rose hotel, the solo project of Bowling Green, Ky-based musician Jordan Reynolds, plays Tidball’s Saturday at 10 p.m., sharing the bill with fellow Bowling Green acts Spirit Week and The Beech Benders.
Reynolds talked to me on the phone this week, reflecting on 2016 and the direction she sees rose hotel taking in 2017.
rose hotel dropped a promising four-song EP in May titled “flowers by the window”, which has since been taken down from Bandcamp.
“I didn’t have a good distinct vision, I wasn’t looking at it from a big picture mindset,” Reynolds said. “Listening back later I realized it wasn’t how I wanted rose hotel represented online.”
Recorded over the course of two months, the release was arguably one of the best the Bowling Green music scene produced in 2016. In retrospect, though, Reynolds craves a debut release that packs more of a punch, one that represents the perfectionist of a musician she truly is.
Reynolds is currently working on a collection of songs that will comprise her newest release, an EP she is tentatively planning to record and release by Spring 2017. The EP will be recorded in Atlanta, Georgia and produced by Trey Rosenkampff (frontman of Athens, Georgia band Chief Scout). Rosenkampff produced Buffalo Rodeo’s 2015 EP “123 Water”.
The short EP was proof Reynolds is more than capable of fronting a project on her own. On the release’s best moments, take for example EP closer “Mystery,” Reynolds demonstrates a knack for painting emotional landscapes that immediately command the listener’s attention. Her voice is tinged with both sadness (“Who’s on my side?” she ponders as loneliness settles in) and resilience (“I’ll go out alone and I’ll go out alone alive”) at the end of the song featuring a sharp change in attitude demonstrating she’s hell-bent on reveling in her newfound independence.
“These eyes ain’t yours anymore,” she repeats eight times at the end of the song, each time grittier, each time more pointed, building tension until finally she’s howling like a young Stevie Nicks.
The rousing track’s sinister sound was matched with a music video that paid respect to the song’s 1970s-era inspiration. The video was shot in Bowling Green at Rocky’s Bar by Chicago photojournalist Brittany Sowacke, Reynolds’ longtime friend, who captured the song’s moody, enigmatic tone perfectly. Nathan Hewitt provided lighting design for the production.
Reynolds released two music videos in 2016. The other,”Worries,” shot by videographer Cody Duncum, was a heartfelt, black-and-white video featuring family photos from distant eras flashing between close-up shots of Reynolds, building upon the song’s underlying theme of bittersweet nostalgia.
2016 has been a year of soul-searching and necessary trial-and-error for Reynolds. After spending much of the year touring the country with Buffalo Rodeo and rose hotel, she’s been somewhat low-key in late 2016, working full-time and recovering from the burnout that often results from perpetually being on the road.
“This year has been a huge year for me to grow and learn about myself as an artist, I’m hoping next year to have more of a vision and drive than I have in the past,” Reynolds said. “I’m actually honing in on what I want to do. It took this year to push myself to learn what I want.”
Reynolds can’t offer up many details as of yet about her EP she plans to drop in spring 2017, but she said it will be rooted in honesty and focused on the changing dynamic of the relationships in her life.
“Everything I’m writing is completely coming from reflecting on relationships in my life,” she said. “It’s been an emotional release and I’m putting how I’ve been feeling into song.”