Interview: Rose Cousins

“If my guts had a landscape, it would be Prince Edward Island,” Rose Cousins says with a laugh of her seaside Canadian upbringing. “The further I get away from how I grew up, like thinking it wasn’t that interesting, I see how special it was now that I’m older and have been traveling all over,” she continues. “Compared to a lot of things, it’s pretty dreamy. I grew up in the middle of nowhere, but it was absolutely beautiful, and I’m really grateful for it.”

Cousins, who released her critically-acclaimed album, Natural Conclusion, in February, is on tour in support of it. No Conclusion follows We Have Made A Spark, which the singer/songwriter released five years ago. “I worked steadily for two years after my last record came out, and I got kind of burned out, to be honest,” she admits. “I needed to refill my tank, and that’s when I started to focus on writing more. That’s counter-intuitive because I’ve been a performing songwriter for the last decade, and you’d think I’d be wiring all the time. When I’m traveling, it’s hard to write,” she adds. “It takes so much energy to tour and to play, my tank isn’t being filled by that. I took myself off the road and  put myself in positions to write.”

The stunning 12-song collection features work written on her own, as well as products of her new endeavors in the collaborative arena. “I’m realizing that most of the stuff I write comes directly from experiences I’ve had in my own like that I’m interpreting or trying to figure out. There’s a lot of my story in there; though it’s important to me, the minute details aren’t always as important for the experience of the listener,” she explains. “It might be a bit of a sad record with some hope in between.”

“It was scary at the beginning, but rewarding,” she says of her co-writing experiences. “It was fun to step out of the normal, just writing by myself, and experience the other energies in the room bought by different people, and walking away with something that wouldn’t have existed if that combination of people hadn’t been in the room at that moment. It’s terrifying though; there were years in the lead-up to wanting to collaborate with other people,” she adds. “It just takes practice.”

Since Cousins has not performed the album in the Music City yet, she considers her upcoming show at The City Winery with Sarah Siskind her “Nashville release show,” presented by WMOT Roots Radio. “I’m excited to make Nashville a regular stop. It was also a perfect collision of timing, because Sarah is about to put out a record, and we were both going to be in Nashville at the time. She’s one of my songwriting heroes, she’s incredible,” Cousins says. “There may be some surprise guests at the show,” she adds with a smile. “You’ll just have to come and find out.”


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Susan Hubbard

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