For the singer, mu­sic is a form of ther­apy, a way to ad­dress her bat­tles with anx­i­ety, de­pres­sion and an eat­ing dis­or­der

The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - THE TAKE CRITICS’ CHOICE - NIALLBYRNE


Soul-bar­ing singer-song­writer.




At the age of 16, Done­gal’s Rosie Car­ney signed a record deal that guided her away from the un­adorned and hon­est song­writ­ing that she wanted to pur­sue. Af­ter that false start, Car­ney knuck­led down and got even more real and be­gan to ad­dress her bat­tles with anx­i­ety, de­pres­sion and an eat­ing dis­or­der that oc­cu­pied her teenage years.

As she told Ma­hogany in a re­cent video doc­u­men­tary, the cat­a­lyst for change was when her grand­mother, who suf­fers with de­men­tia, asked her mother if Rosie had can­cer, as she was so thin. Mu­sic re­ally be­came a form of ther­apy for her.

Last year’s sin­gle Awake Me, re­leased as a 19-year-old, was a song about es­cap­ing the grip of de­pres­sion. “From down on the dirt / to un­der moun­tain tops / where our life stops / and I’ve been a fool / for more than half my life / I’ve tried to hide / awake me / don’t break me,” she sings gen­tly as if lift­ing the fog and open­ing her soul to the lis­tener.

Each song Car­ney re­leases is a res­o­nant de­pic­tion of a per­son mov­ing on, learn­ing and cop­ing. In­stru­men­ta­tion is sparse: gui­tar, pi­ano and lit­tle else. It’s Car­ney’s voice that holds the at­ten­tion. A suit­able cover of Cig­a­rettes Af­ter Sex’s K pares back an al­readys­parse song to its es­sen­tials, while her new­est song, Bare, reaches for a hand in hard times.

It’s mu­sic that comes en­tirely from Car­ney’s own ex­pe­ri­ences and ex­pres­sion, which would likely have been di­luted by in­dus­try machi­na­tions. Car­ney’s mu­sic now of­fers so­lace for oth­ers as well as her­self.

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