Kara Connolly Stops to Smell the “Roses”

“How can you stop and smell the roses if you don’t even notice them?” It’s a valid question posed by Kara Connolly. So often consumed by responsibilities, stresses, and the daily grind, many miss the beauty in front of them. On “Roses,” the Los Angeles-based artist brings everything back to the breath of clarity and remaining in the moment—even if just long enough to smell some roses.

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“The truth is that as an adult, I miss that new dress, summer love, feet in the dirt, rainfall on the pavement, hands over a fire kind of feeling,” Connolly tells American Songwriter. “I wanted to capture that sort of freedom that feels elusive to me now, at times, in my music, and remind myself that life isn’t always about getting ahead and constant progress, even though I am naturally very ambitious.”

A three-day psychedelic plant medicine ceremony, ayahuasca, led Connolly to “Roses.”

“We had to walk several miles through brush and cactuses to find what would eventually become our ceremony grounds,” shares Connolly. “Psychedelics put me in touch with my heart and ground me with the earth, so on the walk back I realized I hadn’t even noticed my surroundings on the way up whatsoever, such as the striking color of the flowers. I was so in my head. I spend a lot of my time there.”

They tell me slow down before you break down / I’m almost there now…  I wanna wear time like a new dress / Send love letters across oceans even if they never get there / Spinning in slow motion, trying to catch the moment / I can finally notice there are roses everywhere, sings Connolly, foraging for something sweeter, and calm, on “Roses.”

Produced by Jack Ventimiglia, mixed by Drew Alexander, and mastered by Randy Merrill (Harry Styles, Lorde, Taylor Swift), “Roses” reflects the dual sides of Connolly’s journey—of perseverance, and nearly reaching her destination, and all the breaks downs along the way. 

“‘Roses’ is all about slowing down, savoring the moment, counting our blessings, and recognizing the small-big things in life amidst a world full of dangerous ambition and trying to be somebody,” says Connolly. “I hope this song can be a reminder of all the beauty in your life and help you to notice the ‘roses’ around you like it has for me.”

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