This week, we’re shining our spotlight on Atlanta-based artist Baby Rose, the effortlessly iconic singer, songwriter, and producer with an utterly timeless sound to her music and vocals. Landing somewhere on the genre spectrum between traditional R&B and lo-fi hip-hop, Baby Rose is one of those artists whose SoundCloud page feels like the portal to a whole world of emotion and experience. From her voice and songwriting, it feels impossible to tell whether she’s 30 or 15, and her sound could’ve been just as relevant 50 years ago as it is today. Our playlist begins with three all-new songs she just released last week, which we hope will be making their way to a debut album later on this year. Luckily, there’s plenty of greatness already percolating in her back catalog for us to enjoy while we wait for a full-length offering.
Our first pick of the playlist is “Borderline,” a soaring, lo-fi crooner which feels like it offers immediate access to the depths of her soul. She sounds wise beyond her years and there’s a volatility to the timbre of her voice that’s immediately chill-inducing; I can’t quite compare her voice to another singer’s because it seems to take on so many different forms as you’ll hear in the rest of our playlist. Next up comes “Mortal,” a minimalistic, slow-burner that creates a cavernous container for Rose’s voice to resonate as she’s backed by fleeting, ghostly vocal harmonies that punctuate her gut-wrenching verses.
Next up, we have the last of her most recent releases in the form of “Sold Out,” which finds Baby Rose singing in a cadence that’s closer to rap but eventually protracts into a proper ballad. It’s such a smooth transition between her different vocal stylings, I hardly noticed the first time I listened how much this song and her singing evolves as it progresses. It’s a very simple tune, with her warm, soulful vocals layered over melancholy strings, but it builds and holds tension in such an unexpected way as her voice is looped and harmonized with itself into a vibrant catharsis.
As our playlist progresses, we take a trip down Rose’s memory lane in the form of “American Eyes” produced by Childish Major, a B-side from her 2017 release From Dusk til Dawn. We had to include this one just to show how cinematic Baby Rose can get, and what her unique vocal tone sounds like threaded through an orchestral, film score-worthy anthem. Our final pick comes from her J Dilla tribute, where she jumped on some old J Dilla beats and turned the best of the lot into a three-track EP aptly titled J Dilla x Baby Rose.
You officially have everything you need to complete your entry-level Baby Rose education, and she’s heading out on tour this week on a US run with Ari Lennox that runs through the end of June — check those dates here.