To be alone with one’s thoughts is never easy, especially when having experienced the heart-wrenching feelings of quite literally every emotion on the other side of happy. Searching for life beyond love, loss, and all its complexities is 21-year-old, Indie pop singer-songwriter, ROSIE.
The New York native looks to deliver a shot of serotonin to the masses on her latest EP, 20mg of Happiness. Written in solitude, ROSIE penned the record while in her bedroom reflecting on the woes of her past. The EP is an exploration of the five stages of grief: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. Each of the 7 songs on the album represents a different stage of grief, or the transition from one stage to the next. Balancing meticulously between her own heartbreak and the universality of emotion, ROSIE chronicles the intricacies of all she’s been through.
Weighed down by a sea of emotion, “Screaming Underwater” is the perfect introduction to the level of gravity the record holds. Detailing the significance of one’s absence in another’s life, the track is both vulnerable and wishful. Though ROSIE sings a line like “I still get sick when I think about us,” she ends up asking the question of “Are you screaming underwater without me?” leaving us wondering that perhaps she hopes the other feels the same way, as if only then will her feelings be validated. Beyond the feelings held close to the heart, are those we can sense are wanting to be moved on from, on a track like “to get over you.” In this circumstance, ROSIE lets it be known that she will do whatever it takes to move on out of desperation, including “walking through hell and back again” and “hiking Mount Everest.” With statements like these further understood is the magnitude of each experience told on the record.
Like a neighbourhood crush, “All my favorite songs” brings the nostalgia. The string and acoustic guitar work accentuate moments of longing: “Coffee makes me anxious but I drink it ’cause it tastes like you / Converse hurt my feet but I still wear ’em ’cause I think of you.” Since moments come and go, and memories last forever, ROSIE clings on to what was with the hope that the good times don’t fade away. In the same token, she becomes consumed by thoughts of never seeing certain things the same way she once did: “You ruined all my favorite songs for me / I hate all my favorite movies.” When love outweighs all, we are left weathering the bad in order to see the good through.
Whether it was dancing in the kitchen, kissing one slowly, or drinking milkshakes in times of hardship, ROSIE is left second-guessing the likes of her significant other on “Idk you at all,” after feeling unappreciated: “I asked an 8-ball if you loved me / Shook it twice, it said ‘Not likely’ / Guess it gets you better than I do.” “Never the 1” sees ROSIE wear her heart on her sleeve as lyrics like, “I could write ten songs about nine ways you fucked me over / Only took you eight days to forget seven months together,” paint a picture of animosity all while being cathartic; an emotive anthem for those that have been done wrong by a partner. Her ethereal vocals on both tracks blend effortlessly into the soundscape – a storyteller’s masterclass.
Among these heavy emotional topics is anger, well represented in “Retail Therapy.” Despite all efforts, there is nothing that can make a loved one come back if they’ve already moved on. Instead, one is left wondering where they went wrong, or if they’ll ever see your face again. The only resolve – revenge. The line “I just wanna hurt you like you hurt me,” alludes to the fact that ROSIE is having a hard time coping with the situation at hand and wishes someone else could feel her pain.
“Sad, Sad, Sad” is the result of all ROSIE’s endured over the years. After a full year of healing and growing, sadness still creeps in, but this feeling of sadness serves as a reminder that certain scars never go away, and teaches us to not make the same mistake twice. We must accept what’s happened by being open with others and being comfortable with receiving help.
When it comes down to it, the mind is a garden and our thoughts are the seeds. It is up to us to choose to grow flowers or weeds. “My intention behind this EP is to raise mental health awareness by releasing a project that is deeply vulnerable and honest, and I hope it provides some form of catharsis for others. I want these songs to help those who feel misunderstood to feel understood, and those who feel unseen to feel seen. Let these 7 songs serve as a friend, providing a safe space and a sanctuary to all who listen.”
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