Rosin Coven – “Sing Me Malaise” Review

by | Jan 22, 2014 | Jazz, Funk & World

“Like stepping into a smoky speakeasy populated by circus freaks”

Rosin Coven is known for their kinetic live shows, a circus of theatricality and style. On Sing Me Malaise, the band is tasked with using only their songs to pull the listener into their world, without the costumes and pageantry.  Fortunately, the album manages to convey everything that the band is about, losing almost nothing in the journey from stage to stereo.

The nine members of Rosin Coven layer jazzy vocals over strings, brass, vibraphones and more.  They deftly bounce through genres, from the lounge swing of “I Found the Gold” to the dark and progressive “Magpies” and the dreamy dirge of “House of Roses.” The album makes the listener feel like they’re stepping into another world, a smoky speakeasy populated by eccentrics and circus freaks, corsets and courtesans. Though there are certainly a few highlight tracks in the collection, the individual compositions each stand on their own. There is a narrative consistency in the lyrics, even though the subject matter often varies wildly from song to song.

In the era of 99 cent digital downloads, the album comes across like a cohesive collection of songs – the soundtrack to a steampunk love story, equal parts irreverent joy and haunting despair.

Rosin Coven
Sing Me Malaise
San Francisco, CA