Rosie Spearing performs under the name Alba Rose, a stage name that comes from using her Spanish heritage middle name, meaning “the first light of dawn”. Released on the last day of August (officially the eve of spring in New Zealand), Eve is just the Wellingtonian’s debut single, written and produced with indie, soul, singer-songwriter, jazz and RnB influences. It’s a song that Alba Rose describes as being a door into what she is wanting to work on in the future. NZM is proud to premiere the music video for you today.
Eve was written during lockdown 2020. This was the first time in as long as I could remember that I really stopped to think about what I was doing in life, and where and who I was investing my energy into. Life had been very hectic for a long time. I had just come out of a big summer tour, I had just finished uni, I was having to work multiple side hustles to try pay em bills, and amongst all that I just lost track of myself and my “why”, and what I really wanted.
So in the spacious period of April 2020 I wrote Eve, with its main message being to refocus your energy on what makes you feel good, listen to your body and trust yourself and the process of life, and let go of any unnecessary baggage, including guilt and internal pressure. Eve is a metaphor for many things. It can be a feeling, a person, the eve before a transformative moment. I drew from the concept of Adam and Eve. That we don’t know what is just around the corner until we try. When something is good, just keep doing it and try not to hold yourself back.
After lockdown, I took this song to my good friend Rory Johns, who’s an amazing keys player, and he helped flesh out the arrangement of the track. I had just scored a part-time job at a new music production studio in Wellington called PureSound, so together we would jam for hours in the small fairy-lit space.
After working on a few more songs with Rory and performing some intimate gigs we took this to the extended band; Rory, Rafe Swan and Elijah Mulheron are all such talented musicians at Te Kōkī (NZ School of Music). It sounded so amazing the first time we properly put it together, I had tears and chills! We tracked the song at PureSound with Anthony Limbrick engineering and then I sent it to London-based Jim Macrae to mix. Jim works with some of my favourite artists (Jordan Rakei, Arjuna Oaks) and I’m a big fan of his mixing style. We bounced the track back and forth for a few weeks getting it close enough to perfect, then Bravo Bonez mastered it at PureSound.
Going into this process I really wanted to learn as much as I could along the way so I could produce this and future tracks myself to make them as authentic as possible. I feel very lucky to have been working at PureSound as it’s really that opportunity that gave me the boost and the resources I needed to back myself and produce this EP. The owner of the studio, Anthony Limbrick, has been really patient with me and has taught me most of what I know now around production and mixing. Anthony is a real legend.
Eve is just the door into what I’m wanting to work on. I get so excited by so many genres and I feel like Eve touches on a few of them. I wrote and produced it with indie, soul, singer/songwriter and R&B influences, but we play it out like jazz. I have also spent a lot of time working with producers in the liquid DnB scene, so I think it’s cool to bring out something completely fresh to establish myself as well as show some variety. I’m currently feeling really inspired by artists such as Sault, Cleo Sol and that English soul, uplifting sound, and would love to work on something that helps with positive brain patterns in the future. I studied Psychology and Sociology at university so would love to connect that aspect of thinking with my music. Next project I think…
A music video for Eve is going to be launched globally on September 1. The video was directed by Wellington-based cinematographer David Argue and it stars Annaliese Macdonald, who is a member of the Royal NZ School of Ballet. The concept really ties together the meaning of Alba, which come from my Spanish heritage and translates to English to mean ‘first light of the early dawn’, which is also my middle name.
When making the music video we really wanted to express that feeling of letting go, releasing, and focusing on moving the body. We did this with Annaliese performing a dance she choreographed on the beach at sunrise. It was truly the most magnificent, memorable moment. To record it we got up at 4.30 am, it was 2 degrees in the middle of winter, it was pitch black and we drove an hour to Raumati Beach. We set up the gear, warmed up Annaliese’s body, filmed the video in one rolling take and were done in a total of 15 minutes! It came together so quickly and so perfectly. I really wanted to create a raw, natural, authentic-looking video and David really did the most perfect job pulling it all together. Enjoy!