Rose Droll's New Single Makes a Case for Keeping Pop Weird

"Fat Duck" is the latest track from her forthcoming debut 'Your Dog,' a record that seems intent on pulling sounds from as many worlds as it can.
November 7, 2018, 5:15pm
Photo courtesy of the artist.

I was always a sucker for the internet's postmodern promise of pop without borders. I am not sure who first theorized that having the whole history of popular music at our fingertips would dissolve the (false) boundaries between genres, but I bought it, and I was a fool. It largely it hasn't played out that way. Digital platforms favor glossine, unrelentingly melodic, midtempo songs that float to the top because they’re not offensive enough for people to click away. Everything is uniform.


This is why I was struck by Rose Droll's debut Your Dog when I first heard it last month. It goes some places. Even if you just listen to the few singles the San Francisco-based artist has released from it so far you start to get a sense of the scope. There's "Hush," a jazzy four minutes that features Rose half-rapping and half-interpolating children's spirituals—a nod to her own split from an upbringing in Christianity. "Boy Bruise" is a blustery single that kinda reminds me of both the DIY indie rock that's been stumbling out of Philly basements over the last half decade, and a strain of psychedelic theatricality that's more like Black Moth Super Rainbow. The record opens with a track that kinda reminds me of St. Vincent covering "Walk on the Wild of Side." It's blurry; it's cluttered; it's brilliant.

Today, in advance of Your Dog's November 16 release on Father/Daughter and Double Denim, Rose is sharing another single from the record called "Fat Duck," which is, predictably, unpredictable. Built around pitch-shifted electronic samples and multi-tracked harmonies, it owes as much to contemporary R&B as it does to any of the other stuff that Rose picks up and plays with throughout the record. It's probably the most immediately satisfying moment on the record, but even it's full of these wonderful thickets of ideas—a little bit of 70s singer-songwriter tropes here, a little minimal jazz there, a synth-marimba (or glockenspiel or something) that pops up for a tiny melody and then drops away. There's just so much going on, especially for a song that's kinda slow and meandering on its surface level. There's a lot of life in there.

Even in a world where music like this is always possible—where lots of people have the resources to make something wonderful and strange—it still feels rare to hear someone just straight-up go for it like this. So choose excitement, choose newness, and listen to "Fat Duck" up above as you wait for Your Dog. You won't regret it.