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Listen To CD Rose Lament A Relationship In A Standstill On New Song 'Pay Phone'

Singer CD Rose (Courtesy Alexandra Santos)
Singer CD Rose (Courtesy Alexandra Santos)

This is an exclusive song premiere, part of The ARTery's effort to highlight New England musicians.



In CD Rose’s new song “Pay Phone” (out April 30), we are greeted by a guitar loop. Then, Rose’s silky vocals draw us in. “Said you’re breaking up again, on the phone/ I need a quarter cause I need to hear your voice.”

Jamaica Plain native Clara Rose, who uses the moniker CD Rose, used her romantic life as inspiration for her song. She was in a stagnant relationship and although they both desired change, none came about. “I’ve been out in public yelling into a phone/ Say ‘I love you,’ keep on ringing/ Leave a message at the tone.”

Cover art for CD Rose's single "Pay Phone." (Courtesy Amina Mara)
Cover art for CD Rose's single "Pay Phone." (Courtesy Amina Mara)

The pay phone serves as a metaphor for the notion of “speaking to something that’s just not responding to you,” Rose says.

Rose first started playing music after she was severely injured playing basketball at 16. With a full cast on her arm after five surgeries, and little wiggle room for her fingers, Rose picked up a guitar and played as much as her hand would allow. “I picked up a guitar and started playing — pretty badly.” But she kept at it and found a new outlet.

“I don't think that I was super in touch with myself before I started making music,” Rose, 23, says. “When writing, you have to dig deep and really flesh out stories, even if you don't want to touch that kind of situation. Those are usually the best songs.”

Rose grew up listening to Amy Winehouse, The Beatles and Nina Simone. She credits her eclectic taste in music to her parents, who — instead of books on bookshelves — had CDs, records and cassette tapes repleting them. Despite the many influences from different genres, Rose landed on R&B. “I just think that R&B allows me, as an artist, to write the way that I feel unlike a lot of other genres.”

She admires artists like Kehlani, SZA and Brent Faiyaz specifically for their ability to “put out truth” and create something relatable for people.

“Pay Phone” will be the interlude for Rose’s upcoming seven-song EP, set to be released this summer. The theme of this work is embracing life’s transitions and her emotional rebirth. She hopes to expose her vulnerabilities and offer listeners her perspective. “I went through what I went through but I am able to come out of it with positive thoughts and feelings,” she adds.

With her engineer and producer living in Atlanta, Rose has had a chance to work with creatives she admires. She had a session with London On Da Track, renowned producer for Summer Walker, Young Thug, Gucci Mane among others. CD Rose’s goal is to go on tour at some point and share her music around different cities.

“It really hit me that way...all of that woke me up to ‘oh, this is a possibility,’” Rose says.


CD Rose's new song "Pay Phone" is out April 30.

Note: The audio for The ARTery's music premieres comes down after the track is released. You could still listen to the track via the streaming service embed above.

Related:

Magdiela Matta Twitter Arts Fellow
Magdiela Matta is the reporting fellow for The ARTery, WBUR's arts and culture team.

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