On the first anniversary of the Presidential Inauguration of 2017 ROOS, the artist/producer, released “I Fail”. The first single from Standards Vol. One, was a gem of a track. It chimed with beauty, and, despite it’s implied resignation, it resonated with hope. Featuring the Occidental Community Choir, and delivering a kind of healing quality that’s felt when human voices join in unison, “I Fail” signaled the opening of a sequence that promises to arrive in three parts. The music hit us like a much-needed balm, we wanted more. Now, ROOS delivers more – this time with a track called “In Praise of Idleness”, and this time with the featured vocal talent of Kelli Scarr.
ROOS is clearly an artist who understands the power of self-editing. So far, everything we’ve heard has been delivered with the design principle of ‘What else can be removed?” Simplicity and elegance are key. The elemental nature of things will do the work – so why fight to add layers, insert ego, and corrupt the flow? Nothing is being asserted, nothing is fighting for your attention. It simply is. ROOS has an intuition for finding the inherent beauty of a thing, and the ability to nurture that in others. This track with Kelli Scarr not only delivers that approach to craft, it also lands a rather on-the-nose title.
“In Praise for Idleness” comes with a video, and the video is accompanied by a quote from a Bertrand Russell essay, from which the track lifts it’s title. ROOS appears to be seeking a larger truth than a political or social solution. A great many spiritual doctrines speak to the truth that’s shared here – “A great deal of harm is being done in the modern world by belief in the virtuousness of work, and that the road to happiness and prosperity lies in an organized diminution of work.”
The video, made my Barbara Signer, chimes with a visual kind of harmony. Images lay over each other. Kelli Scarr sings into a video conferencing call. Clay is thrown onto a wheel. Traffic spins, industry happens, and ROOS offers an alternative world-view where humanity is the heart. We’re lead toward balance. Have you ever really watched a potter’s wheel? I mean, have you ever really watched a potter’s wheel? Only emptiness gives substance form.
There’s an ease to production, both in audio and video, that appears to follow the theme of the song. Nothing is overstretched, and the natural ability of Scarr is given space to breathe. Discussing the video, ROOS said this: I am driving counter-clockwise in roundabouts, trying to turn back time, failing to make counter-clockwise pottery, in Yunnan, China, at the edge of the busiest, most populous country in the world, while Kelli Scarr watches, trying to sing along.
Starr has a voice that can open heavens. – That’s just a thought that seems important to express before we fuck off to do nothing for a bit.
For “In Praise of Idleness” we issue ROOS and Kelli Scarr every beanbag chair in our office.
HURRY – LISTEN – ROOS