Rosie Alena’s current single, ‘God’s Garden,’ is a rich and innovative track, as florid and baroque as her previous release, ‘The Light.’ This song clearly outlines her expectations and plans for romance, focusing on herself without ever sounding narcissistic, staying cautious without being overly so. Rosie Alena simply wants someone who will help her to grow.
Ostensibly a list of traits that one desires in a romantic partner, the lyrics are far more complicated and cleverer than that, traveling through “stars like satellites,” performance spaces (“enter stage left and exit right”), and hotels and their honeymoon suites, while dropping one-liners such as “temptation seeks another bite” and “naked flesh will serve you well.”
Pairing well with the deft lyrics, Alena’s voice is full, rounded and lyrical, nearly operatic. The instrumentation is correspondingly endlessly adept, a well-woven tapestry of singular parts that slide neatly along beside one another. The guitar part is twangy, nearly Western, and sets the scene well, while the synthesizer glides and occasionally jangles. The percussion is particularly stellar, layered and continually surprising, imparting its own flavor to the other instruments. Even the smatterings of piano feel percussive. Every listen, you find a part you missed the previous time.
The music video features Rosie Alena living her life in a hazy world of gentle domesticity, caring for her houseplants and doing some baking, before devolving into a sort of parody of Little Shop of Horrors, with first a potted plant coming to a grumpy sentience before the emergence of a moss-covered love interest. (With the sharp instrumentals, the soft-focused, “glamour shot” look of the camera, Rosie Alena’s surprisingly powerful vocals, and the exquisitely specific choreography, it recalls MARINA’s Froot era.)
If love is “God’s garden,” the track’s continual refrain, full of variety and continual surprise, watered and cared for, then it’s a fitting name for a song of such varied and inventive instrumentation and lyrics. As with Rosie Alena’s previous single, it’s the work of someone making precisely the music that they choose to. To quote Alena: “I’m no longer compromising.” A line that appears to describe her intentions for both romance and music.
‘God’s Garden’ is out now on untitled (recs) – available to Stream/Purchase here.