At the end of the week, the North Carolina singer-songwriter Alexa Rose will release her new album Headwaters. So far we’ve posted her trembling, Bridgers-esque “Clearwater Park” and the brighter, twangier, yet still wispy and melancholic “Big Sky.” Today she’s sharing one more track before the album drops, the pleasingly titled “Wild Peppermint.” The piano-led track eases into a graceful momentum with bursts of gorgeous strings and nostalgic lyrics like these: “We could change direction for the hell of it back then/ Growing wild peppermint and sleeping until 10.”
A word from Rose:
“Wild Peppermint” is the last song we recorded for Headwaters, written in November 2020 the week before our last day of tracking. I was feeling nostalgic and excited about the colder weather coming in. Growing up in the south, you don’t get a big snow very often, so it was always a thrill when it looked like we might get enough to get out of school. I used to check the NOAA website religiously with an old friend, our latest mix CD playing “Snow Day” by Matt Pond PA. We’d get our hopes up just to have them crushed when those snow clouds turned to rain or just fizzled out. It felt personal because I really wanted that snow day, but there is nothing more indifferent than weather. Relationships are like weather in that way – when they shift or end, sometimes it’s just the natural course of action. It’s good to remember that sometimes in the middle of any transition, and I’d say that’s the mission of the song. It’s all just weather, and years later, you look back and hopefully smile, understanding how it brought you to the next station.
The music video was filmed and produced at sunrise with absolutely no plan. Director John DuPre and I found a discarded arm chair on the side of the road and stumbled upon some beautiful scenery, including a herd of horses and some old school buses. It felt serendipitous and nostalgic, and seemed to reaffirm to us in the same way as the song that there’s a right time for everything.
Headwaters is out 9/17 on Big Legal Mess/Fat Possum.