Lexie Rose – 20 Weeks
Seventeen year old singer/songwriter Lexie Rose is three years removed from her club debut and has grown exponentially during the intervening time. She’s worked with noted music figures like Grammy award winning producer Sheldon Gomberg and Max Allyn and the latest collection from her, produced by the latter, illustrates the growing influence of songwriters like Fiona Apple and Elliot Smith on her emerging artistry. There’s no question that her turn as a songwriter illuminates her personal life and needs, but these are songs that, likewise, can be enjoyed by listeners on their own merits. That accessibility is key to the success of her latest single “20 Weeks” and it also shows her growing ability to craft material that doesn’t just catch sparks on a recording but exhibits boundless promise as a live number too. Lexie Rose, despite her comparatively few years, emerges from this song as a commanding vocal and lyrical presence far beyond her years.
Her voice has genuine delicacy, but there’s undeniable musicality and soul accompanying those gentle qualities and it comes across quite vividly from the first. It’s quite impressive how she threads such an assortment of threads together so seamlessly and it perfectly complements the equally delicate arrangement. It’s primarily centered, musically, on the acoustic guitar and there’s just a slight hint of orchestration built into the arrangement that gives it a little more of a dramatic structure. She has canny instincts as a vocalist. In the context of “20 Weeks”, that means she knows when it’s the right time to back off and let the music carry the song and when there’s a time for bringing her skills to the fore. The essential subject at the heart of this song, longing, comes across strongly in Rose’s vocal.
The lyrics possess an obvious suggestion of the personal while still remaining instantly relatable for anyone encountering this song. We’ve all known a form of separation from someone we love or value and the pain it brings. Rose, obviously, places a great deal of importance on invoking atmospherics, but there’s certainly enough “meat” on the bones of these lyrics that the song would still be successful, albeit in a different way, stripped of its theatrical air. The instruments are surrounded with a bit of sparkle and layers of warmth that give Rose an excellent aural platform for performing. The song, thankfully, doesn’t over-extend itself and the focus she brings to the performance and writing is the hallmark of a much more experienced performer, yet Rose sounds comfortable taking on this role and inhabits the song with a real presence. “20 Weeks” is the latest peak in a career that’s sure to experience many high points and this fantastic performer will undoubtedly expand her fan base with this release. Coming in on the ground floor, so to speak, of a rising star’s career is always a thrilling and desirable experience for music fans – she provides an increasingly rare opportunity for that to happen.