Posted in On Air

Haroula Rose’s Catch The Light: A Filmmaker Sings Folk

I must admit that I don’t understand a whole lot about directing, at least when compared to the folk music Haroula and I discussed. But I think her cover of Chris Stapleton’s “You Should Probably Leave” shows that she’s superior at directing a song. Rose takes Stapleton’s lyrics and adds sadness, resignation, and a one voice/one piano soundscape. After hearing this song about being used and abandoned sung from such a solitary place, Stapleton’s version with a band and harmony vocals just doesn’t sound the way the video of that song should look. I should see someone lying in bed without anyone to comfort them. I should see one singer on stage hunched over a piano. The song should be “naked,” as Haroula puts it. Perhaps that’s the advantage of producing music after having directed a few films.

The rest of the album works just as fantastically with imagery and small details. “Happenstance” captures a moment at a funeral when all the people gossiping about the subject’s drug habit sit in stunned silence. “Summer Storm” uses a combination of low bass and sparse high notes on a piano to create a wide open and foreboding soundscape that matches the feeling of standing in the titular storm.

There’s a sharp tension between “The Nature of Things” and “Time’s Fool.” “The Nature of Things” is hopeful and mature, realizing that life moves in cycles and that this might be a low point. “Come close then pull away/Maybe we’ll come back around some day,” Rose sings. “Time’s Fool” is not ready to accept that reality. It’s a vulnerable gut punch that may be aware that nothing is permanent but isn’t willing to concede such a hard-won relationship to a silly little thing like the passage of time. I subscribe to the world that the former presents, but I’m drawn both to the fantasy and the songwriting of the latter.

Above is the full episode as aired on WUSB’s Country Pocket including both my interview with Haroula and the songs we discuss, starting with the track Happenstance. You’ll also get to see a music video Haroula directed. It features swimming in the nude, which is something Haroula believes is something deeply embedded in the human experience. I guess I do enjoy baths. You can hear the show live every Monday at 11am on WUSB 90.1 FM or check the blog to watch it as a YouTube playlist. Visit http://www.WUSB.fm and http://www.haroularose.com for more.

Author:

I host Country Pocket on WUSB Stony Brook 90.1 FM. Content from the show will appear on countrypocketwusb.com

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