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Rose Alaimo - A Place To Go When You Need To Hide (self-released)

13 December 2023

The phrase “concept album” might have become a troubling phrase, thanks to seventies proggers dressed as wizards singing about hobbits or space travel between 13-minute bass solos, but Rose Alaimo’s third album, A Place To Go When You Need To Hide, is precisely that. But fear not, the musical landscape that she navigates is a much more interesting and accessible one, a place where lush folk and considered Americana are punctuated with more driven rock urges, where the immediacy of pop music is subsumed under ambient dreamscapes.

“Stars,” the album’s first single, lyrically sums up much of what the album is about, a song about unexpectedly finding a moment of calm in a world of noise and confusion. And around this oasis, this sonic safe space, she arrays songs about just how mad and unpredictable the modern world is. The album is a diary, a confessional, not only documenting her own personal challenges but the stress brought on by living through COVID and its associated lockdowns, a world of political unrest and entrenchment, war and a general breakdown of empathy and understanding between communities, countries and cultures.

And if “Stars” sees her at her most understated, “Power Lines” is built on explosive indie-pop energy, and between just these two songs, you begin to see the scope of the sonic spectrum that Rose Alaimo works with. “Can’t Find Me” is a soulful, minimalist waltz, and by contrast “, Resist The Force” is a grungy metal salvo, all abrasive guitar riffs and intense, angular onslaughts.

Then there are songs such as “The Dark of Light” that just stop you in your tracks, a beguiling, brooding, fragile and fractured piece that The Cranberries would have killed to have in their set back in the day.

A Place To Go When You Need To Hide is an eclectic experience full of sonic highs and lulling lows, fierceness and serenity, self-doubt and enlightenment, challenging questions and unexpected answers. But, then again, so is life.

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