Catharsis has always seemed to be just out of reach for Rosie Carney. The Irish folk singer-songwriter has professedly lived more lives in all of her short twenty-three years than most of us will in an entire lifetime, as chronicled in our previous profiling. But the one thing that didn't seem to be in abundance was a sense of true release. That all changes with her stunning new single, "when i look at you", the first off her upcoming EP i dreamed i was the night.
Recorded in New York alongside Thomas Bartlett (Sufjan Stevens, Florence and the Machine), "when i look at you" sees Carney take a deep breath and let it out slowly over a haunting guitar melody. Barely more than a whisper, her voice carries the weight of the pained lyrics with elegant grace, washing over the dark bass notes and staggered piano keys. It's a painstakingly beautiful feat to listen to, but even more so to watch. The accompanying visuals—her first to be choreographed—paint the track in stark colours and symbolic imagery. Lying under a see-through layer of chiffon, Carney wordlessly admits to her thinly veiled sense of entrapment, masking her true self from the world. She alludes to it further in her official statement: “I never felt comfortable being in front of the camera, it’s like I wrapped myself in chains, and I knew in order to really tell this story I had to break myself free from them.”
Even more revealing than that is the one aspect of the video that truly leaves you speechless—the choreography. Partnered with Tylor Deyn, she seemingly gives in to her body, letting it tell her story for the first time. It's pure and forgiving, allowing Deyn to hold her up as she drifts toward the emotional catharsis she craved for so long. “I see my songs in images as I write them, so I knew as I wrote this song that I would be in the video, something I’ve never done before. I knew I wanted to move my body (again something I’ve never done before) but I knew I had to do it in a way that would tell the story of the pain and fear I've been through both physically and mentally over the past 10 years.”
If this is the work of a finally freed Rosie Carney, then we're left to wonder: "how high can this extraordinary talent climb now?" I reckon the answer can only be found up in the clouds.