Scottish singer-songwriter Rosie H Sullivan has returned with her second EP In My Nature. This new indie folk offering follows the release of her debut project 123° East earlier this year.
First track Wild Flowers and Cobbled Stones introduces us to Sullivan’s gravelly tones. Acoustic guitars and angelic harmonies enhance Sullivan’s vocal and add a gorgeous depth to the track. The chorus of “I’ve traded wild flowers and country roads for bus lanes and tram ways and cobbled stones. As long as I’m living my imperfect life I’ll be happy and sad at the same time” feels intensely personal and can be related to by anyone who’s found themselves moving from the solitude of the country to the overwhelming bustle of the city. An instrumental comprising of an intense, deep bass and provocative strings further drive home the themes of change and moving through different stages of life.
Only A Woman brings a touch of poppiness to the EP with its peppy guitars and catchy hook of “You always say I’m only a woman after all. Take me, take me. Take me, take me.” I can’t help but compare Sullivan’s vocal to that of Imogen Heap: a raw, gravelliness coupled with breathy high notes which really sets her apart.
We’re led down a more downtempo route with Fragments which opens with gentle guitar plucks and sombre strings. The chorus of “My heart belongs to you, my life is split in two. These parts are moving on to and those I’m clinging on to like fragments of you. I’m a fragment of you” could be written about a past lover but is in fact an ode to her love of the Scottish highlands.
A more joyous vibe can be found on Chapters which is unmistakably folk-inspired with its layers of banjos and hints of brass. You can’t help but get hooked on the the chorus of “Life is for the living, dreams are for the dreaming. Hope is for the hoping, love is for the loving. In the chapters of life” and swept away in the track’s carefree tidal wave.
The EP is rounded off by Timeless, a heart wrenching ode which is made more poignant with its inclusion of spoken word by Scottish kayaking pioneer and family friend the late Hamish Gow. Again, Sullivan’s vocal is full of depth and emotion and an intensity that is felt through every lyric with the minimum of accompaniment. The soaring strings provide a goosebump-inducing backdrop to Gow’s vocal and a soundscape that Sullivan and her family will cherish. When speaking of the track Sullivan said, “In his final years, a close friend of my father’s passed onto us some old cinefilm that showed them kayaking around Scottish islands in the 1960s. This was created into a film, which Hamish narrated over, recalling the adventures of his youth. Part of this recording now sits nestled within the bridge of Timeless. It’s a big moment for me, and my family to have Hamish’s voice out there, and never forgotten.”
In My Nature is a journey through Sullivan’s memories of and love for the Scottish highlands that she calls home. She perfectly incorporates upbeat pop and folk-inflected tracks amongst the more downtempo odes, providing the listener with an all-encompassing glimpse into Sullivan’s life and musical abilities. It’s an EP to be proud of.
Sullivan’s break happened with the release of debut single So It Is in 2021 which was recorded in one take in her parent’s garden and which went on to receive over 600,000 streams on Spotify. She has recently completed a four-date tour including a show at London’s The Grace.
In My Nature is available to stream now. Find out more about Rosie H Sullivan here and have a listen to In My Nature below.