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Arts & Culture

Hey Rosetta! New Album "Second Sight," Seeing Beauty in the Broken

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Credit: heyrosetta.com
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Hey Rosetta!, a seven-piece indie rock band from the far north is best known for their flair for energetic live performances and unique blend of strings, brass, piano, and drums. The band originally hails from the ocean sprayed shores of St. John’s, Newfoundland in Canada. Their fourth studio album, “Second Sight,” is set to be released in the US on Jan. 27. It’s a high energy piece with lively rock ballads, gentler folksy tracks, and flashes of pop infused indie rock. WUWM’s Rachel Owen spoke with Hey Rosetta!’s frontman, Tim Baker, talking about the band’s origins, “Second Sight’s” themes, and being inspired by his Canadian roots.   

Along with the traditional rock band set up, Hey Rosetta! boasts piano, violin, French horn, and cello. Baker provides the band’s vocals, guitar, piano with Josh Ward (bass, backing vocals), Adam Hogan (lead guitar), and Phil Maloney (drums), Kinley Dowling (violin), and Romesh Thavanathan (cello). All but one band member call St.John’s their hometown.

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Credit Credit: heyrosetta.com
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Hey Rosetta! features seven instrumentalists, playing guitar, piano, bass, drums, violin, French horn, and cello.

“The more I travel, and I travel a lot, the more I realize what a singularly strange place it really is,” says Baker, speaking about his home of St. John’s, Newfoundland. “It’s a very small community so I think as a result, very tight-knit. Everybody sort of knows each other and it is a very friendly place indeed.”

The formation of Hey Rosetta! in 2006 came as a direct result of Baker, who from an early age wrote songs for both acoustic guitar and piano. As a student at the University of Montreal, Baker would write music without having an outlet to perform them. Pent up with musical ambitions he started the band with only guitar, cello, piano, and drums. Slowly, the band’s sound came into fruition.   

“Fairly quickly I discovered the joys of electric guitar, and that sort of turned things in another direction,” chuckles Baker, noting how the band’s music developed organically throughout the years.

Hey Rosetta!’s music has been described by many as an uplifting and ethereal experience. Baker himself describes the band’s new album, “Second Sight,” as “this idea of shifting your vision slightly- moving away from your everyday, rational, denotative, left-brain way of seeing the world and embracing a more suggestive, intuitive, animalistic and ultimately more interesting ‘second sight’.” The album is not a conceptual one, but has many thematic and lyrical similarities.

“‘Second Sight,’ the title, comes from the song ‘Soft Offering.’ It is basically about night and how freeing the nighttime is,” says Baker. “When night comes around you are sort of shedding the daytime. The world slows down and you see things kind of differently. The idea of trying to see things differently kept coming up”  

“Second Sight’s” album art is perhaps just as beautiful as its music, a picture of a broken piece of pottery which has been melded back together with gold. The art piece is based on the ancient Japanese art form of “Kintsukuroi.” It is the idea of creating a piece which highlights its flaws, making it more beautiful. “Kintsukuroi” is also the name of the lead single off “Second Sight.”

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Album art for Hey Rosetta!'s forthcoming studio album, "Second Sight." The cover features traditional Japanese “Kintsukuroi” art.

“It relates to a relationship that I had been going through, where we ended our relationship and it was this traumatic breaking up,” says Baker. “But through it we actually ended up growing closer to one another because it was so hard and we cared about each other so much. Ultimately as the cover, it does work with this idea of “second sight” where you see it from a slightly different angle.”  

Hey Rosetta!’s North American tour kicks off Jan. 16, with a Madison, WI date on Feb. 18 at the The Frequency. Their forth studio album, “Second Sight” is out on Jan. 27.

The band’s video for “Soft Offering (For The Oft Suffering)” below, was released in late Oct.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BoMQ1kECjvY