In the world of jangle rock, there are many source points to revisit from The Feelies, R.E.M. and The dB’s all the way to the present with Real Estate and Cloud Nothings. Yet while certain unmentioned genres have had more than its share of adulation, this timeless snappy guitar oriented pop – we can never quite have enough of. Enter Los Angeles post-Americana band The Rose Petals, a hypnotically jangly outfit who crack the peppy guitar strums with their own brand of irritated swing kick and jumpy beats. The four piece have are announcing today the release of their debut album American Grenadine, out on 4/23/21.
With the announcement Glide is premiering the infectiously raw and sugary “Chesapeake Leopard” a throwback jangle anthem about Dolley Madison, wife of former U.S. President James Madison of all people.
This debut a dozen years and thousands of miles in the making. The group’s songwriting duo, Peter Donovan (All the Real Girls) and Elijah Ocean (Rolling Stone named his 2018 single, “Down This Road,” one of its top 10 best country and Americana songs of the week) first met in 2008, but it wasn’t until Donovan embarked on a cross-country tour of U.S. Presidents’ graves in 2016 that The Rose Petals came to fruition. The new album tells the unseen stories of 11 U.S. presidents, through crisp layers of guitar and emotive vocal lines reminiscent of both R.E.M. and Gin Blossoms.
Donovan explains the inspiration behind the album and song..
American Grenadine is an album about American legends and tall tales, specifically those involving our Presidents and First Ladies. Most of these stories are inspired by actual events. But, over time, the details become tailored and exaggerated to the point of mythology – their subjects commemorated as our de facto American gods,” says Donovan
“One such story is that of Dolley Madison and the War of 1812. With hostile British troops closing in on Washington D.C., Dolley waited at the White House for her husband to return from the front lines. As cannons roared in the distance, a young American soldier came riding up, warning of the fast-approaching danger and urging Dolley to get away at once.”
“The First Lady persuaded several people in the area to help her load a wagon with silver, china, books, and irreplaceable papers from the White House. By her own account, she even managed to salvage a copy of the Declaration of Independence on her way out the door.”
However, before they could flee, Dolley had one last thing to rescue – a famous portrait of George Washington. She couldn’t leave it behind to be mocked and desecrated. Legend circulated that she climbed a ladder and cut the canvas from its frame herself. Shortly after her narrow escape, the British invaded Washington and set fire to the White House. Dolley was celebrated as a national hero.
‘Chesapeake Leopard’ imagines an older, now-widowed Dolley retelling the story of that fateful day. Even now, she’s still shaping her own myth and fine-tuning her narrative (as we all do – particularly now in the era of social media), continuing to blur the line between truth and tall tale.”