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When We Were Small

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Album Review

The mesmerizing debut outing of 24-year-old Rosie Thomas tempers folk, country, and alternative rock via sparse arrangements built upon simple acoustic guitar and piano motifs. Like Joni Mitchell, Tori Amos, and Paula Cole, Thomas paints vivid pictures with her storytelling prose, especially on "Wedding Day" and "Lorriane," which bemoan the loss of love with an optimistic twist. Documenting the disconsolate pain of separation on "Farewell," Thomas' cracking falsetto punctuates each phrase and whisper until a snippet of childhood soundbites from the artist draws the dirge to a satisfactory conclusion. Her compelling application of legato harmonies on cello to embellish the descending chord progressions of "Run" and "Bicycle Tricycle" displays Thomas' intimate, haunting, and melodic songcraft at its strongest. A fine start for a promising career.


Born: Seattle, WA

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '90s, '00s

Singer/songwriter Rosie Thomas has been shaping her sweet, delicate song stylings since her early childhood, but she made a name for herself when she joined Motor City dream pop band Velour 100. Thomas sang and toured with the band during the late '90s before jumping ship for a solo career. Mixing up the folk-pop of Joni Mitchell with indie sensibilities, Thomas found herself surrounded by a new scene. She and Damien Jurado dueted on "Wages of Sin" for Sub-Pop's 2001 compilation Badlands: A Tribute...
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When We Were Small, Rosie Thomas
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