Image by Delaney Royer
Philadelphia songstress ROZES came crashing into the public consciousness in 2015 as the voice and co-writer of the Chainsmokers hit “Roses” – followed by the 2016 release of her tellingly titled debut album Burn Wild. But she was elevated to heroic status earlier this year, when her song “Halfway There” was chosen as the official anthem of the 2019 Women’s March.
Now she’s teamed up with platinum-selling Nashville-by-way-of-Oregon stalwart Mat Kearney for the equally anthemic single “Walls,” about two people who can’t scale the emotional divides they’ve constructed between them. “You don’t even hear the sounds of all my cannons raging / Behind your walls,” ROZES howls in lament during the song’s massive choruses.
“‘It’s about the emotional space between two people who seem to each stand stubborn in their views,” she explains. “It feels so current in today’s world, whether it’s romance, friendship, or family, sometimes we stand on the opposite side of those we love.”
The accompanying video shows them indeed standing on opposite sides of a glass barrier, unable to reach through to one another. It perfectly captures the desperation of the lyrics, as well as the socio-political tenor of our times.
“‘Walls’ came about very organically the day ROZES and I met,” Kearney recalls. “I had written the title and some of the chorus awhile back. When I played it for her, she pointed out how we could write it about a relationship, as well as something much bigger. Walls are something we put up to the ones closest to us, as well as the people we know the least.”