The Roseline Find Emotional Release On New Song, “Counting Sheep”

Videos by American Songwriter

Videos by American Songwriter

Emotions are running high these days ─ but it also offers a moment of great reflection. On the heels of a traumatic year, The Roseline frontman Colin Halliburton takes stock of his life the best way he knows how. A new song called “Counting Sheep,” premiering today on American Songwriter, offers a heavy inspection on history, the cyclical nature of hate, and one’s place in the world.

On an off day during a tour across Germany, the folk-rock band took some time “exploring the Bergen-Belsen Holocaust Museum,” says Halliburton. “It was so eerie and sad, and I found myself really affected by the experience. That visit, coupled with the white nationalists making more and more headlines in the news, led me to sit down and write this protest song in a bit of a rage-induced state.”

“Counting Sheep” pins Halliburton’s vivid, emotion-charged songwriting to earthy electric guitar, tight harmony work, and a haunting melody line. “So how are they gaining momentum, and how can I sleep / When lonely, white males have a vision of blood in the street,” he carves out today’s reality. “As long as they are given permission / I’m counting sheep / And sweatin’ through my sheets / Ya better believe.”

On the second version, he holds up a mirror ─ confronting his own reflection and the pressure to remain silent. “Just sittin’ on my hands, mouth closed, is how they hope that I behave / Complicit in the spread of their vile and violent hate.”

15 years and six albums in the rearview, The Roseline ─ also comprised of Bradley McKellip (guitar), Kris Losure (guitar), Jim Piller (drums), and Colin Jones (bass) ─ dive into uncharted personal waters with a new record. GOOD / GRIEF draws upon harrowing circumstances; in the last year, Halliburton lost his best friend (former band keyboardist) and his mother-in-law, who committed suicide.

“I’m drawn to writing about subjects that are dark but perhaps make the listener feel a little less alone,” Halliburton says of the record. “My favorite pieces of art always do that for me.”

GOOD / GRIEF arrives April 3.

Listen to “Counting Sheep” below.

Photo Credit: Lindsey Kellenbarger

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