Bite Down (Merge)

Contact Ahmad Asani, Yuri Kwon about Rosali

Today, Rosali—the North Carolina-based songwriter and guitarist Rosali Middleman—announces her new album, Bite Down, out March 22nd, a North American tour, and presents the lead single/video, “Rewind.” Bite Down, Rosali’s Merge Records debut, captures her in the midst of a transition. “I started writing the majority of Bite Down after moving to North Carolina in the fall of 2021. The album traces two cross-country moves, including saying goodbye to my longtime home of Philadelphia,” Rosali explains. “I resolved to bite down on the proverbial bullet; sink my teeth into the flesh and bone of being in the world, devouring the obstacles in my path and gloriously savoring all that is on offer—good and bad. Give me another serving, another moment, another challenge, give me another chance to meet life with insatiable hunger.”


Bite Down finds Rosali collaborating again with Omaha’s finest —David Nance (bass, guitar), James Schroeder (guitar, synth), Kevin Donahue (drums, percussion), the same band she enlisted for 2021’s beloved No Medium.  They are joined in-studio by Destroyer collaborator Ted Bois (keys). Bite Down showcases the urgency and ambition in their collaboration—a band pushing each other not just to expand on what they’ve already done together, but to break through into altogether new territory. Bite Down was also co-produced and mixed by Schroeder and Rosali.


Of lead single “Rewind,” Rosali says, “I want what I do with my time to matter and to reject regret for even the difficult moments are worthy in how they reveal wisdom and initiate growth. I would do it all over again (i.e. rewind) knowing the challenges in life are not meant to be disdained, as much as the joys and pleasures are not meant to be the goal. Being present allows us to become more whole and rounded as people, with love being the way to move through. Not just the romantic kind but all the forms of love, desire and excitement that push us through to the next day.” The song is accompanied by a self-directed video.


Below, Dan Bejar of Destroyer waxes poetically on Bite Down:

Bite Down makes me think about singers and bands that throw themselves hard into the storm, the way the Rosali quartet does. The calm of her voice over top of the band’s raging—it is the emblem of songs that live to put themselves in harm’s way. But it’s not harm. It’s just that you have to play hard to get at these goods. The calm of Rosali’s voice, the straight talk of her inner search vs. the wildness of the band, the sonic storm she rides in on. That’s their sound.


The Mowed Sound. It’s hard to talk about these last couple Rosali albums without talking about them. They play free and wild and relentlessly melodious. They rip and create space and fill it up with what seems like reckless abandon, but listen carefully or listen for a while and you’ll find them paying real close attention to each other and exactly what the song demands.


Breezier songs like “On Tonight” and “Rewind” sound like they’ve fought their way to get to that sense of ease. Maybe that’s the Mowed Sound “sound”—hard-won ease. Then add to that Ted Bois’ patented Rhodes sleaze (see sinuous title track “Bite Down”) steering the record into late-night corners; the incredible “Hills on Fire” (maybe the centerpiece of the album), the guitar-ripping and the singing taking turns in reaching new levels of intimacy. It feels listened-in on, exposed and invented on the spot. It is also simply a staggeringly beautiful song. There are a few of those on the album. In contrast, “My Kind” is a raucous, hand-delivered classic; the band throws tables over. For the most part, this is a moodier record than No Medium. It has the same sound of “I’ve traveled through fire to deliver you these songs,” but it is also quieter, more nocturnal. The quiet dread of staring down an open road, and the excitement of that.


Bite Down follows 2021’s beloved No Medium and last year’s Variable Happiness, the acclaimed improvisational guitar album released under her moniker Edsel Axle.


Following a West Coast run supporting Merge labelmate Mary Timony, Rosali’s headlining tour dates include stops in New York, Philadelphia, Chicago and more. A full list of dates is below.


    Mar 19, 2024
    Denver, CO
    Globe Hall

    Mar 21, 2024
    Boise, ID
    Treefort Music Fest

    Mar 23, 2024
    Seattle, WA
    Clock-Out Lounge

    Mar 24, 2024
    Portland, OR
    Mississippi Studios

    Mar 26, 2024
    San Francisco, CA
    Rickshaw Stop

    Mar 27, 2024
    Santa Cruz, CA
    The Catalyst Atrium

    Mar 28, 2024
    Los Angeles, CA
    The Lodge Room

    Mar 29, 2024
    San Diego, CA
    The Casbah

    Mar 30, 2024
    Santa Ana, CA
    Constellation Room

    Mar 31, 2024
    Phoenix, AZ
    The Dirty Drummer

    Apr 02, 2024
    Austin, TX
    Hotel Vegas

    Apr 03, 2024
    New Orleans, LA

    Apr 04, 2024
    Atlanta, GA
    The Earl

    Apr 05, 2024
    Asheville, NC

    Apr 06, 2024
    Durham, NC
    The Pinhook

    Apr 09, 2024
    Baltimore, MD
    Metro Gallery

    Apr 10, 2024
    Kingston, NY

    Apr 11, 2024
    Boston, MA
    The Rockwell

    Apr 12, 2024
    New York, NY
    Knitting Factory at Baker Falls

    Apr 13, 2024
    Philadelphia, PA
    Johnny Brenda’s

    Apr 15, 2024
    Toronto, ON
    Monarch Tavern

    Apr 18, 2024
    Chicago, IL
    The Empty Bottle

    Apr 20, 2024
    Omaha, NE