Ottawa, Ontario’s Shannon Rose has a new name. She’s now recording as Gold & Marrow, and her first album under that moniker, Forever, is, in a word, fantastic. She’s already been known for the ambitious. In 2013, she released a collection of four five-song seasonal EPs written in and inspired by each distinct Canadian season. Forever, though, basically heralds her as the new Feist. The influence is so distinct, and yet Rose does something original and novel with it, that I’d be surprised if the fine folks at Arts and Crafts didn’t wind up giving this woman a call to re-release the album under their brand. Rose is more than just a “local artist”, having toured across Canada and the UK, performing at such lauded festivals as the Ottawa Folk Festival, Ottawa Bluesfest and NXNE, and I’m sure bigger stages and platforms beckon.
The best song, bar none, on Forever, though it’s hard to pick when the songwriting is of this high and consistent caliber, is “Striking Gold” with its tumultuous drum beats and Rose’s soothing vocals. However, there are other standouts. “Silence” has a definite cosmopolitan country feel to it, recalling Patsy Cline. Opener “Lamb” is shimmery and tough at the same time. “My Heart 2” has a haunting vibe that sends chills through you. Overall, Forever certainly hangs around and lingers with the listener. Everything here is pretty top notch and has been meticulously produced and crafted. There’s quality here to spare, and if big things don’t happen for Rose on the basis of this release, I would be very, very surprised. If you enjoy Canadian female singer-songwriters such as Jennifer Castle and, of course, Feist, you’re going to get an awful lot out of this. And, really, Arts and Crafts: here’s an album that could use wider distribution. The ball is now in your court, guys.