The shared determination of two longtime friends to craft original music has brought new Irish act Rosenallis to your airwaves. Their soft-rock style and a multilingual approach to lyrics subtly connects the Latin, Celtic and Anglo cultures.
Rosenallis debuted their single “Fuego” (17th Dec) followed by “If I’ll Come Home” (22nd Dec). A further five new tracks will be released in 2022, beginning with ‘Memory Factory’ on April 8th.
“Memory Factory” is a story of good times found during the pandemic, where a unique freedom was found to create memories and love on a secret journey across the mesmerizing landscapes of the Emerald Isle.
The seven tracks took months of preparation and twenty hours of recording. Between lockdowns, studio time was squeezed in at Dublin Studio Hub. “Fuego”, and “Heart of Revery”. Kevo’s lead vocals and the earthy acoustic guitar heard in “Letters”, “Goldfly”, “If I’ll Come Home” and “Mountain Ash” was recorded at Windmill Lane Studios. His electric guitar was recorded in Dalkey. The drums were recorded at Jealoustown Studios in Meath. “Mountain Ash” was written with respect to the history of the Connemara mountains and starts off on a deep build-up and moves on a quick tempo. In contrast “Memory Factory” will be one for the slow romantic. But each of the seven charts another sub-theme.
To single out the most outstanding will prove to be an arduous task, as each of the seven is unique in its own way, whether high-tempo, slow, bluesy or romantic. For producer Larry Hogan though “it has to be Fuego. It is a real… it’s almost 1970’s. It’s quite funky but at the same time it kind of takes you away to foreign climes and exotic places. There’s lot of that kind of imagery going on.”. The catchy hook and lifty key change in Fuego give it an added dimension that can hitch in listeners.
Two guest artists feature on the Rosenallis tracks. As part of the production, producer Larry Hogan as his Dublin Studio Hub has injected a variety of instruments across the seven tracks- keys, piano, guitar, bass and brass – and thus has been hugely important in further developing the songs. Longtime friend Garrett Eaton in L.A., an alumni of Berklee College of Music in Boston, has added lead guitar overdubs on “Fuego” and “Memory Factory”.
The way Rosenallis have set themselves up early on can largely be summarized by the word unwavering. Both their approach to music-making and their personalities are certainly this. Kevin O’Connor, lead vocalist says: “We play what sounds good to us, and hopefully the fans will like what we do. But if not, we are going to go ahead and do what we do!”. The lyric language begins too as a blank canvas. “Whether Spanish, English or Irish Gaelic – it’s whatever comes out and sounds right. If it passes the foot-tap test it’s passed the first mark.”. Both “Fuego” and “Letters” bear elements of Spanish, while there are songs in progress completely as Gaeilge.
As the songwriting started just before the pandemic era, it was not practical to begin band practices with a large group or hold auditions. However a bass player, pianist and lead guitarist will be needed in future by Rosenallis. It is expected that releasing the tracks first will bring a better chance of sourcing a right fit.
The search for a name was becoming necessary towards the end of 2019, as the songwriting began to take shape and the drum lines started rolling out. While drudging through James Joyce’s famous novel “Ulysses”, a reference to a small village in County Laois was stumbled upon that had a nice ring to it. Historically the name evolved from the Irish language. Ros Fhionnghlaise translates as ‘wood of the clear stream’. Originally Rosenallis was only intended as a placeholder name. Then it stuck.
Rosenallis step by step:
KEVIN (“KEVO”) O’CONNOR: Songwriter, lead vocals, guitar. Aged 30, is a mechanical engineer in railways who studied at University College London. He is currently living between Galway and Tel Aviv. Fascinated by languages and travelling.
KEVIN CLESHAM: Drums. Kevin (or “Clesh”), thirty, is an orthopedic surgeon from Mayo living in Dublin and is the rock of the duo. Likes pretending to be good at golf.