Review: Rodes Rollins Comes Into Her Own With 'Velvet'

By: Julia Talen

Rodes Rollins (Talia Taxman) has truly come into her own in the last year and a half. Since the release of her acclaimed, coming-of-age EP, Young Adult, Rollins has gone on to release a series of singles including “Nasty Woman” and “Boom Pow.


Her next musical project, called Velvet, which drops October 19th, is an A/B Side record underscoring Rollins' impressive range as an artist. Her music straddles the sphere of all sorts of genres, from psychedelic rock to folk with a bluesy flare. This record is no exception.

The A Side's "Mystery Man" opens up with vintage instrumentals, which reminded me somewhat of some of the instrumentals The Growlers incorporate in their music. There is a sort of "Wild West" vibe throughout the tune as well, which is perhaps a nod to Rollins' roots having grown up in Boulder, Colorado. Complimenting that western old-time vibe are her exquisite, spooky, and synthy vocals that allure listeners deep into the story of a search for someone as she sings, "Mystery man/hold a gun to his head/what you want you can get."


Verse foils lyrics on the B side of Velvet with the track "Wrong Turn" when Rollins' sings, "We take a step towards a demise/darling we/try and then we realize/darling we/hung the towel up to dry." In the search her first track alludes to, her second track suggests a wrong turn's been made. In this "wrong turn," Rollins' tune slows down, shows off even more of her incredible vocal range, and plays up a somber side to her vocalization. There too, is an openness in her voice evocative of Cat Power. In addition to her vocals, Rollins rounds out the B Side with an incredible guitar outro solo which elevates the mesmerizing quality of both of her tunes on Velvet, as listeners quickly come to realize her guitar-playing talent is quite remarkable.

Rollins' music is original, combining all sorts of influences as she continues to experiment and grow as a musician. Such originality is certainly a difficult achievement in our musically saturated world, but Rollin's is going for it and doing it well.


All photos, videos, and embedded tracks per the artists featured and those credited. This feature was edited for brevity and clarity by BolderBeat.