Alexa Rose + Matthew Fowler
THU. September 7, 2023
Doors 7PM | Show 8PM
$10 ADV | $12 DOS
RSVP: Matthew Fowler + Alexa Rose
“Some people are good at separating themselves from their art,” says Matthew Fowler, “but I’ve never been able to do that. I live and breathe these songs every single day.”
Beginning in the kitchen of his parent’s Floridian home and at the age of 14, Matthew has not only been writing but recording original music, songs that would eventually lead to his debut full length LP titled Beginning (released at the age of 19) - a stripped-down batch of live performances aptly titled. He followed up the release with a Hail Mary, open-ended tour across the US that, to this day, has not ended. Recent years has landed him an official showcase at Americana Fest in Nashville and Folk Alliance International in Kansas City, a placement of a song on MTV, nearly 400 concerts (including opening slots for Richard Thompson, Damien Jurado, Angel Olsen), and a record deal.
In 2021, seven years after his debut album, Matthew released his sophomore LP via Signature Sounds Records - The Grief We Gave Our Mother. The album, produced by acclaimed producer Shane Leonard and mixed by grammy-winning producer/engineer Brian Joseph (Bon Iver, etc), has garnered significant praise and has amassed an organic growth of 50-70% listenership since March 1 on Spotify and now has topped nearly 300,000 monthly listeners.
The live performance is an elegant, emotionally charged concert of gritty grandeur and vulnerable intimacy driven by raw and direct vocals hinting at everything from Damien Rice and Glen Hansard to Ray LaMontagne and Ben Howard. It’s an overwhelmingly rich and rootsy vibe.
Matthew Fowler is now based in Denver, Colorado
On her new album ‘Headwaters’…
Headwaters are the source of a river. The furthest point from where water merges with something else. They are not mighty. Just a network of small tributaries, like a creek, not necessarily picturesque, but they’re the most important part of the river. Water is fluid and inconsistent and sacred and indifferent. You can be miles down a river, but you’re still at the origin. And in that way, water feels like it has transcended time. That’s how these songs found me—the way memories find you, in that slivering, elusive water. As quickly as you come across them, you bend in another direction.
Headwaters is the sophomore album from Virginian indie folk singer Alexa Rose. A series of minutely-observed vignettes that feel intimate and expansive at the same time. It captures the sweetness of life without avoiding any of the pain, with songs about time and its constraints, peppered with precise details pulled from Rose’s own life that make universal themes seem personal, inviting the listener to make each song their own.
A series of rivers, Headwaters is centered on the fluidity of time. After a year where time has seemed to ebb and flow inconsistently and all routine has been dismantled, I found myself writing in the medium of water, says Rose. When I was sitting alone in my room in the southern summer heat, windows open, humidity fuming, a song called Human poured out of me. It was August, and all summer there had been such a tremendous sense of humanity, revolution, justice coming up against division, misinformation, fear. Like most regular, feeling people, I had such a strange mixture of emotions: grief, excitement; solidarity with the ways people across the world were showing up to love and support one another. I wanted so badly to run outside and be a part of it all, right then and there in that moment. But I was stuck at home. And in that strange swelling of simultaneous loss and the richness of witnessing so much kindness, I remember laying on the bed with the guitar, staring at the ceiling, and just singing “I wanna go downtown and look some stranger in the face.” I would be happy to see anyone. I just really want to hug someone. To jump into some icy swimming hole. To feel the surge of aliveness. And I felt so imperfect and raw, but I knew so did everyone else.
Recorded over five sessions in Memphis, Tennessee at Delta Sonic Studios, with Bruce Watson producing, with mixing by Matt Ross-Spang and Clay Jones. Rose would sometimes bring songs written the night before and record them the next day with an all-star band, including guitarist Will Sexton, bassist Mark Stuart, drummer George Sluppick, and Al Gamble on organ and piano. The immediacy of being in the studio with freshly-written songs and an excellent band allowed Rose to expand her music in new ways.
I feel like this record is the first time I’ve ever let my whole self into the room, says Rose. The parts of me that are angry and wanting to stand up and the parts that want to be quiet. The parts that remember being a kid. Letting myself release all of that in the studio and having all these people back me up and make it work was a tremendous gift.
When I turned 27 and felt the weight of a decade in a conversation, I envisioned my present and past self in the form of a frenetic, uneasy current slapping up against a steady boat. I imagined my great grandparents in their garden in the golden embers of some evening and the timeless sensation of change, the colorful sunsets I’ve seen through their own eyes, decades later.
And in the same way I found the songs, waves breaking against my own roughness, only visitors, I’m passing them on to you now. May all of your rivers come back headwaters.
“track, rich with detail and the piercing clarity of Alexa’s vocals.” – Brooklyn Vegan
“‘Headwaters’ is a bucolic taste of folk-hewn Americana, offering pastural scenes that touch upon the personal.” – CLASH
“gorgeous and wistfully bittersweet.” – gorilla vs bear
“The nine tracks on Headwaters submerges you into Rose’s thorny examination of human na ture through petals of poignant lyrics, bucolic arrangements, and of course, Alexa’s mesmerizing vocals..” – KUTX
“hypnotic…The album’s central pairing of guitar and organ sounds fuzzy around its edges and covers each song with a warmly entrancing hum.” – No Depression
“the storytelling is poignant, and her vocals are delicate.” – Stereogum
“Alexa Rose’s sophomore album Headwaters, a sparse and meditative number that gives Rose’s gorgeous vocal full range to explore and anchor the track.” – Uproxx