With little more to contend with than a sterling pastoral backdrop, singer FIREROSE launches into the lyrics of her new single “Plans” with a heavy lead vocal and an unsubtle passion that we can feel in every melodic word she sings. Rather than getting behind the intro portion of this song, she’s out in front, leading us and her familiar counterpart in one Billy Ray Cyrus into a potent harmony with a confidence that is hardly common among those with only a single album under their belt.
Such is the rarity of a player like FIREROSE and her performance in “Plans,” and while she stands out from the crowd without having to pull in a lot of fanciful studio fireworks in this piece, this isn’t to say she sounds capable in a stripped-down capacity exclusively. On the contrary, I think the greatest takeaway from this release is how incredible a sound she can break off with next to nothing in the mix beside her, which is not something that I have been able to say for many of the country musicians that have been making waves in and outside of the American underground this year.
“Plans” follows a trend I’ve been finding in indie-country lately in the sense that its instrumental fabric is defined by an atmospheric sensibility a lot of us had come to associate more with vintage country music than we had anything closer to the mainstream conventionality you’d find browsing your FM dial.
What separates this work from those of similar performers this September is the lyrical focus that FIREROSE is affording this song, allowing for her verses to take on a complex presence that is rivaled only by the fleeting swell of guitar and, later on in the track, Cyrus. She’s vulnerable through so much more than her words in “Plans,” utilizing the absence of aggression and urgency in the instrumentation behind her to advance a theme her lyrics could only ever develop so much on their own. Hers is a delicate vocal, but she knows how to throw her emotional weight around when she needs to, rejecting the very notion of inserting halfhearted or forcedly dramatic twists and turns into the words here.
The latest single we’ve heard from FIREROSE is compelling country beyond what I’ve come to expect out of most players nowadays, and it’s got a terrific opportunity to bring even more interest towards this acclaimed singer and songwriter as the year presses on. One of my favorite things about this artist is the fact that her work is minimalistic on purpose, and she chooses the aesthetic because she can, rather than because she has no other choice but to take the simplest route available to her.
Everything about “Plans” sounds and feels deliberate from an audience perspective, and with it gaining steam online at an exponential pace, I would not be the least bit surprised if FIREROSE reaps bigger rewards for this release than she has for her previous works, including a highly-recommendable debut album, combined.
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