Wilderado

Eva Ross is living with ghosts. They go by names like loneliness, regret, longing, and as is the rub for far too many artists to count, they serve as both burden and muse. Her latest album, Lose, is a seven-track dip into those moments of melancholy. The Kentucky native has channeled the pain of her past—and the lethargy it precipitated—into an album that’s filled with rich, simmering guitar and nightingale vocals. From the first notes, Ross lures you into a world painted in icy blue hues. Her voice is ethereal, fragile, draped across her mournful arrangements with a slight warble to her sharp soprano. It's almost reminiscent of those dark fairytales that deal in grim ironies—a beautiful voice that came at the cost of anguish.

“I’m not sure I want to exist / If I don’t have the will to choose / Which memories I’ll keep or I will lose,” Ross muses on the title track, a harrowing line that echoes long after her soft, understated delivery fades. She wrestles those existential qualms with a certain grace, but always wears her vulnerability on her sleeve. In fact, her music offers a new twist on that famed Ernest Hemingway quote, that all there was to writing was to sit down at a typewriter and bleed. For Ross, her wounds are laid bare in her music, and her pain spills out as if she were spinning silk.

The song "It’s Fine" highlights a phrase that almost never rings true for the person uttering it. There’s a subtle current of strength running through Ross’ voice though, despite feeling like it might float away with a gust of wind. She weaves together images that form a recognizable narrative: a person close to her becoming a stranger, and the exhaustion that comes as the flame flickers out. “Take my hand as I lift up praise to God / And I'm trying to study and pass all my grades / While you're in a car getting high all day,” she sings, before echoing the title again and again. It’s not fine, or at least it wasn’t then. But if Ross has shown anything in her latest work, it’s that even when battered by circumstance, she trudges on.

As Ross stares defiantly towards the camera on the cover of Lose, vibrant red in the background, there’s a steel to her gaze. She may have been kicked down, but she’s persevered, prevailing by virtue of catharsis. And by listening, we do as well. - THRDCOAST

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