By Nicholas Jason Lopez
After The View Electrical put out their second album, entitled ‘Heiligenstadt,’ vocalist/guitarist Frédéric Aellen felt compelled to do something more softer, intimate and acoustic.
With only his guitar and laptop, Aellen put his day job of teaching pre-teens aside in the summer and isolated himself in the No Sun Studio with longtime collaborator Raul Bortolotti (Abraham, Kruger, Orso) at the controls to record what would be known as ‘All Your Silences,’ the debut full-length album from the Swiss Indie/Slowcore solo artist under the name Rosalyn.
Rosalyn put a music video out for the single “Love Never Calls Me By My Name,” which was released on YouTube. ‘All Your Silences’ came out via No Sun Records on Mar. 1, 2019.
‘All Your Silences’ contains 16 emotional songs, with assistance from string trio Betty’s Kitchen and multi-instrumentalist Adriel Rüfenacht (piano). It was mixed and mastered in London by Kenny Jones (Dead Can Dance, The God Machine).
Music Bugle – Describe the creative process of putting together ‘All Your Silences.’ Are you happy with the end result?
Rosalyn – After the release of The View Electrical’s sophomore album, ‘Heiligenstadt,’ I immediately felt the urge to keep writing. We had no gigs for promoting, it was very frustrating, so I focused on some early acoustic demos which still sound relevant and linked them to brand new songs, consequently giving some answers to what I was experiencing in my life at that time. It was like I had no other choice than making another album, a collection of stripped bare songs, with less musicians involved this time. This is why I called it Rosalyn, my solo acoustic side project. And this is what it’s like, I guess, even if the electricity is still here… Well, this might be a bit strange to say this, but I think ‘All Your Silences’ is less fluent than The View Electrical records. Yeah, it’s pretty dense too, despite its apparent acoustic simplicity. Wish I’d have spent more time working on it, but now, I must live with it as a snapshot of who and where I was when it came out. It’s just this recurrent feeling about my recordings, but as always, there comes the moment where I feel like I’m running out of time, money, patience, energy and I need to let these songs go into the wilderness. It’s still the best way for me to cope with everything that makes me suffer.
Music Bugle – What are your overall thoughts on the “Love Never Calls Me By My Name” music video?
Rosalyn – I’m pretty happy with the end result. It was shot during a strange October day which started with a clouded sky. At some point, it was clearly compromised, but then we just caught some lovely sunbeams right at the end of the shooting. These are my favorite images, when you see my friend walking throughout the Lavaux Vineyards toward the sunset. It kind of looks like a Morricone landscape, doesn’t it? There are also so many little details featuring in this video, they’re all part of me and maybe that, when you watch it, you wonder why there’s this vintage metal box filled with strange artifacts, but everything is deeply personal and it’s like I give myself to the listener and spectator, bit by bit… We all are puzzles!
Music Bugle – Who are some of your musical influences?
Rosalyn – Way too many! Since the nineties when I started with Nirvana (I was lucky to see them with my dad in 94, no joke), I’ve been constantly digging new artists and I must admit without shame, I can easily enjoy $uicideboy$ ‘Fuckthepopulation’ right before being in total awe with ‘Akira’ by Geinoh Yamashirogumi or the new Early Day Miners. Lately, I’ve been completely obsessed with Popol Vuh’s ‘Brüder des Schatten,’ ‘Cobra Verde,’ ‘Spirit Of Peace.’ I also found some obscure recordings which were featuring in an American TV documentary I’m in love with since my early childhood. It was made in 1977 and it’s about Tutankhamun. There were no credits and the original soundtrack remained a total mystery to me for 30 years! I even got in touch with the director Jim Tolhurst’s daughter, who graciously let me know some important things about her late father, how he worked and collected library music for his short movies. Then, thanks to Shazam, Discogs and most of all, my tenacity, I finally located these recordings. Pure joy. Well, perhaps this OST is my very first musical influence. Though my dad was really into folk, Leonard Cohen, Cat Stevens, Ry Cooder’s ‘Paris Texas.’ A good friend of mine says I’m a Mark Kozelek nerd, which is damn true. He’s undeniably my biggest influence, even if I’m way less attracted by his current stuff than the Red House Painters and early Sun Kil Moon material. I also like Owen’s (Mike Kinsella from American Football) guitar picking a lot. Oh, and last but not least, I’m a huge fan of The God Machine and Robin Proper-Shepard’s music in general, like Sophia that I actually covered for an EP, ‘Bastards,’ which will be out October 25, 2019 as an exclusive Bandcamp release.
Music Bugle – What’s the biggest challenge of standing out in your particular genre?
Rosalyn – I don’t think I actually belong to a particular genre. It’s precisely because I listen to lots of different kinds of music and that they all transpire into my songwriting that it stands out, know what I mean? Is it acoustic dream pop or slowcore post-something? Well, I can easily understand the general need for categorization, but in the end, it’s just the same boring game. Someone once said it’s very difficult to follow and enjoy The View Electrical because we made two albums with extremely different songs. Sure, this disorientates people. However, my long-time collaborator Raul and I were never concerned with this genre issue. We always mixed what we love, just being us. It’s not an easy option, but it didn’t change with Rosalyn.
Music Bugle – What are some of your future plans?
Rosalyn – Right now, I’m mostly concerned with paying my debts! I owe some money here and there, but if I hadn’t made the decision to put so much into my music, I’d probably had never done anything like these records by Rosalyn and The View Electrical and would’ve regretted it until my dying day. But, like so many dudes doing their own things out there, I sell almost nothing. I’m just lost in an ocean of bands and solo artists. I’ve always known I had to do this, it has always been a question of life and death, but paradoxically, I knew since the beginning I would never make it as a renowned artist. My way of playing and singing, my lack of “extraordinary abilities,” well, I’m afraid it’s clearly not made for attracting much people, unfortunately, so there’s still this Sophia covers EP coming out in October and then I take a break. Even if I love making music.
Music Bugle – What’s your biggest frustration with today’s music industry and what can be done to fix it?
Rosalyn – I guess I’ve just answered this before. How frustrating when you put so much of yourself into your music and then past the euphoria and relief of its release, you find yourself alone in your room, surrounded with boxes of unsold records? There are way too many bands today, saturating social networks and I’m a part of it too. I could follow in the 90’s, but now I’m glad I can’t listen to everything. Nothing can fix it, I’m afraid, but is it really necessary to fix it? It’s just a natural evolution. People barely listen to music, I mean, they don’t really take the time and barely focus on listening to music, besides a minority of true aficionados, the same people who still support and buy albums, even if they actively stream via Spotify.
Music Bugle – What is your most meaningful song or set of lyrics?
Rosalyn – As French is my mother language, my English lyrics are probably very naive for many, but when I truly believe they do say something that I feel deeply rooted in me, I won a battle with words and my traumas. This aspect is very important to me. I love the idea that simple words and phrases leave lots of space for introspection. Everyone can take my lyrics and make their own. I couldn’t have another song than “The Nineties” for opening ‘All Your Silences.’ It might stay the best tribute to my heroes and also a good way to remind me of teenage angst. Otherwise, “Prague” from ‘Heiligenstadt’ means a lot. Thanks to this song, I achieved something crucial by saying good riddance to a terrible breakup that left me more dead than alive, so if I had to keep only one, it’d be “Prague” I guess.
Music Bugle – In regards to your music, what’s one thing you’ve been working to improve on?
Rosalyn – This is a tough one! Well, maybe spending less time on my vocals tracking, by feeling the right moment when it just happens and not being too obsessed with the perfect pitch and/or timing. Yeah, focusing on what sounds right to my heart and soul, but maybe I’d mess up too much if I followed this path? I can’t figure out yet if it’s a matter of technical skills or just self-confidence. Does that make sense?
Music Bugle – What’s something you think people should know about you?
Rosalyn – I practice iaido (the Japanese art of drawing the sword) three times a week and I love it.
Music Bugle – What’s one thing you’ve learned through your time as a musician?
Rosalyn – Well, making a record is awesome, but also a painful journey. There are lots of unexpected issues and each time you manage to solve your problems, you become stronger for the sake of music. I’m way too [much a] perfectionist for being fully happy with my albums like we should be as expected when we put them out, but now, I’m okay living with them, being serene and pleased with the fact that I definitely made something positive from my “mal de vivre.” I’ve been the most “myself” as possible with everyone I worked with on these different projects, besides my full-time job. Music remains the love of my life and I’m glad I persevered so far.