Rose Of The West Had A On Netflix's 'you.' Now They Have A Wonderful New .
It's a pivotal moment at the halfway point of Netflix's wildly popular series "You."
(Warning: spoilers in the next two paragraphs.)
Shay Mitchell's character, powerful New York socialite Peach Salinger — yes, she's related to that Salinger — is jogging through Central Park, when her archnemesis, Penn Badgley's twisted antihero Joe Goldberg, runs up behind her, slamming a large rock against her skull.
And as the camera pans out to reveal Salinger lying in a pool of blood, the sound of Milwaukee band Rose of the West's haunting "Hunter's Will" can be heard quietly floating from her earbuds.
"When I watched it, my mouth was hanging open," said frontwoman Gina Barrington, who found out about the placement from a friend on Twitter, several months after she heard one of the band's song might be used in a TV show. "This was probably the craziest scene that this song could have been chosen for, but it made sense."
"It reaffirmed our thought that the music had a real cinematic aspect to it, that it would live well especially in dark visual worlds," said Barrington's husband and the band's bassist, Cedric LeMoyne. "Hopefully, more like that will be coming down the pike."
That's likely to happen. Rose of the West's self-titled debut album, which will be out April 5, deserves national attention and accolades. It's a remarkably assured and absorbing introduction, evoking the sound and spirit, the fragility and catharsis, of muses like the Cure, Siouxsie Sioux and Kate Bush.
"We make songs that sometimes feel grand, but they're not grandiose," said guitarist Thomas Gilbert, formerly of breakout Milwaukee band GGOOLLDD. "They're human-sized."
Who's who:Barrington, Gilbert, LeMoyne, Dave Power (drums), Erin Wolf (keys)
Forming the band
LeMoyne: May 26, 2016. "That's the day (Gina and I) got married and the day the band formed."
Barrington: "We had just gotten secretly married and went to a bar afterward to celebrate in secret and Thomas came up to me, running his mouth about making music together. The next day, I sent him a folder with all the demos I was working on."
Gilbert: "I (previously) saw (Barrington's last band) Nightgown play, and was really impressed by a lot of it. For me, it's rare to watch a band play and immediately have ideas. Guitar parts were coming to me as I'm watching the show, and synth parts were coming to me. I took it as a good sign."
Wolf: "I was at that same show and was also writing parts in my head and humming along. I was teaching Gina's daughter piano and bugged her a couple of times, telling her if she ever needed a keyboard player or someone to do stuff I was available."
Making the album
LeMoyne: "The head of our record label Communicating Vessels, Jeffrey Cain, was with me in a band Remy Zero a long time ago. He is an amazing producer and engineer and thinker. And we went down there to Birmingham, Alabama, a few times over the course of six or seven months and got out of our regular lives and went into the rabbit hole. The songs that sort of stuck together best are the ones that went on the record."
Barrington: "Every single song is about going through some very human experiences and painful things, and how pain exists and it's OK, and it's OK to say it and it's OK to feel it and sing about it. They're about coming out the other side of it, even if I didn't come out completely unscathed."
LeMoyne: "She's played me some of these songs almost 10 years ago, and a couple of them she was finishing in hotel rooms in North Carolina last summer. Over that course of time, there's been broken relationships and lost friendships and death and all kinds of stuff, an incredible array of really traumatic, transformative life experiences. We all tend to be the kind of people who listen to heavy, emotional, dark music, and that is how we get happy, listening to the Smiths and Depeche Mode or old blues music or Nina Simone. That kind of music expresses something for you and unburdens you. That is how she writes, and that's the purpose of this music."
Where you can see the band
Rose of the West celebrates its new album with a release show at 8 p.m. April 6 at Mad Planet, 533 E. Center St. Cashfire Sunset opens, and Jenny Lee, from acclaimed indie rock band Warpaint, will perform a special DJ set. Admission is $8 in advance at eventbrite.com and $10 at the door.
Watch two exclusive performances from Rose of the West at jsonline.com/music. Sound Check appears around the 15th each month online and in the Journal Sentinel.
Contact Piet at (414) 223-5162 or [email protected] Follow him on Twitter at @pietlevy or Facebook at facebook.com/PietLevyMJS.