51
To the seventeenth-century poet Robert Herrick, rosebuds were a symbol of the fleeting pleasures of youth. Orson Welles made "Rosebud" the dying word of Charles Foster Kane, again a symbol of the tenacity of youthful memory. Kelly and Ivan - The Rosebuds - make music that embodies that certain spirit—youthful, but complex. Not at all fairytale, but magical. Not realistic, but real. Perhaps the way youth actually is.
The Rosebuds defy categorization with each new release, like creatures in a myth shifting shape to avoid capture; slippery catfish in a North Carolina river. Mention The Smiths and Ivan will turn his Morrissey croon into a gruff Greg Dulli growl or splash it against some reverb-laden surf guitar. Call them Southern Gothic and they'll release a dance record. They do not spend time categorizing themselves, each record is simply evidence of new curiosity.
On their newest album, Life Like, The Rosebuds return to more acoustic
territory, barely a year after releasing the synth-heavy dance pop of 2007's Night of the Furies. Crisp says that perhaps they needed to exorcise the anger and disillusion caused by a hard year of terrifying storms, and endless frustration over an ineffectual political state (that provided the need for the Furies metaphor in their songs) before they could move on to explore stories more closely related to their everyday life.
Having just finished the first tour for Night of the Furies, Ivan and Kelly began working on other creative projects in an attempt to take a break from music before going back out on tour. However, they soon found themselves making songs to entertain themselves and realized they had a whole record. So they ditched plans for a second tour and called in their friends (including Portastatic’s Matthew McCaughan, Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon, and Ashley Stove’s Jim Brantley) and put the finishing touches on Life Like.
The album retains the band's signature sinister breeziness, particularly on the title track and "Cape Fear," one of two songs on the album that juxtapose subdued handclaps with compellingly dark lyrics. Again, Ivan and Kelly share vocal duties throughout the album, with Kelly singing "Another Way In," and the lush pastoral "Black Hole." On the title track, Ivan is hunted, singing about escape, ultimately describing himself as a beast trapped in taxidermy,” over churning, relentless bass. In "Nice Fox," his warnings are too late to save the dead fox he finds trapped under a collapsed, rotten barn, while Kelly leads the blithe refrain, "it don't mean nothing at all." Catchy melodies house complex lyrical content, but always with the unmistakable nuanced-pop identity of The Rosebuds.
The Rosebuds have released four full-length albums, two 7-inches, an EP, and a digital-only album of remixes.