Rebekah Rolland Announces Single, “Hole in the Earth”
The new Americana single from Rebekah Rolland, “Hole in the Earth” creates an ominous atmosphere within the prairie hills. Inspired by caves dug out of the earth by homesteaders, it lures listeners into a gritty and otherworldly reality of early life on the plains. It is the second single off Rolland’s upcoming debut album, Seed & Silo, due out July 20 on Sky Island Records.
An aroma of fiddle, violin, and Rolland’s twinkling voice blends together creating a tangy, fragrant melody. As the melodic flame burns at the surface, a darker instrumentation throughout the song spirals into a thin, constant cloud of smoke that meanders above the dancing ember. Each up and down motion creates a staccato of sounds like fluttering wings on a moth in the night as it is being drawn to a light. Rolland explains, “The song opens with layered droning fiddles and an intro by a single octar holding down the rhythm. The instrumentation throughout maintains this raw, stripped-down quality with mandolin and fiddle accents floating above it. While learning about this history, I was struck by the homesteader’s intimate and primal relationship to nature, and the way in which it was a dichotomously awe-inspiring and tumultuous one. I wanted the instrumental arrangement to reflect and enhance this theme as much as possible.” The song is a mournful one, though it speaks to the determination and resilience of homesteaders. The fiddles soar over the verses, as if crying through a stormy night, their haunting voices flowing through the prairie caves; the choruses are the calm after the storm—the moment in the song that urges one to look up and consider the human capacity for perseverance and growth in the face of extreme circumstances.
Seed & Silo draws inspiration from several sources. It is a product of her residency with the National Parks Service, and comes at a significant time. With recent budget cuts, issues around immigration, and women’s rights becoming increasingly pressing, the album centers around the way in which identity is shaped by the relationship to a specific place and the people within it. Rolland uses a dense story-teller like cadence to set each scene of an album richly rooted in feeling. In part, as with the single, it was also inspired by Cather’s Prairie Trilogy. The seed and silo are images that symbolize the legacy of homesteaders who settled the Western plains. Rolland goes further to say, “Many of these original homesteads remain, and the sight of these silos as you’re driving through the Nebraskan prairie is really striking and otherworldly. It’s eerie because of how numerous, but like everything else, how small they are when set against the expansive landscape.”
About Rebekah Rolland:
Rebekah Rolland is an Americana singer-songwriter from Tucson, AZ. She is also in the band, Run Boy Run. They have released two full-length albums and two EPs since forming in 2009, and have also won the Telluride Bluegrass Festival band competition (2011). Her upcoming solo debut is an extension of her role as vocalist, instrumentalist, and songwriter. Rolland has shared the stage with Hot Buttered Rum, and Birds of Chicago. Her songwriting has also been featured on Spotify’s official ‘New Roots’ playlist, and was a finalist in the International Music Awards. Run Boy Run also has a formal residency through the National Park Service at Homestead National Monument.