The latest single from young songwriting prodigy Lexie Rose offers us a prime example of how talent informed by passion and discipline can produce amazing results early in an artist’s career. “20 Weeks” shows off the talents of a singer/songwriter/musician who is already working at or near the first of what promises to be a number of peaks in a career that, at the mere age of sixteen, seems destined to flourish for many years to come. Her influences, from a songwriting perspective, are startlingly clear – Fiona Apple, Elliot Smith, and Radiohead ranking high among these figures. Rose, however, never falls prey to simple imitation or heavy handed tribute. Those influences are filtered through her particular set of, admittedly, youthful experiences, and shared with the audience in a way that spins them in a distinct and individual fashion. “20 Weeks” would be an impressive outing from even a singer and writer in their mid or late 20’s – in the hands of a sixteen year old, it’s nothing less than astonishing.
The quality of this song makes it apparent, more than ever before, that we walk in a brave new world. It’s virtually unthinkable that past eras could or would have produced someone so singularly talented at a young age, but Lexie Rose’s “20 Weeks” exudes a level of confidence in her performance that sounds like it’s the product of a much older, more experienced performer. The phrasing is never shaky and has an internal consistency that dovetails into the mood of the arrangement and lyrical content alike. It’s the unified quality of this song that really stands out more than any one other element and it instills a certainty in listeners that makes it all the more enjoyable of a listening experience. “20 Weeks” is a song about heartbreak and longing and the patient track it takes in reaching its conclusion allows it time to work its way under the audience’s skin and touch the heart in a very real way.
The acoustic guitar is the song’s musical lynchpin and plays off very good against Rose’s voice. It’s backing that could risk becoming overwrought or saccharine, but Lexie Rose and the creative partners she works with on this release have enough artistry to keep that from happening. There’s a steadiness of intent and direction coming through in this song that commands listener’s attention from the first. “20 Weeks” might be a song of reflection, an interior-lit number that takes place primarily in Rose’s heart, but it’s a song vitally alive, as well, and the lush texture it unrolls for its audience will surely find favor with anyone who gives it time to weave its spell. Lexie Rose is a prodigious talent, age is just a number, and it’s truly bracing to think about what she’s capable of in the upcoming years. This is a singer and songwriter whose come up the right way and won’t be confined to the indie world for long.