We at N.J. Racket are absolutely thrilled to be debuting Rosey Bengal’s newest single, “Freedom in the Air.” It’s the first off their upcoming album, Junk Mail, set to be released on New Year’s Day 2017. The single was mixed by Steve Vealey and the entire album is being done by Max Rauch. This will be Rosey Bengal’s second full-length album release, coming back with all the sweet and melodic sounds from their first, eponymous release that made us fall in love with them. “Freedom in the Air” tells the story of an intense yet doomed romance with such vivid imagery that only songwriter Evan Luberger could construct.The track starts with a light guitar riff over a pulsating drum beat. The flighty sound of the guitar is a defining characteristic of Rosey Bengal’s music and really creates an innocent and hopeful tone that so effectively juxtaposes the often dark and regretful subject matter of the lyrics.
In the first verse, Luberger recounts a night out in the city with this special lady, staying out late, getting lost, being in love, other relatable hijinks (you were young once). The dream-like flow of the melody and the female vocal accompaniment of Nicole Grogan invoke a nostalgic feeling, and you think back to happier, more hopeful times of fun and passionate young love, until “She said not to worry about my highs and my lows/ You can’t control which way a river flows.” Oh, I’ve been there, and I sure know how that ends. The immediate signaling of the couple’s impending doom is all too real, and anybody who’s ever been in that situation can recall all the friends who were on you right from the start. “Dude, don’t! Stay away from that one.” But you didn’t listen, you fool, and neither did Rosey Bengal.
Tension in the song continues to build as Luberger and James Abbott trade melodies and counter melodies on guitar while Rich Slurry lays down the thick bassline. The syncopation of all the different pieces over Brandon Czhola’s steady drumming is executed to perfection as each component can be heard clearly and distinctly while still blending together in such a fluid way.
The tale of heartache continues: “Always did my best to be a pretty honest guy/ If I didn’t know what it meant to be alone/ Well I sure as hell do now.” It’s not so much just the breakup portion of the lyrics that really cuts as it is the overarching story you experience, from the new, passionate, and hopeful love, to the devastating loneliness described in the end. It had me contemplating how all good things must end, and all that ends, usually ends poorly. The song concludes with, “Baby I’m sorry, was never enough/ So take your advice and fuck off/ Loving you was neither easy nor fair/ There’s lust and freedom in the air.” Those last few lines provide such a satisfying resolution and a hopeful one for those this song took on a rollercoaster ride of emotions. It was never enough, it was never easy, it was never fair. Fuck off. I’m free.
“Freedom in the Air” exemplifies all the things that make Rosey Bengal such a special band. The band will be having a record release party on New Year’s Eve at Krogh’s Restaurant and Bar in Sparta. Come through, enjoy the show (also featuring Joseph Henry and Uncle Einar), pick up a copy of the album, and kiss Evan Luberger at midnight. Sounds like a pretty solid New Year’s if you ask me.
Until then, you can find “Freedom in the Air” available for download on the Rosey Bengal Bandcamp.
Adam gave man-birth to N.J. Racket and is as close to an "editor-in-chief" the site has. He's a god awful photographer.
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