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We begin at a railroad crossing. Its resounding, clanging bell—like a metronome keeping everything in time—grants an air of stability only for it to be punctured by a train’s metallic whirrs. As its lumbering presence fades into the ether, claire rousay arrives, and her voice is quiet and sincere enough to invite those listening to lend an ear. In the span of a few minutes she considers: a friend’s mother, the afterlife, and her own fragility; the loneliness of private moments; the feelings of those from across the digital realm. She, much like the trains and cars that pass by, captures life as both itinerant and alone, as one defined by a composite of identities formed in relation to others.
Following the completion of her upcoming Shelter Press LP ‘everything perfect is already here’ (SP134 / 2022), rousay created ‘17 roles (All Mapped Out)’ as a way to process the album. Across 24 minutes, we hear sparse field recordings and sustained strings, all of it moving at a steady, thoughtful pace. Its rhythms are thalassic, its drones diaphanous—more than music for ruminating, it’s the soundtrack to hearing a friend share stories, the kind that are so deep and so intimate that looking each other in the eye would prove too vulnerable. When ‘17 roles’ concludes with guitar plucks and harp, it feels like finding solace and serenity amongst friends, like finding joy in the people who define you.
First limited pressing of 300 copies.
Pro-dubbed tape, clear dark blue shell.
released October 1, 2021
music by claire rousay
with alex cunningham (violin) & marilu donovan (harp)
mastered by stephan mathieu
design by bartolomé sanson
text by joshua minsoo kim
supported by 80 fans who also own “17 roles (all mapped out)”
I discovered this album in the midst of a nervous breakdown. My now ex left me for a week to go camping with her friends. I was alone in our apartment stoned having a panic attack. By the time this album was done though I was cruising, at peace with everything. Everything in my life was fucked up and weird but it was ok.
Amazing album. Tyler Knapp