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CLAIRE ROSINKRANZ on her debut album Just Because
WORDS by Tessa Swantek TALENT Claire Rosinkranz PR °1824
Oh, it's not enough for me to see the sun set
No, I want to taste it, I wanna kiss it
Wanna come inside and make it my bed
Drinking all the colors 'til I dream in red.
- "Swinging at the Stars" by Claire Rosinkranz
Claire Rosinkranz’ s music is like the crest of a Californian wave - it’s deliciously sun-soaked, bubbling, buoyant and wild. Her own persistent vigor for life is the fiery sun that pulls the melodious tides. Yet beneath the surface, there is a quiet darkness and depth. It is one that almost begs to explode out from underneath, a tsunami of emotions that settle into a deep blue calm after all has been swallowed.
The album title, Just Because seems to be an almost perfect reflection of Claire; she doesn’t need a reason. And she doesn’t live within boundaries. As she hops on Zoom with a pimple patch on her forehead, Claire describes herself as “a very sporadic human being” while also describing the album as a “very carefree, a free spirit.” She continues, “I can do anything with music. There isn’t a right way. You can’t be too weird. It drops all these boundaries.” The song that reflects her identity most visibly is “Swinging at the Stars,” the album’s fifth track. She shares, “‘Swinging at the Stars’ represents a part of me very well. It is about wanting to experience the abundance of being alive, and I put myself in situations that maybe aren’t the best for me because I want to feel alive.” Her favorite lyric of the entire album lives tucked warmly into that song: Wanna be tired when I get to my grave. Most of the songs surrounding “Swinging at the Stars” gravitate toward the song’s sparkling disposition, but with each song, that disposition starts to break into a frothy ripple billowing deeper into the tracklist. Even “Swinging at the Stars” ends like a slowing propeller, foreboding a crash.
The album’s second track, “Sad in Hawaii” is the trough of the album - the starting point that moves every other track in its rhythm. Claire candidly shares the trauma that precipitated the song’s creation, as she says, “I went to Hawaii and got sexually assaulted, and I didn’t know how else to process it except for writing music. I felt like I was drowning.” She describes the song as a “domino effect” for her other music. “Sad in Hawaii” almost has a White Lotus feel; it’s satirical and witty and dark against an idyllic paradisian backdrop. Like “Swinging at the Stars,” amidst a bouncy beat, there is also a descending sound slipped in after she sings, “Oh, how could I be feeling this blue? (This blue) / Under the water and out of it too? / And how could it be eighty degrees (Degrees) / Under the sun but I'm negative three?”
Claire’s songwriting approach matches her spontaneous personality, as she shares, “I write all my stuff in the moment when it’s happening. The album sounds bright, but I used the production to pull me out of the darker things I was feeling. Dark production and topic would make me feel like I was drowning.” “Banksy” and “Polarized” are especially illustrative of this. They are also the first more obvious signs of a darker undercurrent in the album, lyrically and sonically. In “Banksy” her voice is airy then drowned as she sings, “Put me under water, so that I can close my eyes / Try to catch a break, but I still wanna be alive / Wanna tell the story, but the stories hard to find when you're laying on the floor/ surrounded by your mind.” Sonically, “Polarized” has a similar feel, it is airy then quickly chokes the air out completely. The song starts with a harmonious dreamy orchestra that soon cuts into a discordant, sharp hit. The song is about “a friend falling out” with lyrics, “I see blue but you seein' it yellow / And no green got us back in the mellow / Your circles on my squares, our stories don't compare / You're not even aware and it's gettin' hard to see the other side / Side, side, side, side, side / And I'm tumbling over the rock / Slide, slide, slide, slide, slide.”
I can do anything with music. There isn't a right way.
Screw Time by Claire Rosinkranz
“Jupiter” is the album’s crash and break. The beginning is an overwhelming crackling of indistinguishable voices and sounds. She sings, “I keep on floating through the motions / High (I'm so high), everything's so over-saturated, complicated / In my mind, can we blow the spеakers change the sound, for now? / 'Causе I just want out, take me to Jupiter 'cause it's getting too loud.” Suddenly the idyllic backdrop becomes insufferable for the listener too. In “Pools and Palm Trees,” after the world seems to have fallen away, she sings, “In my deep blue got me stuck in the zone / Runnin' from the truth, sinkin' into my bones / Try to sort it out before I land / Act stronger than I am, I wanna be the man.” The production is still sunny, yet there’s something sobering in this track.
The album’s precise production quality emphasizes a safety in expressing her feelings through sound, especially. She shares, “My dad has been producing and composing since I was a super little girl.” She continues, “[He] has created a really safe space for me to use my own voice, so I hold a lot of authority when I go into situations with other producers. It makes me know how to hold the weight in a room.” And while she holds the weight of extremely nuanced production, she is also learning to hold the weight of stillness. After creating Just Because, she says, “I feel like I leveled up as a human, and grew a little bit. I’m an in-the-moment person but I learned to be more aware and slow down…there were things that taught me to just sit with myself and hear myself.”
I hold a lot of authority whenI go into situations with other producers. It makes me know how to hold the weight in a room.
The album’s final track, “Mess,” while being far from a resolution (the song ends with, “um”) feels like Claire listening to herself, even while she’s singing “Don’t wanna listen.” In the beginning, there’s nothing drowning out her words other than her own voice echoing them back to her. Claire shares, “It felt effortless getting the harder songs off my chest. It just fell out of my mouth. The challenging part has been after and not invalidating what I went through.”
Follow Claire to keep up with what’s next (hint: a music video with her friend Gavin Casalegno who plays Jeremiah in The Summer I Turned Pretty - she does want to assert that she’s Team Conrad though, shhh)
Swinging at the Stars by Claire Rosinkranz
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