When I heard that Rosali worked with David Nance’s band on her new record, No Medium, it’s an understatement to say that I got excited. I can’t think of a much better match. Her songs carry considerable emotional weight and Nance’s group holds them up without fail. Lyrical arrows lament and celebrate the work it takes to grow and, ultimately, find self-acceptance beneath the incessant pressure of our current world. No Medium’s songs are timeless and Rosali’s message clear, beckoning.
Mostly written in early 2019 at an abandoned farmhouse in South Carolina, these songs speak psychically to our current circumstances, pointing to a light in the clearing. From the opening guitar howls on “Bones,” Rosali dives into the dark corners of the burning forest, a beacon for all survivors. “I wanted love, but that’s what you’d keep for yourself and not for me,” she murmurs, grounded in the non-chalant realization that shedding this superfluous skin is the remedy to a lifetime of ache. The chorus rises into the sky with defiant proclamation,“I gather my bones and go back home, and be alone” and the guitars scream like wolves at the moon. Musically it is a sonic catharsis couched in driving solos, an expression free of restraint.
Climbing skyward continues, holding the feeling of acceptance close while leaving the fragments of a haunted past at the bottom of the mountain; pebbles scattering down, beginning an avalanche. Sensual strength shines through the acoustic country-infused balladry of “All This Lightning,” Rosali dreaming of the small moments that matter, leaving everything else at the door. Pedal steel etches stars into the hollow beneath the floorboards, a wry smile at knowing what you want and grabbing it. That self-determination returns on “If Not For Now” as she sings,“You make me crazy, but I won’t let you go… not until it’s over.” Facing the world on her terms, Rosali grapples with the spiritual void that surrounds us, finding her own, fulfilling way to color in the empty spaces.
“By in large we’ve kept things together,” could be our collective mantra for the past 14 months. As Rosali bellows those words over the slow-moving, feedback-laden stunner of a closer, “Tender Heart,” the door is closed gently on a hellish past as she walks away, eyes straight forward and ready for whatever’s next. The music from Nance’s group again acting like a sail to catch that potent fire and push ahead. “I don’t mind spending my time like this,” she cries, taking in the panorama before being swallowed by the new dawn. Cascading into an unknown future, held on high by the sturdy roots of Rosali’s incredible songwriting and David Nance Group’s raw, organic sound, No Medium is a beautiful gift.