“Raise Your Voice” is the latest album release by singer-songwriter and vocal coach, December Rose. If you’re into strong female vocals and don’t mind a few genres that blend wonderfully to tell a story, definitely give this album a listen! Rose has a great fan following in Latvia and Australia and his making her mark in the indie scene
Rose’s story starts off with an emotional track called, “Mamma”, which is a song reminiscent of some of Beyonce’s previous works. In the background, a soft stereo synthesizer supports the processed piano bit and it sounds amazing. I like how the vocals are really strong here – her runs are quite playful and a joy to listen to! She belts really high in this track, the cinematic drums suit that section. The final “drop” was unexpected, a great change of pace and emotion here! The song ends in a very mellow way, quite smooth.
2- Hot Damn
Track number two begins with a soft organ-like instrument that might remind you of some gospel music, though the vibe kinda changes after the beats come in. I like how the production is modern and her vocals sound like Whitney Houston a bit. The strongest part in this song is definitely the second verse where she sings her heart out! Hot Damn indeed. The loud crashes fit in well with the stunningly composed bridge – Rose is an amazing songwriter! Again a catchy chorus that takes the cake along with that nice vocal “riff” in the outro.
3- Off The Edge
So, to me, it sounds like an Armin/Tiesto production at the start. It’s more pop/edm as compared to the previous tracks. A very clever buildup with the right amount of instruments create a very calm vibe for the listener. The line, “I’m falling off the edge”, really stuck with me. Some groovy hi-hats to fit in with the rest of the rhythm section form the track’s addictive beat. A great song to be played in a club, though I feel it’s a bit long.
4- Apple Tree
Similar to some Spice Girl songs, “Apple Tree” is a posi song with some interesting chord and scale changes. With its instrumental pulses, the song maintains a constant flow that keeps you entertained throughout. As always, Rose delivers with a well composed bridge and powerful vocals. In addition, it has a great sounding outro that takes us to track number four.
5- Four Walls
December Rose takes us to a sad and melancholic place here. Despite the similar sounds in the other songs, this track stands out due to the clean mixing and its unique sound. I loved the space created by the reverb, it’s so full and sounds really great on headphones. Though the auto tuned T-Pain effect works well in the chorus, not so much for the other parts of the song. “Four Walls” sounds quite similar to German artist, “CassMae”.
6- Just One Love
The aura of this track is created by a deep, low-end-dominating kick as well as some interesting content in the lower spectrum. My favourite line of the song is, “Loving you more than you make me cry..” – got goosebumps? There is a nostalgic feel to “Just One Love”. This song has some really nice harmonies, it’s well spaced out for the vocals.
7- Day In The Life
Track number seven has a unique energy as compared to the other tracks. A beautiful, ethereal space and an amazing buildup kinda change the vibe of the song due to the production of the electronic drums. I know I’ve mentioned a lot of artists that Rose sounds like, but on this track I’m feeling a Celine Dion sound (maybe that’s just me).
8- Long Time Running
There are powerful scale changes in this pop/gospel song along with some cinematic elements in the beginning. I say gospel because of her style of singing on this track – she’s belting really high here and the energy is all the way up! The lyrics and the story will keep you interested until the very end.
9- When We Were Young
Okay, this isn’t a cover of Adele’s song, but she does sound a bit like her here! Structured like a simple EDM song, something like the tracks played at a daytime rave. It actually sounds like December Rose is singing live at a electronic music concert!
10- Raise Your Voice
The 36-minute-long album ends with “Raise Your Voice”. This track features feminist-centric lyrics sung wonderfully by Rose. She talks about the sexualisation of women and the predators in our society. Really powerful stuff. I feel the chorus hook is a bit over-sung, but it’s good listen in general
Here’s our conversation with December Rose.
Hello, here you go. Thanks again, from both myself and December Rose!
1: You sound a lot like Beyonce, Rihanna on this album! Which artist was a big influence to you while recording “Raise Your Voice”?
Wow thanks, that’s a huge compliment! I grew up listening to them! My biggest influence for this record was Sia. I’ve always been amazed by her ability to share her personal life through consistently strong, catchy, empowering songs. Seeing how she beautifully put together her records on various topics gave me some encouragement that I could share my story as well.
2: What’s your favorite track on this album?
This is a tough question! I think I’d have to say ‘When We Were Young’. It was the first song I finished that really got this album started in the right direction.
3: Your vocals on “Long Time Running” are excellent! How do you prepare for a recording session in the booth?
Thank you!! I find it really helpful to go to the studio to record a rough demo of the vocals. Then I listen to the bounced demo for a week to let the lyrics sink in, study my performance of it, and come up with ideas of how I’d like the vocals to build. I then go in a second time to lay down the real performance. It also really helps to have a peaceful recording environment where you don’t feel judged for vocal mistakes. I’m fortunate that the producer, Steve Galante, created that judgement free space for me to explore my ideas, try vocal tricks, and sing freely.
4: Many of the tracks on the album have are club-friendly, is there any particular EDM you are inspired by?
I don’t have a particular EDM style that I’m inspired by, but I really admire Illenium and Kygo for their motivating, feel-good tracks. Although my songs can be melancholic, I aspire to leave my audience hopeful and feeling good as well. I guess you could say I like to borrow some of that energy from the EDM world.
5: When can we hear the next December Rose release?
I have several bodies of work in my vault haha I will be working on a plan with my team to release more material in the new year. I will be taking the rest of 2021 to promote this record, ‘Raise Your Voice’, and share my story in various ways. I feel like this album is the end of an era for me, so I want to thoroughly enjoy this project so I can move on to creating new music.