Rosie Rebel Goes Track-by-Track on Typhoid Rosie’s Latest, ‘Queen of Swords’

Typhoid Rosie recently released album, ‘Queen Of Swords,’ is an empowering and defiant rally cry of self-love, self-reliance, and independence. More impressively it delivers in a big way on the bands usual blend of high-energy sing-along alt-punk rock bangers with pop hooks and indie grit. From its first track to its final note ‘Queen of Swords’ bottles the energy that band brings to its live performance and sells it to the listener over nearly 30 minutes of energetic run time.

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Recorded remotely at home in quarantine during COVID-19 (with the exception of drums and bass, recorded at Cannon Found Soundation in Brooklyn), ‘Queen Of Swords’ is Typhoid Rosie’s fourth album and their first since 2018’s ‘This Is Now.’

Rosie Rebel says of the new album, “While I have the world’s ear, I want you to know that your life, well-being, evolution, growth and happiness are worth fighting for. I want this to be the album playing when the universe gives you a slap across the face and tells you Wake up! Get Up! Your life is worth fighting for!”

She sat down and penned a track-by-track for readers of American Songwriter, so push play and follow along with where the inspiration on each song came from.

If you dig what you hear, consider supporting the band.

The songs of ‘Queen Of Swords’ in Rosie Rebel’s own words:

Queen Of Swords
A defiant track about self-preservation and setting yourself free from toxic situations and people. This song is about fighting for your life. Your survival, evolution, and the growth of your soul may one day depend upon whether or not you can turn your back on toxic situations. Sometimes for your own well being you just have to cut toxic motherfuckers out of your life! Those of you who dabble in tarot know that the Queen of Swords is not to be fucked with. She is the kind of person you want on your side. She is very loving until you put her in a position where she must choose between toxicity and her own self-love-she will always choose herself.

All I Need
I wanted to write a song that brings arrogant fuckboys to their knees. At the end of the day, love is free, so people who cannot afford to reach inside and give love to their lovers actually have no business being inside you. An Empress has no use for bread-crumbing losers! Keep your schwag, and maybe stop wasting a grown woman’s time.

Have you ever had the feeling like everything in your life was preparing you for this moment? Before making this record, lil Rosie had a painful spiritual awakening. A lot of people I loved were stripped from my life. In retrospect, I realize now that this was the Universe’s way of dragging me through the fire to purify my soul, because obviously that’s how diamonds are made. In one of the most lonely periods of my life, I started seeing signs and synchronicities everywhere I went. Certain songs followed me around like stalkers, and numbers like: 11:11, 1:11, 222, 333, 555 were following me everywhere I looked. Many people believe these are angel numbers. I don’t care what people believe, or don’t believe in. Because Faith is felt on an individual level, because no one can see the World through your eyes. But as for Rosie, I see all kind of spiritual forces at play and I have no doubts that I am deeply loved and watched over by God and his team, as well family members on the other side. I’ve gone through a change where I no longer need other people to fill that void like I once did, because I found my own source of divine love inside of me. This song helps me remember how rare and unique I am and that its time to get back on the saddle of fulfilling my purpose and mission while my heart still beats.

Two Of Cups
Not every song on this record is about cutting losers up into little pieces. There’s also an epic love song. This is the most beautiful song on the record, and was the hardest song for me to write. Our drummer wrote and arranged the music, and since the first time I heard it I wanted to match his musical beauty lyrically. I wrote this song about Twin Flames which I read about in Plato’s Symposium-that once upon a time, we were whole beings, and lacked nothing, but in these forms we were dangerous to even the gods. So we were split in half by the gods, destined to wander like lost souls always in search of our other halves. This song is about that rare moment when two counterparts Devine Feminine and Devine Masculine meet. I believe we have many soul-mates in our life, but some people you meet and its magical, almost like you’ve known each other before, like you go back hundreds of years. These soulmates make me feel like this is not my first time around.

Defend Your Temple
For every little girl, and woman waiting to be loved in an ever increasingly disposable world. This song is a reaction to the fairy tale shams designed to plant the seeds of product consumption we were sold as children by playing dress up, for the goal of waiting to be saved by a prince. Save yourself Cinderella! And while you’re waiting for someone else to fix you, it’s a perfect time to explore your own beauty, gifts, and talents. My Cinderella has shit to do, and she doesn’t have time to wait for mice to solve her problems. I wanted girls to know that our greatest treasures were inside of us all along, and that your soul is the most sacred treasure you were ever entrusted of guarding. Keep in mind Cinderella, there are some good princes out there, but there’s also murderers, addicts, douchebags, narcissists, energy vampires, womanizers, thieves, creeps, perverts, dirt-bags, skanks, emotionally bankrupt losers, power-hungry villains, and greedy motherfuckers. But babe, sometimes you don’t know who’s who when your panties are sliding off. I assure you that you weren’t meant to be a wham-bam-thank you m’am cursed to hobble the streets on trash night at 3 a.m. with a broken high heel like some discarded wounded antelope.

When We Were Young
I wrote this song for my brother John Henry. I’m not so sure I would have survived my childhood if it weren’t for him. I grew up in a volatile household. My parents were consumed with so much anger, and rage in a brutal divorce which meant there was little time left for parenting and guidance. Even though I was raised in a warzone, I treasure my childhood because it was filled with fresh air, imagination, exploration, and freedom. We played in torrential rains, climbed trees, explored the woods, ate mulberries, walked in the streams, dug our hands into the Earth and found salamanders. We rode bikes, and played games like hide and seek, running bases, and ring and run. No weather condition ever stopped us. In the winter, we built igloos, and sped down hills long after our feet went numb. It was a different age, before the glowing devices took over. In many ways, what I would like for people to take away from this song is how important it is to put down the phones and to get outside. In my lifetime, we’ve gone from kids who played outside to zombies with our faces buried in our phones. Maybe its time to ween ourselves from our glowing addictions. There are so many beautiful things happening in the moment.

This One’s For You
This song is inspired by two tarot cards, and Psalms 37. My least favorite card in the deck is the Seven Of Swords, followed by the Ten Of Swords. I don’t know about you guys, but I prefer to know upfront who the backstabbers are. There are people walking this Earth who take pleasure in hurting other people like cancers, who spread their pain and misery to others. Ten of swords is the maximum amount of times you can be stabbed in the back. Once you see a person for who they are, it’s your job to protect yourself, and do whatever is necessary to heal. It’s not easy when these people are lovers, friends, and family members. This is where you decide whether to stay in a cycle that will never change or to love yourself. It’s not easy to bury a living person that you love. My Mom once told me that divorce is harder than death. When a person dies, there’s only a few days before you have to bury a rotting corpse. In life sometimes you physically move away from a relationship, but if you don’t heal properly, you can end up carrying around someone else’s pain like its some kind of souvenir. Its not fair for you to even waste your thoughts and energy on creeps. I highly recommend forgiveness. It’s important to hold yourself accountable for the role you play in your own suffering. If you don’t heal properly, you can end up carrying that pain and baggage around for years into other relationships. Let Karma and the Universe do their job.

The Chariot
Inspired by Tarot. This song is that moment when a naive, and loving Queen Of Cups gets in her chariot and becomes The Queen Of Swords. The Chariot is a very lucky card of forward movement. I wish every woman had access to a magical chariot to help save her from bullshit, big bad wolves, and losers. But sometimes you have to save yourself. But seriously, Get in, your chariot is waiting!

The Riveter
We also make positive songs too! Perhaps one of the most loved songs off this record by our entire band is The Riveter. It’s a classic pro-union, punk song. Historically, unions were made because of the lengths companies have gone to exploit human beings just to save money. I don’t know if you guys ever heard of the Triangle Fire of 1911, where more than a hundred women and girls were burned in a fire at work because their employers locked them inside during work hours. There was a time in our history in which it was common for children to lose limbs working in factories and coal mines. This is why I’m pro-union. I’m grateful for things like child labor laws, mandatory breaks, safety training, maternity leave, the five day work week, paid overtime, and health insurance, are all things we have had to fight for. In my day job, I do props and set dressing for Local 52 on movies and television shows. I am very grateful to work with Local 52. I love my job, and it’s nice to know that as a woman, I earn the same wage as the man doing the same job as me. In my field of work, there are so many strong women. I really love my job, and it makes me feel like I’m Rosie the Riveter!

On My Way
This song is technically the Eight Of Cups card in tarot. It’s about leaving behind toxic people and toxic behaviors for good. It’s an honest look at yourself, in the role you played. I had one history professor at Columbia for an African History Class. He said, “We all make our own Histories, what are things we choose to let go of, and what are the memories we keep with us?” I never forgot it. I wish each and every one of you, the very best life you can make with the tools you’ve been given. God bless in this journey you are about to take. Roll credits!

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