Premiere: Addy Streams Reticent & Genuine EP, Rose Eyes
Roguish and furtive, Rose Eyes, the new EP by local artist Addy is an intimate cross-section of electropop filtered through the lens of a reserved and caustic singer-songwriter. This enterprising five-song release sees the light of day tomorrow, November 9th, but today, The Auricular is proud to premiere the EP, available to stream at the bottom of this article.
Rose Eyes comes to us from the mind of musician Adam Watkins who, at least via social media, encapsulates the project’s sound into a three word phrase: “robot cowboy sound.” It can be easy to hear that — the classical singer-songwriter style is prevalent across every track, a style that organically tends to lean towards a more country-western sound. Helping cement that inclination is the inclusion of the banjo, while the use of keyboards and swirling instrumentation push him in another direction, one that approaches that “robot” designation with an electropop base.
Instead of working against each other, the two prop each other up, making for a good marriage of sounds that seems unlikely. It makes Watkins come across like a seasoned songwriter, one who falls in line more with acerbic songwriters like Bob Forrest, who also has an earnest appeal and western slant and who also filtered his sound through contemporary lenses, whether it be early college rock with Thelonius Monster or corybantic indie musings in his solo efforts. The difference here is that Watkins is a much more polished performer, one that’s impressive even before you consider this EP’s birthplace.
Written and recorded in a bedroom over the course of a single week (give or take), Rose Eyes naturally shares some innate qualities with other popular bedroom recordings from this decade. Tangible connections can be made to the work of prolific stars like Frankie Cosmos and Car Seat Headrest who existed solely in a solitary room before earning national attention, but Addy also doesn’t settle into the typical bedroom ennui that orbits those two celestial artists. Sure, the lyrics focus on loss, anxiety, and depression, but Rose Eyes easily reaches far beyond the modest living space. Most telling is the EP’s smoky atmosphere, one that sets the climate of loss before you even begin to realize what it is Watkins mourning over.
Also reaching beyond that meager recording space is the instrumentation, one that includes a wealth of sounds not found in a typical bunkered recording. The aforementioned banjo is vital to setting this EP apart from its peers, but more importantly is the use of other musicians in this space. The vast majority of instruments are played by Watkins here, but he also opens his seclusion up with trumpet and violin parts (played by Stephen Moser and Jessika Blanks respectively) that shows the eremitic genesis is one made more out of convenience than psyche. That shows in Addy’s growth since recording this EP, as the project has expanded beyond Watkins to become a four piece that includes Kurt Bailey, Taylor Knoll, and Timmy Peele, who many will recognize as the primary driving force behind Recluse Raccoon. This will surely help Addy’s music step out of the bedroom with an empowered stride, but the EP still remains a crucial taste of Watkins’ salient songwriting and compelling talent.
Take a listen for yourself. Enjoy this exclusive stream of Rose Eyes below and make sure to pick up the EP tomorrow via Addy’s Bandcamp.