Oh, Rose are a Washington-based indie rock combo led by singer/songwriter Olivia Rose Huebner, whose swooning vocals dip and dive across a backdrop of tuneful grit, atmospheric arrangements, and emotional catharsis. Rising out of Olympia's D.I.Y. scene, the band released an independent EP and mini-album before signing with Park the Van, which issued their 2019 full-length, While My Father Sleeps. Huebner, a native of Asheville, North Carolina, formed Oh, Rose in 2014 after moving to Olympia to attend The Evergreen State College. Initially working as a duo, she and drummer Liam Hindahl recorded their five-song debut EP, That Do Now See, in June 2014, later expanding into a quartet with the addition of bassist/singer Kevin Christopher and synth player Sarah Redden. With their core lineup established, Oh, Rose recorded the 2015 mini-album Seven, which they self-released in 2015. Over the next few years, the group continued to tour and hone their sound, eventually landing a deal with Park the Van Records in advance of their full-length debut. Released in August 2019, the deeply personal While My Father Sleeps was influenced by the death of Huebner's mother two years prior. ~ Timothy Monger
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Alternative & Indie - Released August 23, 2019 | Park The Van
While My Father Sleeps, the full-length debut by Oh, Rose, serves the double purpose of introducing a fiery indie rock combo and delivering the poignant backstory of its leader and namesake Olivia Rose Huebner. The Olympia-based quartet formed in 2014, establishing themselves around the Pacific Northwest with a well-received EP and subsequent mini-album before landing a deal with Park the Van Records in hopes of finding a wider audience. As a songwriter, Huebner has flashed shades of personal catharsis since the beginning, weaving themes of struggle, defiance, and renewal into elastic lo-fi missives full of explosive peaks and valleys. She and the band were already well into the songwriting process for this album when in early 2017, her mother, Wanda Lee Stephenson, passed away. A writer and storyteller in North Carolina, Stephenson had been devoted to her own lifelong work in the form of a book called While My Father Sleeps. In tribute to her mother's unfinished book, Huebner adopted the title for her band's debut and channeled her grief and anger into a wild dynamo of sound and sentiment. To a chugging soundtrack of mid-'90s indie rock, she confronts her fury head-on in opener "25 Alive," building up her dulcet vocals into a thrilling crescendo of anguish and power. The cool hues and buzzing synths of "I Believe" ride a propulsive groove while "Phoenix" uses its downbeat front half and frenetic conclusion to explore the stages of emotional rebirth. Throughout the album, drummer Liam Hindahl and bassist Kevin Christopher create a nimble but mighty rhythm battery while keyboardist Sarah Redden throws in some interesting textural counterpoint to Huebner's guitar work, but ultimately it's the singer's wildly undulating voice that remains the central focus here. Shifting from sweet and airy to downright feral, Huebner's instrument is an impressive one and even if she sometimes errs on too much repetition or indistinct mumbles, there is a unique power to both her delivery and the way she presents her songs. Finding inspiration in family and in friendship, While My Father Sleeps is as much a sonic statement as it is an emotional one. ~ Timothy Monger
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