Dreamy, gutsy and everything in between: Gena Rose Bruce’s Deep Is The Way soars

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Dreamy, gutsy and everything in between: Gena Rose Bruce’s Deep Is The Way soars

Deep Is The Way
words by Bryget Chrisfield

What an enchanting vocalist!

Gena Rose Bruce’s voice is capable of sounding dreamy (see: Future), gutsy (Destroy Myself’s choruses) and everything in between, as required, and her delicious timbre brings Abby Dobson (Leonardo’s Bride) to mind. The incomparable Bill Callahan (aka Smog) co-wrote two songs on Deep Is The Way: the subtly boppy Foolishly In Love and the title track, a duet, during which his soothing vocals float in and out of the arrangement like sweet temptation. 

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Bruce wrote her second album while processing the death of her partner’s mother, navigating Melbourne’s endless series of lockdowns and also questioning the viability of continuing to pursue a career in music: “I wanted to be a star/ But I’m tired of believing in a future so bright,” she sings in Future. Reading the book Revolutionary Road during this time, Bruce particularly identified with the character April Wheeler – an actor whose ambitions are thwarted by domesticity – and their shared vexations bled into album closer Captive, with its gently rolling undercurrent evoking Ravel’s Boléro (albeit on Valium).

Elsewhere, the chord progressions throughout the standout track Harsh Light lean into her Beatles fandom and during the Electric Light Orchestra-inspired I’d Rather Be A Dreamer, Bruce has an epiphany that validates her creative pursuits: “I’d rather be dreaming than admit defeat.”  

Label: Dot Dash/ Remote Control  

Release date: January 27