Angelica Rockne is Canadian-American singer-songwriter currently based in Los Angeles, California. Her single “Married by Elvis” was coined a “California Country Classic in 2017” by Vice’s Noisey channel and her debut album received critical praise from Rolling Stone Germany and the UK’s Uncut magazine, among others.
Recorded at Tim Green’s studio in Grass Valley with Blake Severn on guitar and bass, Neil Layton on drums and keys, and Pete Grant on pedal steel, the album was recorded over a span of six months in 2016. The arrangements are performances — earnest, unencumbered, and deeply reverential to both the classiness of the Byrd’s “Sweetheart of the Rodeo” and the guts of T.Rex’s “Electric Warrior.” Rockne’s voice is of its own dimension. There’s a delicacy in delivery that’s reminiscent of 60s songwriters, coupled with moments of something totally unhinged, psychedelic, and point-blank rock & roll. More consistent though is her unequivocal emotiveness, that can be described as nothing other than classically country.
The songs on “Queen of San Antonio” aren’t autobiography, but there’s a sense of time to them, a somewhere. Rockne lead a nomadic upbringing moving every few years with her family to different cities across America and Canada until moving out at the age of 17 to Montreal, QC, Canada. “Montreal was a wild place to be 17, alone and completely out of my element, what better way to spend my time than to channel those unknown feelings into songs and play every pub and open mic I could find.”
After getting some footing as an artist in Montreal, in 2010 she decided to relocate to California. She thought of Joni Mitchell and Neil Young and their lives and the sounds of Laurel Canyon in the 1970’s and sought this kind of rich musical community and cosmic California sound, which she later found in the small gold rush town of Nevada City, California.
“These songs were born in a very inspiring time. There was a lot of love and heartbreak and something I’d never experienced before: sticking around. I’ve been a wanderer my whole life, and then all of a sudden I was rooted in a deep way and committed to one place and community. A lot of the songs draw from that small town dynamic, a feeling of solidarity, a sort of thick-as-thieves loyalty.”
Lyrically these songs feel like fragments of dreams — of past, present and parallel lives that are happening or close to the touch. The lyrics are non-linear, they’re married to the melodies, and they’re romantic without necessarily being about love. This is an album with an undeniable permanence. There’s a history to this music that’s perhaps more emotional and sensory than actually historic — something felt, something sensed, a mistaken nostalgia maybe for something that’s right here in the present, happening in all the quiet, dark corners of this country.
Angelica Rockne ✽ Guitar, vocals
Jason Ciremele ✽ Bass
Cody Rhodes ✽ Drums