Rose Wintergreen live on 23 July 2014

We love being haunted.

On 23 July Rose Wintergreen brought the haunt at the Toff in Town.

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What does it mean to be haunted? Rose Wintergreen summoned ghosts of memories past. She wove stories of the intersection between vivid dreams and half-forgotten memories. These are not the stories of eating a tuna sandwich in the summertime. This is 9pm in the middle of winter and you’re not quite sure if you’re creating a new memory or reliving an existing one. You’re not quite sure if you’ve been here before.

This is music that pulls at something hidden deep within us.

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Rose Wintergreen is something of a phenomenon. Originally establishing herself as an acoustic folk artist, she’s since expanded her sound with a range of new colours and textures. In addition to her guitar, Wintergreen introduced four backing singers, electric violin, piano, electronic backing tracks, a looper and even a kalimba. The result was lush and varied, extending beyond what the handful of musicians on stage would imply.

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Rose Wintergreen’s set mainly consisted of new songs selected from her upcoming album. But she also managed to sneak in a couple of cheeky covers – Teardrop and Sweet Dreams – both performed solo with looped vocals. From unassuming, almost unrecognisable beginnings, Wintergreen added layer after sublime layer to build toward a dense texture of intricately woven vocal melodies.

The single she was launching – ‘This City’ – rounded off the set as a kind of dark lullaby to see her audience off into the night. The song spins a story of reclaiming the boundary between the self and the other, anthropomorphising the city as an intimidating and assimilating force. Both words and music would be at home in a Tim Burton film, juxtaposing the dark and mysterious with the personal and fragile.

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Rose Wintergreen’s upcoming album ‘Aurora’ will be released later this year. Visit her website at http://rosewintergreen.com or on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/rosewintergreen

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