“I think that’s one of the most important things you can learn in your life,” said the singer-songwriter based in Nashville. “And I think I learned that lesson a little too late, if I’m honest.”
The track’s music video, unveiled Tuesday, finds Rose being held captive in the bowels of a crumbling building. After breaking free from her restraints, she wanders through the building’s corridors and, just as the song hits its crescendo, collapses onto a windswept beach at twilight.
Working with director Émilie Richard-Froozan, Rose said she wanted her character in the video to represent a woman “who stayed too long at the party” or, perhaps more significantly, “who stayed too long in a bad relationship.”
Watch Anna Rose’s “Last Girl of the Rodeo” video below.
“I feel like this song rings true in both my relationship to the music industry and in my personal life,” she said. “My relationship to myself as an artist has changed so much, and what my definition of success is has been completely altered. Writing this song was a huge part of that.”
Released last month, the “Last Girl of the Rodeo” album is Rose’s fourth studio recording and her first to be released since relocating to Nashville after lengthy stints in New York and Los Angeles.
She grew up on the likes of Led Zeppelin, Fleetwood Mac and The Beatles and cites Joni Mitchell and Paul Simon as inspirations. Her musical talents were apparent from a young age, and she says she wrote her first song at age 5.
Her artistic pedigree is certainly impressive: Her father is composer Alan Menken, whose legendary oeuvre includes Disney’s “The Little Mermaid” and “Beauty and the Beast,” along with “Little Shop of Horrors” and other stage and screen musicals.
But there’s no hint of her father’s theatricality on “Last Girl of the Rodeo,” which is imbued with a distinct rock vibe and a hint of country. Mitchell’s influence can especially be felt on the album, most notably in the moody ballads “Alameda” and “Already Gone.”
“Both of my parents have been incredibly supportive of my career. I’ve always been grateful for that,” said Rose, whose mother is ballet dancer Janis Roswick Menken. “They really allowed me the space to become the person and the artist that I was meant to become. I wasn’t reigned in or told no, I can’t pursue that.”
Her biggest takeaway from her dad, she adds, is his unparalleled work ethic: “To always be open to change. That if something isn’t right, to change it, to make it better, to be adaptable. And to work harder than everyone else.”
Rose will celebrate the release of “Last Girl of the Rodeo” with a concert at Nashville’s The 5 Spot Tuesday. Looking ahead, she’s got some ideas about how to perform her new songs live “in a way that’s a little atypical,” but, for now, is tight-lipped on specifics.
Collectively, Rose sees her latest work as a testament to living each day as “the bravest version” of yourself.
“Everything is defined now by your number of ‘followers,’ which, if you’ve listened to this album, you know, makes me very uncomfortable,” she explained, “My definition of success and what I want to achieve now simply lies in getting better as a songwriter, better as an artist, better as a performer, better as a storyteller ― just to outrun myself at every step of the game.”