indie duo returns to town for House of Rock show
It used to be the married couple affectionately named Ivan and Kelly Rosebud played Eau Claire on tour after releasing a new album. The North Carolina duo pumped out energetic indie-rock darkly romanticized by synthesizers and dance beats all night long, calling upon participation and encouraging dancing among the many audience members who eventually left sweaty and satisfied. The Rosebuds’ upcoming tour, however, will be their most interesting to witness yet. Kelly Crisp now lives alone in Brooklyn, as does Ivan Howard in NC. The two divorced before writing and recording their new release, Loud Planes Fly Low, and the album reflects the difference. A new sadness fuels the songs, mostly slower and void of the high-energy beats from previous efforts, while carrying a new, heavier weight of severity. Woods is among the band’s very best, and Without a Focus may be their most honest, considering circumstance. Neither Ivan nor Kelly hide from their lyrics the coping process left over from the divorce. Ivan sings on acoustic heartbreaker Worthwhile, “I sent a box of our stuff, so there’s something to open up.” The words are taken directly from a letter he sent to his new ex-wife right around Christmas after she moved out. On Come Visit Me, Kelly gives her best vocal performance yet, while seemingly responding to the same letter. “So send a note to me,” she sings, “that says a nice thing, but can’t unfray the mess. A million tiny splinters, the axe still ringing.” The Rosebuds were already a must-see show, but this tour holds more meaning, more mystery and more reason to be in attendance.