Nicholas Krgovich Returns with "Rosemary," a Cheery Heartbreak Ballad

The first single from the Vancouver singer-songwriter's new album, 'OUCH,' seems breezy at first. And then it doesn't.

Nicholas Krgovich's last album, the laid-back but existentially troubled In an Open Field, came together over a period of five years. The Vancouver-born singer-songwriter released five other languid solo LPs in that stretch, and he'd toured extensively, but the songs of dormant turmoil he ended up with on Open Field had sat around, waiting to be finished. It was, he explained, something quite natural. Even when he was fronting Gigi, No Kids, and P:ano in his 20s, he never rushed through the songwriting process.


Then, in spring last year, he went through a gruelling break-up, and the songs started pouring out. Before he had the chance to take Open Field out on tour, a new batch of music was complete. “I didn't mean to write songs, I just started hearing them,” he told me. “And I couldn't stop. I wasn't even thinking while I was doing it. The tap turned on. I'm sure that happens to a bunch of people, but that's never happened to me in this particular way before.”

That album is called OUCH, and its first single, premiering below, is "Rosemary." Like the songs on In an Open Field, it's gentle, piano-led, easily melodic, wrapped in layers of sardonic humor, and devastating after a few listens. First time around, you'll hear Krgovich sing, laconically, about walking past someone's house, walking his bike, but "There's no story to tell / There's no real lesson here / It's just an afternoon." The nouns are all soft: "white gloves," "magnolia flowers," "bedroom window." It takes a little while to realize that the line Krgovich mumbled at the end of the first verse is about wiping away his own tears; he's walking past his ex-boyfriend's house, trying to convince himself to leave things alone. His brief flights into falsetto—even the handclaps he lays in at the end—can't cover-up his depression.

Listen to "Rosemary" below. OUCH is out via Tinangel Records on October 26, and you can pre-order it here.

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