Written by: Jen Dan
Independent troubadours Matt C. White and Charles Ellsworth have been performing original nomadic folk-rock together in various incarnations and styles around the U.S. for several years now, but their new EP Rose Door is the first outright collaborative release between the two.
They first met at a show in a Brooklyn loft where Charles was playing a set of Neutral Milk Hotel covers on his toy ukulele to open for Matt’s psychedelic rock band Dead Seconds and the now defunct Captain Wizard.
Beer was drunk, pot was smoked, somehow the toy uke was not smashed up, and the show was a huge success, representing the genesis of their ongoing collaboration. Coincidentally, due to the random nature of the universe and high turnover rate that Brooklyn loft real estate can be, Matt is now living in the very apartment where they first met.
Rose Door was recorded in its entirety over this past summer in that same loft. Matt explains how the EP came to be, commenting, “It’s kind of funny how it came together. We didn’t have any real plans of making a record or anything in the beginning. We just started to hit record on that first track and then a couple other random things we had from years ago. After a few sessions, we really started honing in on a floral theme and we both really felt this sense of focus. The record just sort of made itself once the seed was planted.”
Charles adds some detail about how the title track for the EP was created, stating, “Matt had a guitar tuned in Open D hanging on the wall one day, and I picked it up and played something I had written while living in Salt Lake something like six years ago, but had never turned into a song. Matt urged me to push it forward and explore the idea a little, and after some time the two of us had turned it into the title track “Rose Door”.”
The underlying concept behind Rose Door is the idea that pertains to the goals you set, or new paths you may choose in life. You think that once you achieve those goals or open that doorway, everything is going to work out or you’ll finally be happy.
As you get older though, you notice that no matter how beautiful or enticing those ‘rose doors’ are, once you pass through them, you are still you and life churns on.
With time, the goal turns into being comfortable and at peace with yourself through the journey; not just crashing through the next doorway, frantically searching for the next venture. Enjoy the hallway, appreciate the doors, and take some time to stop and smell the flowers.
Rose Door, which Stereo Embers is pleased to premiere here, is a short, artful collection of reflective, flowing acoustic folk songs exploring Matt and Charles’ personal human experience and how it has shaped their perception of time, love, and purpose. From acoustic guitars and string ensembles to mandolin and soaring vocals, Rose Door is an immersive, albeit fleeting passage of well-constructed thoughtful folklore.
Find out more about Matt C. White: https://www.facebook.com/MattCWhiteMusic/
Find out more about Charles Ellsworth: