Claire Rousay: a softer focus (American Dreams) - review | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
Wednesday, December 6th, 2023  

Claire Rousay

a softer focus

American Dreams

May 11, 2021 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share

San Antonio dwellers Claire Rousay and Dani Toral collaborate here on Rousay’s latest outing in a way that decentralizes the role of traditional songwriting in the conception of an album, and then builds around the blurry middle that remains. Toral contributed various visual elements to a softer focus, including a set of ceramic flutes, while Rousay’s field recordings, the fragile spines of these six songs, subconsciously nudge the listener into constructing their own images and interpretation.

Twin centerpieces “Peak Chroma” and “Diluted Dreams” are fluttering but still physical in presence, linear in their own way but unlabored by overly intentional narrative. “Discrete (The Market)” layers cello played by Lia Kohl over a walk through a farmer’s market that runs headfirst into a thunderstorm, elucidating the meaning in chance and the rhythm in accident. There are moments of tension but never abrasion. Violins stretch and creak, piano wanders in meditation, children play in the rain, and beauty abides. (

Author rating: 7.5/10

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Average reader rating: 9/10


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