Rose of the West

Rose of the West

Rose of the West

Milwaukee, WI

“For me personally, music has been a really slow, strange, and jaunting ride,” Gina Barrington confides. “A lot of starts and stops, being in the wrong place at the right time. Things started happening once I shared more of my personal, nerdy, very exposing work. [It took] the right people to help me do that.”

Barrington has called Milwaukee, Wisconsin home nearly her whole life. “I always loved music, but like any kid who is forced to learn and play because your grandfather is an orchestra director, you rebel and refuse to keep learning properly,” she admits. “I would never practice unless forced to. I enjoyed making my own little songs on piano or retreating to my room and singing quietly along to whatever I was listening to because I was so easily embarrassed. I think I did know that I possessed a unique natural gift that I didn't figure out what do with until much later…”

Barrington continues, “I was lucky enough to be exposed to everything because I had such a range of people around me growing up - my grandfather gave me an appreciation for all the classical composers. My friends listened to everything from punk to pop to industrial. A few artists that hit

me the hardest personally? The Cure, Siouxsie Sioux, Fleetwood Mac, Annie Lennox, Patti Smith, Portishead, Depeche Mode… I had a deep affection for darker things like Skinny Puppy, Front 242, Ministry, but I also loved dreamy sounds of artists like Francoise Hardy, Slowdive, and the Cocteau Twins. I also loved the Velvet Underground and Nico, and PJ Harvey, Pixies, Smiths, Fugazi, Massive Attack…”

Barrington’s first full-fledged band, Nightgown, traveled along a bumpy road and eventually ended with the unraveling of a close relationship within the band. “During that period of losing the band and having to figure out how to rebuild, the only thing I had remaining was one of the original members, Amelinda Burich (Group of the Altos, Detenzione, Winter Bear, Night Animals).

Amelinda stayed true to me while trying to stay true to herself.”

While healing, Barrington rekindled an old romance and secretly got married. On the night of her wedding she ran into Thomas Gilbert, who was with his band mates in GGOOLLDD. “Thomas asked about my music and what I was planning. The next week I had sent him all of my songs.” Soon

afterwards Barrington asked Erin Wolf (Group of the Altos, Hello Death) to join on piano and vocals. “Things made sense to me suddenly,” she says.

With the addition of drummer Jake Brahm (Canopies, Iron Pizza), Rose of the West is now on a journey towards sharing the unique sound that comes from this special combination of musicians. Two singles - “Hunter’s Will” and “Love & War” - have been recorded at Milwaukee’s Wire & Vice (WebsterX, Field Report) and are ready to be released.

Barrington, in Rose of the West, entwines 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. Cool versus bright. Warmth versus ice. “Maybe the long spell of ‘almost’ is broken,” she says, and the music echoes the same sentiment.

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