Haroula Rose
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Haroula Rose

Los Angeles, California, United States | INDIE

Los Angeles, California, United States | INDIE
Band Americana Singer/Songwriter


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"Haroula Rose Hits The Open Road"

As the summer months get warmer and warmer, Haroula Rose's music is like a refreshing, cool breeze. Her debut album, entitled "These Open Roads," was produced by Andy Lemaster and recorded in Athens, GA. With her honeyed voice and folky songwriting, Rose fits in quite nicely with Lemaster's repertoire of working with Bright Eyes, Azure Ray and the Good Life. Azure Ray's Orenda Fink even contributed vocals on the album. Likewise, the Southern country influence from Athens seeped into the album on songs such as, "The Leaving Song" and "A Place Under the Sun," with their quivering steel-pedal guitars.

While most of the songs on the album ruminate on the topics of lost love and starting anew, Rose's enchanting voice remains hopeful. It makes sense that her resume includes singing commercials and teaching music to children. Originally from Chicago, Rose attended the University of Chicago and then moved to Madrid on a prestigious Fulbright grant, sponsored by the US Department of State. After traveling through Europe, North Africa and the Middle East, Rose decided to settle in Los Angeles. The soft guitar strumming and sparkling voice reflect that of a well traveled person who has gained a strong compassion for people. On the song "Free to Be Me," Rose joyfully sings "there's more to believe and so much more to see, I am free, free to be me," showing that she is eager and confident to nurture a long and fruitful musical journey. Rose is set to perform on July 16 at the Echo Country Outpost - Deli Mag NY

"Haroula Rose: These Open Roads"

n this age of copious home recording, where every Joe or Jill with an acoustic guitar and vocal chords thinks their folk music worth public embrace, a beleaguered listener can be forgiven if the prospect of another such release isn’t cause for cartwheels. But talent is a stubborn thing; and even if is concealed by such regrettable product plague like the proverbial needle in this ever expanding haystack, when you hear it, it still announces “Here I am, come and get me!” as if lit up in sparklers! Rose is a striking-looking, brunette-haired L.A. newcomer with Chicago roots that needs little more than her chords and harmoniously honey voice to make her lyrics dig in on her debut, even on initial encounter. Cases in point: the utter joy of “Free to Be Me,” a lovely trilling tune evoking the ease of love—in duet with Chi-town’s Sad Brad Smith —accented by gentle whistling and minor backwoods country harmonica, juxtaposed against the raining regret and sallow despair (with sympathetic trumpets) of “Another Breakup Ballad.” The disillusion of the latter (and its more heartsick, wounds-licking C&W cousin, “The Leaving Song”), hardened against the memories of flowers, apology cards, and poignant evenings plus the anticipation of a cold bed, is nearly as wisdom-won as fellow Angelino cabaret star Sam Phillips—just short of Phillips’ accrued, affecting, knowing cynicism from greater age and divorce. Whereas the simple relish of acceptance in the latter and the opening “Brand New Start” shows what such lessons learnt might earn—refreshed romance like comfortable shoes. And with expert production from multi-instrumentalist Andy Lemaster bringing out every nuance of her accomplished playing and Miranda Lee Richards-like sweet voice, along with myriad guest musicians that spice each track with perfecting touches (bells, accordion, mandolin, pedal steel, cello, piano etc., and on “Simple Time,” Rose’s toy piano that sounds like a hammer dulcimer), These displays one small wonder after another. (And RIYL Azure Ray , too, as Orenda Fink is a friend that cameos.) (haroularose.com) - Big Takeover

"Top 100 Unsigned Artists"

Haroula Rose was listed as one of the Top 100 Unsigned Artists in Music Connection Magazine - Music Connection

"Best Song of the Month"

Haroula Rose's “Brand New Start” Named December “Best Song Of The Month”
By Dale Kawashima

Haroula Rose
Haroula Rose, a promising folk/pop singer/songwriter based in Los Angeles, CA, has won the SongwriterUniverse “Best Song Of The Month” Contest for December, for her song “Brand New Start.” This song will be included on Rose's upcoming 12-song album, These Open Roads, which she will release independently in January.

“Brand New Start” is a graceful, midtempo song which features an intimate, acoustic guitar-based arrangement. The song has an intelligent, heartfelt lyric theme, which is effectively conveyed by Rose's expressive vocal performance. "Brand New Start" was expertly produced by Andy LeMaster at studio in Athens, GA. LeMaster is a singer/songwriter who is also known for producing Conor Oberst/Bright Eyes, Azure Ray and Maria Taylor.

Rose was born and raised in the Chicago area; her family is originally from Greece. She learned to play guitar and some violin, and her music influences include Cat Stevens, Joni Mitchell and Bob Dylan. During high school she sang in choirs, and she was a singer in a rock band.

For college, Rose attended the University of Chicago, where she subsequently graduated with a B.A. in English and a Master's Degree in Education, completing both degrees in just four years.. It was also during college that she developed her songwriting and began performing live (mostly as a solo artist). Impressively, Rose applied and received a Fulbright grant, and moved to Madrid to live and work for two years.

The cover of Haroula Rose's new album.
Upon returning to the U.S., Rose moved to Los Angeles to pursue her music career. Early in 2009 she recorded & released her debut 5-song EP Someday, and the title song was featured in the CBS-TV series, How I Met Your Mother. Then in the fall of 2009, she recorded her first full album, These Open Roads.

I took some time (in 2010) to decide how to put [my album] out," said Rose. "I decided to release it independently while keeping the publishing and the master rights. The official release of the album will be in January (2011), with a release party at The Hotel Cafe on January 18." Rose will be performing with a full band for her Hotel Cafe show.

Rose will be busy in 2011 promoting her new album, and playing more shows. "I have a residency at The Hotel Cafe, and I'm playing the Room 5 Lounge. I also want to tour behind this record," she said. In addition, Rose mentioned that she is looking for the right manager, and that she is filming videos of several of her songs. Notably, Rose has just been named one of the Top 100 Unsigned Artists by Music Connection magazine.. - Songwriter Universe

"Artist of the Month"

Our current artist of the month Haroula Rose's soothing melodies, charming appeal, and impressively swift fingers gracing the acoustic is a combination we couldn't help but notice. Her musical influences include Leonard Cohen, Cat Stevens, Bob Dylan, Sufjan Stevens, and Elliot Smith to name a few. Rose's debut album, "These Open Roads" is a 12 track collection of tunes that are both uplifting and heavy on the heart, with some guest appearances from Drive By Trucker's John Neff and Saddle Creek's Andy Lemaster. "A Place Under The Sun" is a beautiful song that seems to be made for a golden, saturated sunny Sunday drive down the coast, aiding in self-reflection and realization. The banjo, cello, and twinkling keys give it a weary but hopeful feel, depicting our everyday struggle to break free and escape. The jaded "Duluth" is a rendition of a Mason Jennings song, dark yet sweet. The passionate singer/songwriter bashfully said, “When people say that the songs are honest or that it makes them feel at peace or understood and comforted. It makes me blush and it makes me feel lucky and like I’m on the right path. I want to keep making more music.”

Haroula Rose will be playing at Origami Vinyl in Echo Park on April 1st, and Bootleg Theater on May 15th. - Deli Magazine LA

"Haroula Rose: These Open Roads"

When does this recipe ever go wrong? Simple, poppy country rounds sung by a pretty-girl voice with some semi-exotic arrangements—tiny, twinkling bells or lazy cabasa—peppered throughout to keep things interesting. The best moments on the record come when Haroula sings the same thing over and over and over, like the last minute of “Duluth,” when she repeats “I’m gonna marry that boy” like a Lucinda Williams mantra. Let the lady ease your little sufferin’.

Read the rest at Vice Magazine: RECORDS - Vice Magazine - Vice Mag

"Editor's Pick (Several Times for Live Show)"

In conjunction with the release of her album These Open Roads, Los Angeles-based songstress Haroula Rose holds down a four-show residency at folkie lounge Hotel Café. Andy Lemaster of Bright Eyes, REM, and Azure Ray produced the album, which was recorded in Athens, Georgia, and showcases the singer's richly melodic writing, deft guitar-picking, and dulcet vocals. The long-player's 12 tracks feature contributions from members of Drive By Truckers, Neutral Milk Hotel, My Brightest Diamond, Rachael Yamagata's band, and more.” - Flavorpill

"Haroula Rose: These Open Roads"

Haroula Rose
These Open Roads
Haroula Rose’s aptly-titled debut album is something of a conundrum. Betraying a wisdom far beyond her years while maintaining a surface sweet naiveté, Rose does not fit easily within the current crop of her modern contemporaries. Rather, from the green and sepia colours of the album sleeve in, there’s a strong sense of nostalgia at work; These Open Roads sways wistfully between old-timey Americana, alternative country and softly sung folk whispers. Each song on the album is a journey, be it big or small, and demonstrates a finely honed skill for telling stories. Songs like ‘Another Breakup Ballad’ and ‘The Leaving Song’ are at once both personal and universal, suggesting tales that will inevitably be told again, informed by different characters.

Rose has spent a great deal of her life on the move, having travelled extensively through Europe, North Africa and the Middle East, including two years spent in Madrid exploring her creative impulses in collaboration with a range of artists, before arriving in her adopted home of Los Angeles. It was here that she refined her songs at open mic nights across the city and recorded her debut EP, Someday, which led to one of her songs being used in hit TV comedy ‘How I Met Your Mother’. Mutual friend Orenda Fink (Azure Ray, Art In Manila, O+S) introduced Rose to Saddle Creek mainstay and producer Andy LeMaster, who invited Rose to travel to Athens, Georgia to record an LP at a local studio and in his living room. Recorded in six weeks, the album features Fink on a number of tracks, and musician Sad Brad Smith from Rose’s hometown of Chicago, adds warmth to the duet ‘Free To Be Me’.

What is most forthcoming about These Open Roads is the album’s simplicity, the spaciousness of the arrangements that allows the narrative lyrics to seep through melodies of delicately plucked guitar, mandolin and Marxophone (a type of zither). A beautiful cover of Mason Jennings’ ‘Duluth’ excepted, every one of these lullabies to life gone by and the life ahead is told through Rose’s own experienced lines. There’s a joy to be found here, one that leaves an anticipation of what direction Rose will take next. Whichever road she travels from here, her future looks rosy. - Wears The Trousers (UK Magazine)

"De Ja Re Vu"

The marvelous Ms. Rose offers incredibly appealing Americana tunes. Her gently compelling vocals weave a magical spell. Wistful, whispery and wonderful. She’s also an exceptional songwriter, rich in subtlety. In addition to such wondrous originals as “Brand New Start,” “Lavender Moon,” “Free To Be Me” and “Another Breakup Ballad,” Rose gives an unforgettable rendition of Mason Jennings’ “Duluth.” - Pop Culture Classics

""These Open Roads" LP Review for Pop & Hiss"

The feathery tones of Haroula Rose’s debut album, “These Open Roads,” are pretty enough to cause suspicion. Underneath her gentle finger-picked guitar and girlish but graceful voice, does this L.A.-based singer-songwriter, originally from Chicago, provide the song structure to support all this loveliness?

She does — and each listen to her 11 songs (and one Mason Jennings cover) reveals a new melodic turn that the ear didn’t pick up on before. Recruiting a stable of musicians, including Drive-By Truckers’ John Neff on pedal steel, Orenda Fink from Azure Ray on vocals and producer Andy LeMaster (Bright Eyes, R.E.M.) on slide guitar and a slew of other instruments, Rose picked the right company to realize this highly textured collection that explores a few different moods, though always at a tender remove.

On “Simple Time,” with its peals of mandolin and plinking toy piano, Rose wishes to go back to a time that’s still ripe with hope. Over the playfully cantering rhythms of “Another Breakup Ballad,” she kicks a dodgy lover to the curb. But the fragmentary “Lavender Moon” is the standout, a spooked love song kissed with atmospherics that would give Tom Waits the shivers.

3 Stars out of 4 - LA Times

""Getting to Know Singer-Songwriter Haroula Rose""

Haroula Rose sings with the spirit of a gypsy soul, always searching for meaning or a seed of truth in each fleeting moment. Her voice is at once intimate and solacing, its gentle inflections betraying a subtle, plaintive sway that enriches moments of guitar-driven folk with the pathos of classic country.

She grew up just outside Chicago, lives now in Los Angeles, and considering even a bit of what’s shaped her artistry it’s clear that with her remarkable debut album, These Open Roads, she has found her defining purpose.

Upon the album’s release earlier this year, Haroula commemorated it with an ambitious five-week residency at the Hotel Café in Los Angeles. It wasn’t the first time she’d performed at the famed venue. In fact, in recent years she’s played live on countless stages, most notably at venues like the Bitter End in New York City, Lestat’s in San Diego, T.T. the Bear’s Place in Boston, and the Viper Room on the Sunset Strip.

Though crucial to craft, playing live — like songwriting and singing — is but one aspect of her talent. “For some reason I used to think you had to pick just one thing and focus on that one-hundred percent of the time,” Haroula says, “but I don’t think that’s true anymore.” Perhaps she felt as much because her musical curiosities have, since childhood, been diverse. Growing up, she took part in musical theater and school choirs, over time learning to play the violin and, later, guitar and piano. She sang in a cappella groups and in various bands with friends. She worked for a while in a recording studio, learning tools of the trade that would serve her well in years to come. And, after graduating from college, she taught music theory to children while living in Madrid on a Fulbright Grant.

It wasn’t until 2009, when she released a five-song EP entitled Someday that she once and for all resolved to pursue her greatest passion. “That took me some time,” she recalls, “to come into my own in the way of being able to say, ‘This is who I am, and it’s part of my identity that I don’t want to keep pushing to the side.’” And so it was not with any sense of blind ambition or naiveté that she’d made her current album.

To record it, Haroula ventured to Athens, Georgia, where she spent a little over a month getting acquainted with its Southern culture and music community. “I felt really settled in Athens right away,” she recalls. “Everybody was just so happy and accommodating to come and play. It was really, really nice, and all for the sake of the music and being friends.”

Producing the album was Andy LeMaster, a mainstay of the Athens music scene who has worked with such artists as REM, Conor Oberst, and Orenda Fink, the latter having contributed vocals to a few songs on These Open Roads. The opportunity to work with Haroula on her first, full-length album is one he looks back on with pride and admiration. “Her voice is so cool and unique,” LeMaster says. “I just loved discovering what sort of arrangements and soundscapes worked best around that."

For Haroula, absorbing the sights and sounds of Athens and its surrounding areas undoubtedly had an effect on the album’s overall vibe. “It made it seem more organic than it would have otherwise,” she suggests, adding, “but then there’s a couple songs that I feel like demonstrated this other energy there that’s really mysterious. In places especially like Savannah, where you get these really cool, old trees, Spanish moss, it just feels like you’re in another era of U.S. history in some ways, that whole Gothic feeling. That definitely had to do with certain parts of the record.”

Such influences resonate particularly on “Duluth,” a Mason Jennings cover that Haroula spins into a stark, sensuous resolution; and “Lavender Moon,” a love-starved lament steeped in a dusk, acoustic haze. “I wanted to experiment with different stuff like that,” she says, maintaining that she wanted the album to achieve an eclectic dimension. “I didn’t want it to be one emotional note the whole time,” she says. “You have to listen to it from the beginning to the end and see what this overall thing is. I didn’t want it to have all one sort of vibe. Hopefully people get that and enjoy it for that, because that was a challenge I had for myself.”

If at times her songs resonate with listeners as being heartbreakingly honest and vulnerable it’s only because she has confronted such fragility within herself. “When you’re a songwriter that’s part of what you give to people,” she says. “That’s part of what your job description is, in a way, to be able to express those things for other people to relate to and empathize with.”

On Friday night, Haroula will perform before a sold-out, hometown audience at Schuba’s Tavern in Chicago. Though just one of the several live dates she has slated across the country this year in support of These Open Roads, it nevertheless holds for her a poignant distinction. “When I come home,” she reflects, “especially to my old neighborhood where I grew up, it doesn’t feel that long ago that I was in junior high and I remember these places and all these memories come flooding back to me. But then it also feels like seven lifetimes ago. And there’s something so sad and melancholy about that, but also so beautiful too. That’s life. You do your best and that’s pretty much it, because it goes by so quickly.” - No Depression

"Live Music Pick of Week"

Chicago-bred, L.A.-based singer-songwriter Haroula Rose's self-released These Open Roads is a deceptively easy-on-the-ears debut that launches Rose as a triple threat: a deft and resourceful melodicist, a subtly superb acoustic guitar crafter and a distinctly winsome vocal presence. Hers are timeless tales of loneliness and bad breakups — goodbye to the past and what does the future hold? — and while this particular palette of fear, cheers and sneers of course could be a shopworn recipe for maudlin moping in lesser hands, in hers it's used as an opportunity to revel in the fascination of creation. The album's comforting though intriguingly troubling originals (and a bewitching version of Mason Jennings' "Duluth") are painted in evocative tones by a sterling cast of steel guitar players, harmonizing singers and multi-instrumentalist/producer Andy Lemaster. - LA Weekly

"Live Music Pick"

Haroula Rose has a very pensive voice, subtle to the ear but yet very pleasing. Her demeanor onstage is one of someone who does not take herself overly serious, allowing for friends to make little jokes at her expense and still taking it all in stride. From a personable standpoint, that makes a very positive impression. Her music is strongly written, with solid song structure amidst the elements of folk and at times, bluegrass. There is a real rustic tranquility present that is sure to bring in many more admirers of her music. I’m curious to see how she comes into her own going forward, but there is no doubt that Haroula Rose is a strong addition to this city’s musical landscape. - LA Record


Someday EP (2009)
Someday - single (2009)
These Open Roads (2011)
So Easy (2012)
All I Know - single (2012)
Close My Eyes To See (2011) (Luke Top Remix)
Lavender Moon (2012) (Hood Internet Remix)
So Easy EP (2012)
Here The Blue River (forthcoming LP -- 2013)



Haroula Rose grew up in Lincolnwood, Illinois to Greek parents, with music constantly playing through the house. She sang in school choirs, musical theater, and her own bands, as well as a capella groups in her youth. One encounter led to her singing on commercial campaigns and working in a recording studio in Chicago. She proceeded to hone her own songwriting and performing after living in Madrid, Spain on a Fulbright grant. During this time she was able to travel throughout Europe, Scandinavia, North Africa and to the MIddle East in Syria, Jordan and Israel, keeping journals, lyrics and ideas the whole time.

“I was teaching music to children in the outskirts of Madrid, making friends with a variety of amazingly talented flamenco and jazz musicians and filmmakers, wondering why I wasn’t doing the same — pushing myself and seeking what I wanted and feared most,” she says. “Finally I just figured if I didn’t really give it a go I would have many regrets later on…”

She moved back to California to pursue her dreams of film and music, basing herself in Topanga Canyon. She briefly attended USC’s MFA program in film, but took an indefinite hiatus to pursue music full time. Her five song debut EP “Someday” led to TV/film placements in series such as “How I Met Your Mother” as well as in feature films. She made a full-length record, “These Open Roads” for which she travelled to Athens, GA to work with acclaimed producer and musician Andy Lemaster (Bright Eyes, Now It’s Overhead, Alessi’s Ark, Whispertown, Azure Ray). “These Open Roads” received critical acclaim from the likes of the LA Times, No Depression, American Songwriter, the Deli LA and Chicago, Popmatters, LA Record, LA Weekly, and countless others. Various tracks have been used in the hit comedy “For A Good Time, Call…” and TV series such as “American Horror Story,” “Awkward,” “The Lying Game,” and many others.

She has since performed at official SXSW showcases and released several singles and remixes as well as a second EP, “So Easy” this last June. “So Easy” was produced by Sheldon Gomberg (Rickie Lee Jones, Ben Harper, The Living Sisters) and was lauded by the likes of Magnet Magazine, Spinner, Nylon, Blurt, Verbicide, as well as others.

Her sophomore LP, “Here The Blue River” will be released in 2013 and will feature the likes of Jim White, John Neff (Drive By Truckers, Japancakes), Rob Moose (Bon Iver, Antony & The Johnsons), Ben Peeler (The Wallflowers, Shelby Lynne), Leslie Stevens (Leslie Stevens and the Badgers), and many more. “Here The Blue River” is being produced by celebrated singer and songwriter Jim White and Zac Rae (Sara Lov, Early Winters, Pedestrian).

A short film Haroula co-wrote and performs in entitled “No Love Song” was just completed. This film also stars Rosanna Arquette and Daniel Ahearn (Daniel Ahearn & The Jones), and will be directed by Joselito Seldera. Haroula and Daniel will be collaborating as songwriters for this film along with Mocky (Peaches, Feist, Gonzalez) producing.