12 Songs, 39 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Rose Melberg's Cast Away the Clouds is simply enchanting. With only minimal help (the occasional piano, harmony vocal, and violin), the ex-Softies singer has crafted an intimate and sweet record that tenderly plucks heartstrings and will leave you with a warmed, if somewhat melancholy, heart. Melberg was always pegged as a twee cutie in the past, but a listen to any Softies record shows a songwriter of simple grace with a real ability to cut through the haze of everyday life and hit you where it counts, gently but with lasting effects. This record removes any last traces of indie pop from her sound and reveals a grown-up and sophisticated vocalist; indeed, Melberg has never sounded as soft on love songs (like the lilting ballad "The Orchard" or "Little Bird") or as transcendentally sad on broken-hearted ballads (like "Take Some Time," "Cast Away the Clouds," and "Your Tears"). It sounds like the few years spent building a life away from music might have added just a little bit more power to her already nearly magical voice. All this talk of change may frighten longtime Melberg followers, but don't worry -- she hasn't changed her musical approach that much. The first notes of the daisy-fresh opener, "Take Some Time," let you know you are on familiar ground. As with the Softies, the album is built around acoustic guitar with a touch of electric guitar here and there as well as some stray piano, flute, and percussion. She sticks to this simple sound most of the time; only the uncharacteristically bouncy "Irene" breaks free and adds some soft rock piano and gentle drums. In less adept hands, the relatively homogeneous sound of the record might be cause for malaise, but Melberg manages to cast a spell instead. This could be down to Melberg's angel-sweet vocals -- recorded more closely than ever before, she sounds like she is sitting right next to you. When she harmonizes with herself, you might feel like you are sitting next to her on a cloud drifting right up to heaven. Perfect to ease you out of heartache or to warm a frozen heart, Cast Away the Clouds is the kind of small masterpiece that offers proof that the album is still alive and well in 2006. It also offers proof that Rose Melberg, great as she was in the Softies, Go Sailor, and on her previous solo effort, has jumped to the major leagues.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Rose Melberg's Cast Away the Clouds is simply enchanting. With only minimal help (the occasional piano, harmony vocal, and violin), the ex-Softies singer has crafted an intimate and sweet record that tenderly plucks heartstrings and will leave you with a warmed, if somewhat melancholy, heart. Melberg was always pegged as a twee cutie in the past, but a listen to any Softies record shows a songwriter of simple grace with a real ability to cut through the haze of everyday life and hit you where it counts, gently but with lasting effects. This record removes any last traces of indie pop from her sound and reveals a grown-up and sophisticated vocalist; indeed, Melberg has never sounded as soft on love songs (like the lilting ballad "The Orchard" or "Little Bird") or as transcendentally sad on broken-hearted ballads (like "Take Some Time," "Cast Away the Clouds," and "Your Tears"). It sounds like the few years spent building a life away from music might have added just a little bit more power to her already nearly magical voice. All this talk of change may frighten longtime Melberg followers, but don't worry -- she hasn't changed her musical approach that much. The first notes of the daisy-fresh opener, "Take Some Time," let you know you are on familiar ground. As with the Softies, the album is built around acoustic guitar with a touch of electric guitar here and there as well as some stray piano, flute, and percussion. She sticks to this simple sound most of the time; only the uncharacteristically bouncy "Irene" breaks free and adds some soft rock piano and gentle drums. In less adept hands, the relatively homogeneous sound of the record might be cause for malaise, but Melberg manages to cast a spell instead. This could be down to Melberg's angel-sweet vocals -- recorded more closely than ever before, she sounds like she is sitting right next to you. When she harmonizes with herself, you might feel like you are sitting next to her on a cloud drifting right up to heaven. Perfect to ease you out of heartache or to warm a frozen heart, Cast Away the Clouds is the kind of small masterpiece that offers proof that the album is still alive and well in 2006. It also offers proof that Rose Melberg, great as she was in the Softies, Go Sailor, and on her previous solo effort, has jumped to the major leagues.

TITLE TIME
4:39
2:22
2:59
3:27
2:40
3:51
3:44
2:12
3:31
3:09
4:13
2:43

About Rose Melberg

Rose Melberg is indie pop royalty. Beginning in 1992, the diminutive singer/songwriter began a streak of classic bands and recordings. First was the riot pop band Tiger Trap, formed in Sacramento, CA, in 1992 by Melberg, singer/guitarist Angela Loy, bassist Jen Braun, and drummer Heather Dunn. They released two singles, an EP, and an influential self-titled LP before splitting in December of 1993. Melberg picked up the pieces and, after relocating to Portland, teamed up with Crimpshrine guitarist Paul Curran and Henry's Dress drummer (and future leader of the excellent Aislers Set) Amy Linton to form Go Sailor. They released three singles and a couple of compilation tracks (helpfully compiled on Go Sailor) before dissolving. While she was playing with Go Sailor, Melberg also began playing with Jen Sbragia in the Softies. Beginning in 1994, they recorded singles for K and Slumberland (two apiece) and three albums for K, including two absolute must-haves for indie pop lovers, 1995's It's Love and 2000's Holiday in Rhode Island. After 1998's Winter Pageant, Melberg married Mint Records owner Bill Baker and moved to British Columbia, where she began playing drums for Vancouver indie pop group Gaze. They lasted for two acclaimed albums, 1998's Mitsumeru and 1999's Shake the Pounce, before splitting.

Melberg began working on solo material again around this time (she had previously released "My Day" on K's international pop underground convention collection in 1992 and "Cupid" on a 1993 split flexi single for Slumberland), the results of which were collected on 1998's Portola for Double Agent Records. After the release of Holiday in Rhode Island in 2000, the Softies disbanded and Melberg left the world of music to raise her son. She returned in 2005 with a brief tour of the Pacific Northwest and an MP3 giveaway (through Double Agent) cover of Anne Briggs' "The Time Has Come." She seemingly took that sentiment to heart and in early 2006 released possibly the best record of her career, the enchanting Cast Away the Clouds. After three long years between records, her second full-length under her own name, Homemade Ship, was released in autumn of 2009 by K. ~ Tim Sendra

  • ORIGIN
    Sacramento, CA

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