About 10 years ago, singer/songwriter Ezza Rose hitchhiked to the Pacific Northwest from Los Angeles, riding with semi-truck drivers the whole journey north. After graduating, Rose decided to make Portland her permanent home.“It seemed like a really accessible town for a creative person to live in,” Rose says.She’s currently getting ready to release her fourth LP, No Means No, which draws inspiration from the disconnect between language and intention. Growing up, Rose says her mother would use contradictory expressions like “no means no” and “sorry isn’t good enough” (which is also the title of a song on the record). These phrases were confusing to her, since one reinforces the power of words while the other implies that sometimes, they aren’t enough to merit forgiveness.In her own life, Rose feels like her words haven’t always been taken seriously. “When we disconnect the meaning from a word, it holds no value anymore and communication is gone,” she explains.No Means No is moodier than Rose’s earlier albums, like 2014’s Poolside and 2015’s When the Water’s Hot, which pull from her bluegrass influences. The driving force of Rose’s music, though, is still her voice, which sounds fit for a smoky jazz lounge.
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