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To Burn A Lover, Rosali's 'Lie To Me' Keeps The Heat A Slow Simmer

May 2, 2018

To twist a meme normally reserved for Drake, get you a Rosali Middleman because she can do both. The Philly-based musician leads Long Hots, the chooglin' psych-rock trio featuring members of Spacin' and Hothead. Grab a tallboy; this is music that boogies your brain into heavy hypnosis. But Middleman also records simply as Rosali, and her wide-ranging solo project is harder to pin down as she navigates late-night Laurel Canyon-style fare, country-tinged ballads and moody soft-rock with an ear for piercing textures that give her easygoing songs an unexpected weight.

Members of The War on Drugs and Purling Hiss, as well as Mary Lattimore and Nathan Bowles, join Middleman on Trouble Anyway, which expands Rosali's sound with a band attuned to her shuffling guitar rhythms and introspective shifts of emotion. It's the kind of record best heard in the winding narrative of night, as casual conversations and cheap bottles of wine gradually turn deeper, darker notes.

"Lie to Me" comes a couple glasses in, and it sways like a Fleetwood Mac tune sung by Stevie Nicks with just as much sting. "I'll be a half of a woman to your half of a man / And I'll keep the other half 'til you learn how to stand," Rosali sings over guitars that rumble around her voice like stones in a river. "Lie to Me" chugs with a raw pop shimmer, featuring an immediately quotable chorus that teases and flips its narrator's feelings ("Lie to me / Lie with me"). Like Nicks, Rosali knows that the trick to burning a lover is the slow simmer — at least until you need to let the guitar wail.

Trouble Anyway comes out July 6 via Scissor Tail Records and Spinster Sounds, a new label run by musicians Sarah Louise and Sally Anne Morgan with folklorist Emily Hilliard.

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