B&L: What animal do you associate yourself with (given our ties to oxen)?
Cousins: Oh geez. I love birds and often wish for their perspective. They can fly alone but also with other birds. I like foxes because they are night creatures and tend to be curious and sneaky and quick, most often seen solo. Who knows?
B&L: Why music? Why do you seek it? Why do you create it? How’d it come calling to you?
Cousins: No idea. I don’t question it I just know I need it. It’s in me to give and make and receive and I don’t care why, I’m just glad for it.
B&L: What’s the making of a great show?
Cousins: A great show is a journey. Being transported for moments. Taken with melody or beat or swoop of sound, all of it. A great show is memorable and moving. I like to feel it and so when I play I like to draw on feelings.
B&L: You’re celebrating the release of your brand spanking new album, “Natural Conclusion.” What excites you about having this record out for the world to consume?
Cousins: I’m proud of it. I feel like it matches where I am in my life musically and personally. Levels of sophistication I’ve wanted, musical exploration, freedom in voice and truth in sentiment.
B&L: What are you looking for folks to take away from the music of Rose Cousins when they place themselves in a position to experience it?
Cousins: The best thing that could happen is a listener finding resonance in a lyric or musical ride. To connect with a truth of their own…
B&L: Is songwriting an easy or arduous process for you? Are you a fly by the seat of your pants kind of writer, or do you have to schedule “office hours.” Do you enjoy the act of writing a song?
Cousins: All of the above are true. Sometimes I catch the song. Sometimes I set aside time for it. Sometimes it’s hard and other times there’s flow. I trust the lack of consistent process.
B&L: Speaking of writing songs, I understand you spend some time here in New Hampshire writing on an island, which is an annual “hang” for a bunch of writers in the summertime. What sort of inspiration to you gather from that event (or series of events)? What do you enjoy about the Granite State?
Cousins: It’s Three Mile Island actually and it’s awesome. NH is beautiful. It’s an unstructured time where I can write on my own or with friends. It’s 5 days that can be whatever they need to be. This is rare for me and I treasure it. Three songs from “Natural Conclusion” were written on the island, “Grace,” “Freedom,” and “Like Trees.”
B&L: According to your current bio you took some time to yourself from 2014 up until the present (save for the occasional performance). You spent time pursuing an interest in photography? That’s cool! What else did you get up to?
Cousins: I’ve been a photographer since I was very young and yes I took some time in early 2014 to get back into the darkroom and develop and print and it was awesome. Photography is another way I experience the world. A visual versed aural interpretation of being alive.
B&L: Are you enjoying your time back on the road, or do you still continue to long for home and/or not appreciate the grind so much?
Cousins: There’s probably a balance in there somewhere. There are things I give up to be on the road and things I gain by being on it. I miss the routine of home but I also get to see people I might not, more often, if I didn’t travel. I think no matter what job you have there are good days and harder ones.
B&L: What’s one tune (or, heck, a couple) that exists out there in the ether that blows you away that you kind of wish you had written yourself?
Cousins: Sarah Siskind has a song called “Not Enough,” which is on her soon to be released Album called “Love”. I wish I had written it. So good…
B&L: What can folks expect when they come out to see you perform at the Press Room on February 23rd?
B&L: Question number 12. If you could have a dozen of anything, what would that dozen of something be?
Cousins: Either cupcakes or million dollars. I’d take a ½ dozen of each.
Rose Cousins will make a rare area performance when she visits the Press Room as part of her “Natural Conclusion” release tour on Thursday, February 23rd. Tickets and further information available here.