Raven Mahon on Roland Blinn – Rosebud

When writing up The Green Child this week I mentioned that they’re mining some real fun off-kilter synth pop tendencies, finding blending The Creatures and Strawberry Switchblade with jangled touches. One thing I’ve long learned, though, is that while there may be some scars inherent in a record that by no means dictates an artist’s current obsessions. Raven Mahon might be familiar here from her work in The Green Child, but perhaps more so as a member of Grass Widow. The band was long a favorite from the beginning of the last decade, mining post-punk and jangle pop with a carefree flair. I’d asked Raven for a Hidden Gems pick and she’s found an offbeat chem that certainly meets up to the overlooked part of the equation. Check out her take on Canadian songwriter Roland Blinn’s LP Rosebud.

“I was introduced to this record by Mikey whose internet scrounging I am always benefiting from,” admits Raven. “He’s constantly looking for new music and often coming across things that are under heard / appreciated. It immediately sounded like something I already know and love and reminded me of Wire or a Flying Nun band, which have inspired me since i first started making music. I don’t think I’ve ever made anything that’s sounded remotely like the influences I would claim inspired me, but I’ve always appreciated songs that sounded satisfying to me but also sort of mysteriously simple. I wish I could do that. The songs on this record struck me that way. I think the songwriting is really clever. I also appreciate that the songs seem to exist not out of ambition to be any particular thing, but feel like they come out of someone who can’t help it and can’t stop writing clever and funny and different songs and just carries around reams of notes of casual poetic and / or silly commentary. Also, he describes himself as a “visionary janitor” on his Bandcamp.”

“I think the other thing that strikes me about this record,” she notes, “is the sincerity and earnestness that slip into some of the phrases and melodies he sings. It makes me feel kind of sentimental. It’s something that I’m always trying to achieve in any music I make, combining sincerity and being upbeat, but never really nail. Perhaps it’s remained a hidden gem of a record because he never made it out of Halifax?”

I do always love it when these picks wind up being something I’ve never heard of. It’s a secret way to get proper recommendations from those I trust to turn me onto great bands. This record is indeed a gem — as Raven says its an odd post-punk album that’s got some squirm in its bones. Thankfully the record is up on Bandcamp and you can nab it straight from Roland to accompany The Green Child’s new LP out this week.

Support the artist. Buy it HERE.

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