It’s been a year and a half since Rosegarden Funeral Party emerged from the ashes of lead singer Leah Lane’s former project, Moon Waves, and the going hasn't been easy.
There have been last-minute changes to Rosegarden’s performance schedule, and the group's cast of members has continued to evolve. In December, lead guitarist Austin Camp left the band.
New members Tate Christopher (drums) and Mikka Vanya Brightheart (synth) have joined Lane and her brother Will Farrier (bass), and the group seems to finally be settling into its sound as a four-piece. Their second single, "Blitzkrieg in Holland" was released to iTunes, Spotify and Bandcamp yesterday.
The new single is quite different from the band’s first one, “Horror Music.” While that song introduced audiences to a band following a path of traditional gothic, dark wave music from the 1980s, "Blitzkrieg in Holland" demonstrates that Rosegarden Funeral Party is not just playing in the shadows of of shoegaze and post-punk bands gone by.
The song begins with a warning. “People run for your holy temples, I used to be one of you," Lane sings. She says the song “seemed like the logical next step as a the second single because it is a bit quicker paced, it's in your face." The name alludes to the fact that "it's supposed to hit you all at once, swiftly and unexpectedly, like a blitzkrieg," she says.
In support of the song's release, Rosegarden Funeral Party played The Nines on Thursday night, alongside Dallas synthpop band Polystarra and Austin post-punk act Temple of Angels. The show was a team effort by promoters Radioclash, Wardance and King Camel Productions.
A hallmark of Rosegarden Funeral Party's shows is that the stage is littered with roses and rose petals. “The roses are a beautiful symbol of femininity and brutality," Lane says. "They’re these absolutely beautiful, luscious, full, rich flowers covered in thorns.”
These qualities — femininity and brutality — are in many ways qualities that Rosegarden Funeral Party strives to emulate with its music.
“They represent this unattainable beauty that hearkens to unrequited love, which is the strongest emotion I think a person can feel," Lane says. "Because when you love someone with all your heart, and they leave that print on you but don’t love you back, it creates a constant longing, something we like to portray in our music.”
Lane is known for her uninhibited stage presence. Thursday night was the first time she performed with the band as both vocalist and guitarist, but she did not appear hindered by the weight of lead guitar duty.
“It was really cool to play guitar on these songs live because I could execute the guitar parts the same way that I execute the vocal parts, so where it’s more emotional lyrically, I can add that emphasis on the guitar,” she says.
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But that doesn't mean Lane plans to keep the role of lead guitar player indefinitely.
"One of the things that I like about this band is my ability to write the songs acoustically and trust my band members to come up with parts that really accentuate them," she says. "I want to bring in another guitar player because I want their influence. When you get too far into an echo chamber, I think you lose the sense of what your music actually sounds like.”
Even as a four-piece, Rosegarden Funeral Party's execution of its eight-song set Thursday was flawless. The love from the audience was palpable, and the band returned it by handing out the roses on the stage at the end of the evening.
Rosegarden Funeral Party will next play the Tin Panther in Fort Worth on Jan. 18, followed by a Jan. 25 show at Three Links in Deep Ellum. The band will release its third single, “Seeing You Here and Now,” in February and its first full-length, The Chopping Block, in March. In spring, it will tour Texas, New Mexico and California with ambient industrial band ManifestiV of Vallejo, California.