Esther Rose Awakens to the Reality That “Songs Remain”

Songs are like a road map for Esther Rose, a measure of time, and writing “Songs Remain” helped the New Orleans-based artist crystallize that experience.

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“I guess I was bummed out and searching for answers,” says Rose of the track, off her upcoming album How Many Times (Father/Daughter Records), out March 26. “It’s that overwhelming moment of gratitude from realizing that in order to get a broken heart, I got to love more than ever before. It’s about being thankful for the chance to feel that much love in the first place.”

Tender and moving, on “Songs Remain” Rose reveals her vulnerability, reflecting on a broken heart through fragile, hesitant lyrics I love those song we made.. I am glad it was you who broke my heart.

A follow up to Rose’s 2020 EP My Favorite Mistakes and 2019’s You Made It This Far, on How Many Times, co-produced by Video Age’s Ross Farbe and recorded live to tape, Rose continues her introspective journey. Written over the course of two years, during tours, three moves, and the end of a relationship, How Many Times is a narrative of all the recurrent bumps and smoother ends of life, like a constant “awakening.”

“That’s how I untangle what’s on my mind, by going off for a walk into wild places,” says Rose. That’s what makes this album a country album. It’s not really just about feeling better, it’s about feeling it, whatever it is.”

Ester Rose (Photo: Akasha Rabut)

Recorded in New Orleans, Rose says “Songs Remain” was the only track on the new album recorded in her home.

“It was a hot afternoon in June and Ric Robertson showed up via skateboard, possibly still tripping on acid from a session the night before,” recounts Rose of recording with the guitarist. “I wanted to bring Ric on for this song because playing music with him is profound. Ross Farbe came over with his portable reel-to-reel. We only did three takes, but I knew we had it because all the hairs on my arms were standing on end and it felt like my whole body was singing.”

Rose adds, “This is the only song on the record without the full band and it feels very intimate and very close.” 

Threading through more of her personal reflections and changes, “Songs Remain” is song with reverence to all relationships, whether good, bad, or completely broken.

“It’s possible to have gratitude for the people who have shaped us,” says Rose, “[and] loved us, cared for us, even after things fall apart.”

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