(Earth Libraries)
Add date: 7.16.2024
Release date: 7.12.2024


Apple Music
Earth Libraries

Kaycie Satterfield leans into the endless, prickly change inherent in life. So when the guitarist and singer-songwriter broke her wrist in 2020 and was entirely unable to play her instrument for months, she had no choice but to embrace change. “Guitar is my main source of continuity,” she says. “So I had to learn how to think outside of my current conventions and to work with limitations.” On one hand, she needed to figure out how to write and play with one hand tied behind her back. But the fact that around the same time she had to go through four moves and a breakup meant she'd have to make peace with far more drastic change. And rather than be stuck in dated patterns and stories, Satterfield was newly determined to tell her own story her own way. The resulting album, Rosie (due July 12th via Earth Libraries), is a glistening slice of indie rock that bolsters Satterfield’s impeccable songwriting with a new perspective and rich, synth-driven production.

Lead single “Dog Year” opens the album on a rambunctious high, Satterfield singing through the end of a relationship and asserting her own strength. Though born in Austin and now splitting her time between Texas and Los Angeles, her guitar here taps into Midwest emo’s layered concentric loops, cleverly tempered by skittering electronic percussion and lightly echoed piano. “Cells die and resurrect again/ Into an exoskeleton/ You haven't kissed/ Not a single inch,” she sighs, the difficult passage of time also meaning she’s becoming a wholly new person.

While the record feels intensely personal—and was clearly the product of a period of tumult—Rosie isn’t a diaristic album listing out pains and experiences. Satterfield manages to bring the listener directly into these moments to live them and feel their own way through it. Ever since she got her first acoustic guitar (inspired by seeing Sheryl Crow on TV, no less), Satterfield has used music to simultaneously understand herself and connect with others. “I get tripped out about the passage of time, and zooming out and writing in this way helps me make peace with time going by,” she says.

Second single “Jetsam” relishes in guitar chug and high-octane longing, alternating between staccato self-effacement (“I wish I were a little more readable/ A little bit less esoteric, more breedable”) and languid dreaminess (“I just want your love”). The track fades out on a shimmering exhalation, each iteration of the chorus slowed and stretched into a running psychedelic river—something akin to Beach House’s slow-simmering beauty or Animal Collective’s “Bees” psychedelic drippiness. “This one is for the girls. Specifically, the girls who always stay a little messy, who could never quite get their hair to fall neat, who could never really pull a nice outfit together. Size medium but invisible girls,” she says. “Never heard of Brandy Melville girls. Loser girls. B+ girls. Stoner girls. Too dark at the function girls. God complex girls. Something to everyone because you’ve got an approval kink girls. Smart, but not booksmart girls. Uncomfy in low-rise jeans girls. Pretty, but not hot girl pretty girls. Usually harnessing it into some irresistible combination of quirk and aloofness, but kinda tired right now and just wishing they could assimilate for two seconds girls.”

Though the influence of fellow Texan St. Vincent is clear on Rosie, so too are flourishes of everyone from Alex G to Rufus Wainwright. On “Good Girl”, she doubles down on that diverse spectrum, a track that feels like Feist interpolating The Stooges’ “I Wanna Be Your Dog”: “Tell me I’m yours, I’ll put on my leash/ Come when you call and lay at your feet/ Give me the test and I’ll jump through all your hoops,” she says, before insisting that she’ll be a good girl for that special someone—the satirical smirk creeping in.

Satterfield recorded Rosie at home, opting to self-produce and have her partner help engineer. “We turned one of the rooms into a drum tracking room, and soundproofed it with every blanket we own,” she laughs. While that might call to mind rough-and-ready lo-fi gems, Satterfield instead captures a production style as lush and intimate as her inner world, knowing when to fill every corner of the canvas with synth dazzle and when to let things breathe and have her powerful vocals take the center.

The slow-clapping “Video Girl” leans delicately balances both halves, a stomping percussion track counterpointed by guitar strums on the off beats  and a low-mixed jazzy piano. Elsewhere, “TV” makes the most of its empty moments, the sultry mix leaving room for someone to join in: “Nothing but the TV on/ Won’t you come home, turn me on too.” On the riotously anxious “Spilled Milk”, the constant push of electronic drums, bouncy synth, and wavy guitar keep Satterfield’s lyrical quest for life’s meaning moving. “I couldn’t think of lyrics, but my partner suggested I should write about how every time I get too stoned I think about how all my friends used to be babies,” she laughs. “It became an existential stoner song.”

Throughout the record, Satterfield demonstrates the power of new perspectives, both in her process and in the compositions’ empathic catharsis. “I’ve always loved songs that are both digestible and witty, specific imagery that evokes something much bigger and abstract,” Satterfield says. Across its 13 tracks, Rosie achieves that duality spectrally: its mammoth hooks and glittering production wow at first listen, but each added spin brings the listener further along Satterfield’s irresistible journey through life’s unending changes, finding beauty every step of the way.