Review – David & Olivia’s “The Ballad of Rose”

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When it comes to country and Americana duos, the listener has to feel the chemistry between the two. That can certainly be felt when listening to Americana duo David & Olivia. The duo is from Huntington Beach, California and upon meeting each other one night in 2011, they felt an instant musical chemistry. They made their debut in 2013 with their On the Sea EP and toured coast-to-coast spreading the word of their music receiving some critical praise along the way. The duo just released their first single with London Tone Music and it’s called “The Ballad of Rose.” When asked about the origins of this song, David recalled, “When I sat down to write this song, Rose lead me down a very honest and haunting hallway where each room we came upon held a scene from my past.”

With that in mind let’s take a look at their new single. The song begins with a hazy feel and acoustic sound, setting a mellow tone. The song is about a man leaving a woman and telling her that there’s nothing she can say to stop him. David is singing the man’s part and Olivia the woman’s part of course. Even though both of them are saying it’s over, it really takes the whole song for them to realize that it really is over as they sing towards the end of the song that there’s “nothing left in this room.” The memories and feelings are all gone and it’s now time to move on from this part of their lives. The feeling in this song is similar to George Strait’s “Give It Away,” in the fact that they both know it should be over, but that doesn’t stop the emotional pain.

The instrumentation really does a good job of setting the tone and mood of this song. It’s hazy and subdued, which creates a somber feeling in listeners who can connect to this song. The somber feeling though isn’t so much having a sad effect, but a cathartic effect too. David & Olivia’s vocals gel well together and I can see why these two had an instant connection. I understand why David said this had a haunting effect on him too, as anyway who has went through a breakup can understand these feelings. My only complaint with this song is I wanted to hear more singing from David & Olivia and little less instrumentation. I thought this could have given the story and message a little more.

Other than the one complaint, I think this is a very good single from the duo. David & Olivia certainly show potential and because they’re still relatively new to making music together they obviously haven’t found their perfect sound yet. This will come in time. As they continue to tour and make music they should steadily improve and take on more challenging songs. The duo showings in country and Americana have been impressing me this year to the point I feel spoiled hearing so much great music from duos. David & Olivia are another duo in the Americana/country scene to keep an eye on.

Grade: 8.5/10

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