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On her most ambitious album yet, No One Gets Out Alive, singer-songwriter Maggie Rose proves she's a true original. Though the electrifying record is her fourth full-length album release, in many ways it feels like her first. No One Gets Out Alive is a knockout career game-changer. Filled with deeply intimate, relatable songs, her masterful storytelling and soulful, powerful voice pulls you in immediately. The stunning title track sets the scene for the whole record- a master class in contemporary pop craftsmanship that also hearkens back to the golden days of early '70s Laurel Canyon. Rose delivers a mesmerizing performanceMore
On her most ambitious album yet, No One Gets Out Alive, singer-songwriter Maggie Rose proves she's a true original. Though the electrifying record is her fourth full-length album release, in many ways it feels like her first. No One Gets Out Alive is a knockout career game-changer. Filled with deeply intimate, relatable songs, her masterful storytelling and soulful, powerful voice pulls you in immediately. The stunning title track sets the scene for the whole record- a master class in contemporary pop craftsmanship that also hearkens back to the golden days of early '70s Laurel Canyon. Rose delivers a mesmerizing performance from start to finish. For fans already enthralled by the Nashville-based sensation, No One Gets Out Alive will be deeply satisfying. For those just discovering her, the record is a brilliant introduction. And for Rose herself, it's the album she always dared herself to make.
For this new record, Maggie Rose surrounded herself with a dream team of esteemed talents she personally handpicked. No One Gets Out Alive marks her second time working with GRAMMY-Award winning producer Ben Tanner. Tanner mixed the record with GRAMMY-nominated Bobby Holland, acting as audio engineer (he also produced some of Rose's earlier work.) The songs were recorded fully live with a core group of musicians comprised of some of the most talented mavericks around, including two members of Jason Isbell's 400 Unit, guitarist Sadler Vaden and drummer Chad Gamble, keyboardist Peter Levin (Amanda Shires, Gregg Allman), keyboardist Kaitlyn Connor and guitarist Kyle Lewis from her own band, and bassist Zac Cockrell from Alabama Shakes.
Working with a tight-knit circle of writers, Maggie leaned into her vulnerability and brought her concepts to an ultra-talented group of collaborators who helped bring the songs to fruition. Songwriters include the heavyweight duo of Claude Kelly and Chuck Harmony, who have spent over a decade penning hits for the likes of Rihanna, Katy Perry, and Bruno Mars among others, Natalie Hemby, a celebrated solo artist and member of The Highwomen, as well as Texas artist Sunny Sweeney, Chris Gelbuda (Meghan Trainor), Pat McLaughlin (John Prine), Cliff Audretch (Hootie & The Blowfish), Henry Brill (Joy Oladokun), Charlotte Sands (JORDY), Jon Santana (Sid Tipton), and Kaitlyn Connor & Kyle Lewis (from her band).
Each day of recording at Nashville's Starstruck Studios filled Rose with a newfound sense of empowerment and camaraderie. "There was this incredible spirit of collaboration in the room," she says. "Everybody could speak up, and all ideas were heard. I felt a lot of comfort working with the people I already knew, like Ben and Bobby, who are so brilliant. Zac was on my last record. I've done shows with Peter, and Kyle and Kaitlyn are in my touring band. Having Sadler and Chad from the 400 Unit was remarkable — beyond being killer players, they really understood the importance of live performance. Everybody cared deeply about what they were doing, and that meant so much to me."
Rose enlisted conductor Don Hart whom she long admired for his extensive work with diverse artists such as Phish and Lyle Lovett. Hart oversaw the arrangements and performances of the lush strings that filled so many of the songs with a widescreen cinematic grandeur.
No One Gets Out Alive took a big vision to pull off, and soon after finishing the album, Rose caught the ears of industry titans at Big Loud Records. Though Rose is a respected fixture of the Nashville community (she was recently elected Governor of the Recording Academy's Nashville Chapter and has played the iconic Grand Ole Opry almost 100 times), Big Loud embraced the unique path she has carved out for herself. Refusing to be pigeonholed in any one genre, Maggie comfortably straddles different worlds as evidenced at such varied festivals as Austin City Limits, Bonnaroo, and Newport Folk Fest.
"Big Loud dove in headfirst and defied my preconceived notions of what I'd come to expect from a big label; they didn't' want me to change the album I had made or 'chase' the trends. They understood the vision and believed in me from the outset."
The music deals in a variety of both dark and uplifting overarching themes — disillusionment in relationships, getting older, ageism, female empowerment and living in the moment, among them.
She took her first steps on this new journey on the luminous, theatrical pop gem "Vanish." Backed by a sweeping string section that takes flight along with her enchanting vocals, Rose deftly evokes the influence of Carole King, Elton John and the Beatles. "'Vanish' pretty much kickstarted the making of this album," she explains. "The song is about something I think we've all dealt with, the breakdown of a relationship you thought would last forever. My solace came in the form of the song."
As she wrote, Rose was struck by how frequently the topic of fractured relationships — both romantic and platonic — cropped up in her material. "So often we don't want to let go of someone because we consider it a failure," she says. "But sometimes a relationship has run its course, and by letting go you can travel a little lighter and brighter moving forward."
One of her biggest revelations — that time is fleeting, and you'd better get on with your life — came with the title track. "The phrase 'No One Gets Out Alive' sounds ominous, but the song is filled with hope and urgency." Rose says. "I've come to realize that there are things I can't control, but I still need to enjoy my reality, which is wonderful. I want people to hear the song and stop dwelling on what they're missing out on — the present is all you have, so make the most of it."
The righteous and rousing "Fake Flowers" is another standout. Amid the swirl of a gospel laced B3 organ and crisp, biting electric guitars, Rose comes on like a full-throated blues titan. It's a powerful star turn — each line sung uniquely and with extraordinary assurance — that brings the house down. "With this song, I let myself be angry and didn't worry about softening the edges for anyone. That was freeing for me."
"Underestimate Me" is soaked in swampy, bluesy mojo that calls to mind Little Feat, gathering steam as the song progresses. By the end the whole band is throwing around anything that isn't nailed to the floor. Rose comes on with sassy grit and cool fury, and as she notes, the lyrics share a through line with her podcast Salute the Songbird with Maggie Rose: "I always ask women, 'What's your superpower?' Many of them say that they feel being underestimated is their superpower, because they just blow people's expectations out of the water."
Rose's spellbinding vibrato on "Mad Love" could haunt you for days. The turbulent, torchy showstopper is highlighted by Sadler Vaden's echo-drenched spaghetti western licks and goosebumps-inducing guest vocals by John Paul White. Likewise, "Lonely War" lodges itself in the thicket of your senses, but for wholly different reasons. Co-writing with Henry Brill, Rose addresses two momentous days in recent history (the day that George Floyd was murdered, and the overturn of Roe v. Wade) without preachiness or heavy-handed sentiment. The wistful "Under the Sun" is poised to be a future soundtrack to warm, summer days. "Dead Weight" is an empowering., rousing anthem where Rose shines along with her band. The smooth, comfy blanket of sound on the album closer, "Another Sad Song," is nurturing stuff — the gentle piano progression blends with airy guitar lines while the string section wraps around Rose's incandescent voice.
Rose has been hailed for her passionate individualism, proudly infusing her music with influences spanning rock, soul, Americana, folk, and funk. Maggie is a true road warrior. She has shared the stage with an impressive array of artists including Kelly Clarkson, Tedeschi Trucks Band, Heart, Joan Jett, Eric Church, Gov't Mule, St. Paul & The Broken Bones, The Mavericks, Fitz & The Tantrums, and The Revivalists among others. She also joined forces with Duane Betts for a 2023 summer tour after the two spent time playing together in the renowned Allman Family Revival tour honoring the legendary catalog of music from the Allman Brothers.
With unflinching honesty, Maggie Rose approaches everything authentically and completely. With No One Gets Out Alive, she emerges as a singular artist with her own sound and her own way of telling her stories, unencumbered by genre specifics. "I've had some wonderful moments throughout my career, and I've been lucky to connect with fans while traveling on the path to self-discovery. My excitement surrounding this moment and this project really does make it feel like a new beginning."