There are some times when you need a rounded, simple thing. You’re already worn down from the day’s events and anything with an edge just can not and will not do. And as male as I am, years ago when I saw the video for “Pretty Dress” by Rosie Thomas I put her circle of a song into my circle-shaped heart box. But in the end it was just one song, and a song standing by itself fades in time. I forgot about Rosie Thomas. Ugggh, Ouch and Boo me.
Cut to three years later, a stressful day and aisle strolling in a Borders and a chance glance to my left. Rosie’s album These Friends of Mine was purchased without preview and stuck into my purple ‘96 Saturn for the ride home. And I then eased through 5pm rush-hour with dreamy downcast eyes and slow reaction times. I had to be jolted out of the Rosie revelry by car horns. The album is an intimate and beautiful account of her move from Michigan to New York, and the wave of isolation that she encountered. She surrounded herself with friends and tapes a record in her tiny apartment. The whole collection features tremendous vocal and instrumental accompaniment the whole way through from pals Sufjan Stevens and Denison Witmer. The trio hunker down, turn their backs to the city and releeeeeease. The songs they made are still some of Thomas’s most dynamic and elegant to date.
She has a Christmas Album. She has her own record label (Sing-A-Long). She makes scarves. She has a comedienne alter ego. There is a documentary about her. She is in a movie. She is amazing and warm and wonderful.