After cutting his teeth in the live pub rock scene in the 70s, singer-songwriter Michael Rose is now gearing up for the release of his anticipated debut album, Give Back The Night. A raw, unapologetic exploration into Michael’s past, the debut release is refreshing in its organic production, lyricism and vocals, delving deep into issues and moments close to his heart. Taken under the wing of prolific Australian producer Herm Kovac (Ramrod Studio), Give Back The Night is fluid in its genre and style – just when you decide to label it a country record it turns inside out and becomes something completely different.
No stranger to the live scene, Michael spent much of his youth performing on the hallowed stages of Australia’s pub rock venues with bands Vela, and Breakfast with Friends. “That experience was fun, exhilarating, exhausting and at times infuriating,” he recalls. “Eager to please, and trying very hard to fit the mould of what I thought was expected of me — a lot of it didn’t sit well with me. Being a star was not the end game. Playing the music and the love of that was my joy.”
After performing consistently in the pub rock scene in Australia for several years Michael decided to take a break from music and focus on his family life. He was feeling fed up with the politics of the music industry and desperately needed a break. “I wanted to have something tangible and real to focus on and I had it with my wonderful wife and beautiful kids,” he says. While he never put away the music, it became a personal pursuit, something he did solely for himself and his own creativity. Give Back The Night is Michael’s re-introduction to the Australian music industry — a fresh start that comes off the back of several decades of patience and development.
The experience helped him find himself and his path musically. His passion for rock developed into an adoration of country music; an affection that is more than validated when listening to Give Back The Night. Despite being labelled online as easy listening, Give Back The Night is actually quite a harrowing and melancholic album. Michael refuses to shy away from anger, heartbreak and regret and the title track in particular is deeply racking, tackling domestic violence and the feeling of helplessness. Instead of being simply reflexive, Give Back The Night is an angry and passionate declaration, condemning physical abuse and passivity. The track also includes a beautiful vocal contribution by Alison Rose, one of Michael’s four daughters. It is a track that well deserves to be placed along the likes of anthemic strong issue-based songs such as Only Women Bleed.
“Give Back the Night is the most fearful and poignant for me,” says Michael. “I can’t imagine how a person lives with that fear that a misplaced word or action may trigger such hellish things. I wrote the song some 20 years ago and always had a firm belief that if I were to do any good, this song may do it. The choice – although some have said it brave – was for me a humbling and easy choice.”
Michael’s anger is also felt in the aptly titled track You Asshole – a powerful criticism of cowardice. The album also has a consistent taste of bitterness in its mouth — No One Mentions Luck is hardly subtle in its distaste of celebrity culture and What Gives You The Right rolls its eyes at arrogance and vanity. Falling Down tackles the reoccurrence of heartbreak and I Heard A Voice concedes to the power of fear. Also an incredibly mournful record, FLB (Fat Little Boy) in particular is a heartbreaking chapter on loneliness and detachment. The album opens with the melancholic Fifty (More Than This), a devastating track exploring fear and the brevity of life, and one that certainly sets the tone for the album – it is unforgiving in its honesty.
Give Back The Night never fails to deliver these stories with beauty and passion. An impressive debut offering Give Back The Night is a rich, melancholic and passionate exploration into a singer-songwriter’s fears, demons, regrets and hopes.
Give Back The Night is independently released by Michael Rose Music and is available now through iTunes.
For more information, please visit www.michaelrosemusic.net