Daily Dose is your daily source for the song you absolutely, positively need to hear every day. Curated by the Paste Music Team.
Alexa Rose is from the Alleghany Highlands of western Virginia, specifically, a little town called Clifton Forge, and this is what she said of the musicians from back home:
“There are so many musicians where I’m from, people who just play on their porch or in some local bar — and they’re amazing,” she said in a press statement. “They don’t do it commercially, that’s not the essence of what they do. There’s a deep connection between their sense of place and the music they make.”
And just like the blues musicians who play in bars and on porches in the mountains of Virginia, Alexa Rose sounds like she’s tied to a place. Her folk-tinged music is modern, but it’s very much music of the American South.
“This album is Appalachia-meets-Memphis,” Rose said of her new album, Medicine for Living (out Oct. 4), which she recorded with Big Legal Mess label head Bruce Watson at his Memphis studio.
The latest single from Medicine for Living took shape in another part of the South. Rose wrote the delicate country song “The Last Wildflower,” “the oldest song on the record,” more than five years ago when she moved to western North Carolina for college. The “wildflower” in the song was inspired by those on a nearby path, Rose tells Paste:
I was renting a big old house in the country with a rotating handful of people. I often would hike up to this old firetower down the road. There were these big open pastures along the way that filled up with tall grasses and flowers in the summer, but they were especially striking in November, when there were just a few defiant yellow blooms contrasting against grey skies and high country cold fronts. Some people get bummed out about the weather getting cold, but for me, watching the landscape change with the seasons reminds me that life is full of cycles. Not so much that you know you’ll get through them, but that they offer some familiarity.
“The Last Widlflower” sounds like a lover’s quarrel turned introspective examination on the changing of seasons. “Could I be something real for you?” Rose sings over weepy pedal steel in a voice that would send really lovely next to Courtney Marie Andrew’s. “Because I’m not moving on.” She taps into the same intersection between country and indie rock displayed by artists like Neighbor Lady and Faye Webster.
Medicine for Living is out Oct. 4 on Big Legal Mess.