New Music: Can’t Hold It All (Jacob Rose)

Category: music 204

St. Stephen, New Brunswick’s Jacob Rose has just released his latest EP, “Can’t Hold It All”.

Matt Carter

Back in December of 2019, St. Stephen musician Jacob Rose released the single, Agape, the first track off his new EP. In his description of the track, he details the song’s theme as a call to compassion and care. Both of these themes continue throughout, Can’t Hold It All, out today on all major streaming services.

The world has changed a lot over the past six months since that single was released. A world-wide pandemic and international unrest set-off by the death of George Floyd have added a level of unplanned immediacy to Rose’s call for understanding.

“Lyrically, this EP looks at themes of connection and unity, and challenging division – topics I was working through at the time it was recorded,” said Rose, while stressing the fact that these songs predate our current world climate and are thus unintentionally timely.

“It would be better to say that these songs contribute to the ongoing conversations rather than addresses them. I don’t want to say that I have solved the dilemmas,” he said. “One song called Remember seems to fit well with the COVID-19 crisis now, recalling when we could gather with friends and holding onto those rich moments. Another song called Why explores individual struggle and asks why do bad things happen and how do we respond differently or make change.”

With the exception of, Don’t Let Go, the EP’s rock and roll outlier, the remaining six tracks sit firmly within the world of acoustic folk with a few nice additional voices making appearances throughout. The cello on the title track is particularly effective.

Rose is one of a handful of musical voices emerging from the land of chicken bones and chocolate. St. Stephen has never been known as a hotbed for independent music but that appears to be slowly changing with the emergence of groups like Colourful Language, Hayden Wiebe and Rose himself.

“We have had a summer festival grow here for the last three years called Bonfire Festival and then a new winter festival began in February this year called Rain & Snow, which is a sister fest of sorts,” said Rose. “Probably the most notable activity that goes on musically is the coffee house and open mic that Loyal Tides Music Collective hosts yearly. They are active in bringing artists to town every month from November to April, under non-COVID circumstances.

“We are small but mighty and continually growing,” he said.


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