Roselit Bone Will Bring Desert Punk to SLC


Roselit Bone. Courtesy Charlotte McCaslin

By Kate Button, Arts Writer, Copy Editor


Roselit Bone — a genre-bending band from the Pacific Northwest — released their third album, “Crisis Actor,” on July 19, 2019. In conjunction with this release, the band is embarking on a tour of the western United States. Roselit Bone’s trademarks of emotional honesty, rock intensity and broken down reality are all reaffirmed throughout the course of the album. This seven-piece band creates intricately layered songs that feature Charlotte McCaslin’s vocals alongside string, woodwind and brass instrumentals.

While Roselit Bone defies traditional genre-conformity, McCaslin told The Daily Utah Chronicle that her band draws elements from “spaghetti western soundtracks, classic country, mariachi, ranchera, old west cowboy music, punk, deathrock and experimental noise.” Drawing on their western influences, Roselit Bone is able to create music that speaks to themes of loss, anxiety, mourning and fear.

Poster designed by Alicia Pangman (@leishurely)

As Roselit Bone prepared “Crisis Actor,” they only had a couple of days in the studio to record. This hastened process shows in the album’s increased intensity compared to their previous works. McCaslin added, “I tried to create an album that captured the absurdity and confusion of the time after the cataclysm of the 2016 election. I’ve since gained perspective but at the time, like many people, I felt like my brain was on fire trying to process what happened and prepare for what would come next. There are a lot of allusions to the intense, drug-addled white supremacism and violence I experienced growing up as a gender nonconforming punk in Southern California. Most of the political commentary of the album is nihilistic and unhinged, but it is funny at times.” Further on her experience, she said “Partly through the writing/recording process I began to question my gender identity and began a transition shortly after the recording. There are many self-loathing elements in the lyrics that now speak to the dysphoria I was experiencing.”

With these dark political and personal backgrounds, “Crisis Actor” leans into the emotional reckoning and apocalyptic narrative. Roselit Bone’s tone is one of despair, paranoia and loathing, yet somehow it maintains a light at the end of the tunnel. American Standard Time described the album as a bizarrerie of song, a black mass of greased leather that oozes cool, and billows terror. It transforms perceptually from conjunto to cosmic country, from surf to rockabilly, transporting the listener from black forests to lonely casinos. It lives mournfully, and defiantly, in motels and dive bars of the mind.”

This band offers a raw and unadulterated view of modern life, powerful in their honest critiques and harsh depictions of reality. Their music has no sugarcoating, and Roselit Bone’s authenticity is refreshing.

Roselit Bone will be performing on July 31 at RYE Diner & Drinks (239 S 500 E) at 6 p.m. This event is free and for all ages.

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