“At first, Jon DeRosa’s Anchored EP, a quartet of gorgeously layered chamber-pop shanties, seems leagues away from the voluptuous Lovecraftian drift he perfected under his moniker Aarktica. But there are dark spaces here, too, room to brood in the sweet gravel of his voice, in Julia Kent’s penetrating cello lines, and in the quiet violence of the lyrics. With a depth that belies its brief running time, Anchored is so perfect that it literally gives you the chills.” Ed Park, Novelist
Anchored is the debut solo release for Jon DeRosa, best known as leader of the Brooklyn-based drone-pop band Aarktica. With his eponymous solo release, DeRosa’s sound evolves from the frozen tundra of Aarktica to the deeply enigmatic moan of the open sea. Adding his own rich baritone voice to a landscape dominated by strings, horns and the guitar atmospherics of his previous projects, DeRosa’s sonic maturation is one of noir elegance.
DeRosa’s new musical incarnation is enveloping cinematic pop, a dark troubadour style reminiscent of Lou Reed or Robert Wyatt, or more directly Paul Buchanan of The Blue Nile. In tone, his new work can be compared to Spiritualized, or Echo and the Bunnymen, with the title track, “Anchored” being perhaps DeRosa’s own “Ocean Rain.”
Following is the deception of “Snow Coffin,” a sweet lullaby of indie-pop belying a tale of murder and betrayal in the dark of winter. In his brooding ballad “Ladies in Love,” DeRosa borrows from the poetry of serial killer Charles Schmid, the notorious “Pied Piper of Tucson.” The album closes with a warm lull of vibes and horns in his update of The Chills’“Submarine Bells.”
DeRosa is notably backed by Julia Kent on cello and Jon Natchez (Beirut/Yellow Ostrich) on horns and woodwinds. Also featured is the voice of Lorraine Lelis (ex Mahogany,Aarktica). The album was mixed at Mother West in NYC by Charles Newman (Magnetic Fields, Soko, Gospel Music).
The physical release is limited to 500 handnumbered copies, with printing by Starbage Hands Press (Portland, OR). DeRosa plans to release a second EP in the Spring of 2012.