Join us on December 1st for Milwaukee natives Rose of the West in der Rathskeller!
~ About the Band ~
For Gina Barrington, music was always the vehicle, but once she jumped behind the steering wheel, it became a slow, strange, and jaunting ride. Starts and stops. Being in the wrong place at the right time.
Initially, Barrington fluttered around her writings, the musicians she shared her writings with and even the name for her road-worn project. “I really had a hard go,” Barrington explains the delay in her musical destination. “Trusting some people to help me develop the music I was so invested in for so long, and learning they were just wrong for every part of my life and the music. And then, starting over. It’s made things grow, and I think the direction and sound that's happening now is the best it has ever been - finding the right people and challenging myself is really what makes it special. It finally feels like the right path. I don’t know what else to do with myself; I have to create music…it doesn’t feel like a choice. It never has.”
Based in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Barrington entwines her home’s roots and the hardy, perseverant work ethic of her fellow Midwesterners to bind together a beautiful-but-structured, glossy-but-substantial and temperate-but-temperamental style of pop, following the cues of her home’s famously-infamous seasonal changes. Driving those currents are frosty synths, translucent sunbeams of guitar and piano, nimble, verdant bass lines and a tempestuous, gutsy kick from clear-cut percussion and Barrington’s articulately crystalline-but-sultry vocals. Cool versus bright. Warmth versus ice. This juxtaposition comes from a life-long magnetism to that cool-versus-bright sound. “I had a deep affection for darker things like Skinny Puppy, Front 242 and Ministry, but I also loved dreamy sounds of artists like Francoise Hardy, Slowdive and Cocteau Twins. “I always loved music so much, but like any kid who is forced to learn and play, you rebel and refuse to keep learning properly.”
Barrington’s first full-fledged band, Nightgown traveled along a bumpy road with both recording and shows and eventually ended with the unraveling of a close relationship within the band. Barrington explains, “during that period of losing the band and having to figure out how to rebuild, the only thing I had remaining was Amelinda (and original member of the group), who stayed true to me while trying to stay true to herself. Everything was falling apart for her, also.”
Magically in that post-breakup time, Barrington rekindled an old romance, and secretly got married. That same night, while out celebrating, Barrington ran into Thomas Gilbert, who was with his band mates in GGOOLLDD. “Thomas asked about my music and what I was planning. He offered to be a part of it any way he could and the next week, I had sent him all of my songs.” Soon afterwards, Barrington asked Erin Wolf (of Milwaukee’s Hello Death) to join on piano and vocals. “Things made sense to me suddenly,” she says.
With the recent addition of drummer Jake Brahm, Rose of the West is now on a journey to sharing the unique sound that comes from this special combination of musicians. Two singles - “Hunter’s Will” and “Love & War” - have been recorded and are ready to be released. At this juncture, Barrington reveals, “I’ve found the right people. I think a few of my questionable decisions somehow lead me to playing with who I’m playing with now. So, maybe the long spell of almost is broken, and it gets to keep living from this point on - though that may also have to do with trusting myself, finally.”