Once you listen to Baby Rose, she cannot be unheard or forgotten. There can be either an immediate understanding and acknowledgment of the beauty inherent in her delivery or a slightly bewildered reaction. Her latest single “Marmot,” however, is undeniable.
When she appeared on the song “Self Love” on the Dreamville compilation Revenge of the Dreamers III last year along with Ari Lennox and Bas, her jazz centered vocals stuck out like a sore thumb. It was hard to initially hear how they worked in the context of an r&b song with a driving hip hop rhythm. Yet that voice grabbed intrigue and birthed a desire to listen to the song more, as well as her forthcoming solo offerings.
Later in the year, she released her debut album To Myself, which captured a full expression of her voice connecting to a sound that complimented. A standout from the project (at least to me) was the track “Over.” The song used a modern r&b tone in the piano and rhythm that created a pure pocket for Baby Rose to fill. The pre-chorus to chorus section has beautifully layered vocals that create a velvety texture. The modern yet nostalgic composition allows Baby Rose not only to deliver you her unique voice but a style that envelops the tone like a hug.
“Marmot” is another extension of a current r&b arrangement with Baby Rose’s distinct vocal feel. The bass line drives the song seductively, evoking a sort of subtle ”stank face” as you listen. As she slides into the chorus with the lyrics, “ooo just one more moment with you,” the smooth r&b melody fuses with her raspy jazz inflection. The layers of vocals combine into the aural version of a rich chocolate cake. Later in the song, there is a bridge version of those same chorus lyrics with even more sweet layers that is of the most goosebump-inducing music moments of 2020.
The verse lyrics express the specificity of poorly timed love in a quaint and responsive manner. Rose sings, “I’m busy changing. You’re on my mind. You’re tired of change. And I’m tired of trying to find my way.” She describes the push and pull of love’s draw. Rose’s sentiment is delivered with accuracy to that emotional state. The melancholy yet enticing mood behind the words is brought to the forefront.
A “Marmot” is a type of groundhog. What that has to do with the song is unclear. Potentially it is a nickname for her or her lover, which seems to be the only potential guess at an answer. Somehow the title feels like Rose herself. Unable to pinpoint, yet holding a unique essence to be drawn towards.