With the changing of the seasons and springtime arriving alongside a new sense of hope that the pandemic age might soon be behind us, there’s been a lot of reflecting over the past year. Each new month during the pandemic felt like something new and unexperienced; but March brought with it a cruel familiarity: Events and holidays cancelled for a second time, anniversaries of where we were when lockdowns and quarantines took over our lives, the onset of spring that came bereft of any of its usual joys and ambition. The seasons may have changed, but many of us did not.
“Time Comes in Roses,” the delicately captivating new single from Bess Atwell, out today (March 31) via Real Kind Records, finds the English singer-songwriter reflecting on her time spent away from normal life, and how the seasons changed without us over the past several months.
“I spent the first lockdown living back with my parents,” Atwell says. “I was privileged to be in the countryside with access to a garden, but it was also very challenging as someone who has a complicated relationship with their family. I kept to myself as much as possible, in the garden and out walking. As someone who has previously avoided self-sufficiency it was a time of personal growth and learning how to deal with my anxiety alone.”
She adds: “As the weather started to shift into summer, I remember being struck by how defiantly the seasons ignored the disruption of the pandemic. It felt like summer hadn’t been told it was now uninvited, and I found its arrival comforting and sad all at once.”
Like many artists, the fruits of their creativity over the past year are starting to surface, just as the dawn of spring is giving us a hope to return to some sort of normalcy, if not now, then soon.
“It feels disingenuous to say that I didn’t think anyone would ever hear this song, but I made a conscious decision to write it just for me, ignoring my usual rules around what is ‘too self-indulgent’ or honest,” Atwell concludes. “It’s a reflection on quite an ugly side of me, which is liberating. It feels like the most vulnerable, and yet exciting, release of my career so far.”