Single Review: Rosie Carney – Awake Me

By on Monday, 30th January 2017 at 1:00 pm

We at TGTF first experienced the stark fragility of Donegal-based singer Rosie Carney’s songwriting about a year ago, when she appeared as a showcasing artist at SXSW 2016. Though her performances in Austin were breathtaking in their beauty, there was also a feeling of reluctance about her then, an air of uncertainty about her own ability and her place as an artist. Carney’s hesitation was undoubtedly due in part to a previous difficult record label experience, but in the intervening time, she has also revealed a personal blog which chronicles her simultaneous private struggle with depression and anorexia.

Now, at the still tender age of 20, Carney seems to have found surer footing with London indie label X Novo and a newly-released single dealing with the emotions surrounding her mental illness.Titled ‘Awake Me’, the new track is both an austere expression of self-awareness and an appeal for compassion from those around her. The song’s opening guitar ostinato is both rhythmically hypnotic and harmonically vague, and Carney cleverly exploits its tonal ambiguity as her intensely personal narrative unfolds through the key phrase “I’ve been a fool for more than half of my life / I’ve tried too hard”. The simple plea of the chorus, “awake me, don’t break me” then grows into a soaring bridge section, where the harmonic progression and stunning agility of Carney’s singing voice become suddenly, startlingly clear.

If ‘Awake Me’ represents a fresh start for Rosie Carney after the difficult first years of her singing career, she would seem to be taking bold and very deliberate strides in a positive direction. Her understated lyricism and ethereally ambiguous musical style were well-established (as incongruous as that statement may sound) in her youth, but ‘Awake Me’ demonstrates an added element of maturity in her songwriting, and it serves as a promising pivot point for her future artistic endeavours.


Rosie Carney’s new single ‘Awake Me’ is available now via X Novo and, according to Carney’s official Facebook, will appear on her forthcoming EP release. TGTF’s previous coverage of Rosie Carney is back through here.

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There Goes The Fear is where we tell you about the latest music, gigs, and tours we love and think you should too.

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