Autumnmusic (AKA Rosi Croom) follows her debut single ‘Pedestal’ with the EP Dreams&Fears, a folk-inspired collection with smatterings of minimal electro tones inspired by Odysseus’ maritime journey home from the Trojan war taken from Greek mythology. With a clear artistic vision, Dreams&Fears is an intriguing listen but not one that can be described as accessible from the offset.
Lead single ‘Pedestal’ is a near club-sound track that never fully evolves into the expected. Thankfully, the subtle use of electronic instrumentation allows Autumnmusic’s voice and lyrics to stand at the forefront of the track which go a long way in ensuring that the narrative remains. Running at a relatively short two minutes and twenty seconds, it’s moderately difficult to warm to the unique sonic structures implemented by Autumnmusic in such a diminished space of time. Although this might encourage some – myself included – to listen on, it does come as a slightly abrupt and fitful opening to Dreams&Fears as an EP, especially considering that ‘Pedestal’ is the lead single from the project.
“I struggle to think of a setting where, as a listener, this is a song that I would want to play.”
Listening on, ‘My Queen’ is another short track that personally evokes a strong feeling of unease. A distantly recorded piano and some ambient synth accompany Autumnmusic’s almost lullaby-esque and childlike vocals which grow further into this similarly short track. Another track that very closely follows the narrative that is sewn throughout the EP but the tonality and another abrupt ending leave it almost marooned when thinking about accessibility. I struggle to think of a setting where, as a listener, this is a song that I would want to play. However, the narrative quality and strong evocative nature of the opening two tracks do provide a cinematic quality that lead me to suggest that perhaps one should think less about Dreams&Fears as a collection of singular tracks and more a cohesive musical story.
The final two tracks of this mythological take, ‘Shipwrecked’ and ‘Drifting’ are easily the most accessible to the average listener. Retaining both the narrative, filmic quality and the central focus on vocals and lyrics, ‘Shipwrecked’ is a melodic blend of all the above. Perhaps what stands out in this penultimate track is the introduction of a far clearer melody that allows us to follow along whilst still taking in the craft of Autumnmusic’s work. What ‘Shipwrecked’ does so well is use electronic tones and moments to create a fitting soundscape that not only reflect the lyrics and narrative but also add another much-needed musical layer. ‘Drifting’, the final track, follows suit. With a more pop-inflected sound, clear melody, soft beat and supported vocals, ‘Drifting’ is the perfect antidote the to the somewhat alienating opening of Dreams&Fears.
“Dreams&Fears has glimpses of promise, developing exponentially in the latter stages of this four track EP”
Dreams&Fears has glimpses of promise, developing exponentially in the latter stages of this four track EP. Autumnmusic clearly has a knack for songwriting, but the meshing of folk influences and electro sounds sometimes seem as though more exploration is needed. Although there is more than adequate suggestion in ‘Shipwrecked’ and ‘Drifting’ that the two can work in synchronicity, Dreams&Fears starts as a somewhat uncomfortable listen but with space and time to breathe becomes a narrative experience that I hope is continued on a full album complimented with tracks that, on an instrumental level, are allowed to settle the listener into Autumnmusic’s elaborate, colourfully crafted and beautifully told mythological narrative.