Band isn’t so woeful after all

 

The name of the band The Woeful Lonelies provokes preconceptions of a weak female singer and wholly depressing lyrics. The duo consisting of Joshua Glass and Emily Rozanski crushed these preconceived notions 10 seconds into their Oct. 13 set at The Skinny Pancake in downtown Burlington.

Rozanski’s voice is the opposite of weak: She has vocal control and range comparable to that of Emmylou Harris and her voice blends with Glass’ flawlessly. Her bluesy undertone, aided by Glass’ all-encompassing piano style creates a “quasi-blues” feel in the band’s music. 

Glass’ voice is reminiscent to Paul McCartney’s, as is his pop-influenced songwriting. While he is a proficient guitar player, the piano is clearly Glass’ home. 

He constantly toys, smiles and rocks out on his 88 keys. He does not trap himself in simple pop chord progressions, but consistently holds down a solid bass line while keeping the chord structure, rhythm and melody variable and interesting in every song. His catchy — but not too catchy — lyrics and melodies keep the mood light and the atmosphere enjoyable. 

The duo’s well-chosen cover songs — including numbers by The Decemberists, Wilco, Ryan Adams and Damien Rice — add to their appeal, while their originals are quick to get stuck in an audience member’s head. 

The excellent harmonies, general positive energy and great song choices are phenomenal, but what stood out on Oct. 13 was their version of Bob Dylan’s “One More Cup of Coffee.” 

The Woeful Lonelies’ rendition of this song will break a heart in two by the start of the second verse. It is in this song where they become true to their name, though Rozanski’s voice remains delightfully strong. The duo’s heart-wrenching harmonies and soulful dictation combined with Dylan’s lyrics create a perfect song.

 

Both individuals are respected collaborators in the Burlington music scene. Rozanski also stars in a duo with Joe Adler called The Wind Woods, while Glass — the recent co-winner of Seven Daysies’ “Best Side Musician” — backs names such as Justin Levinson, The Beerworth Sisters and Myra Flynn, among others.

The Woeful Lonelies are, in all aspects, an excellent band. 

The dynamic duo should be putting more of a mark on the Burlington music scene in the near future, so stay posted for them as well as Glass and Rozanski’s other groups. 

Glass’ bouncy nature is infectious, and Rozanski’s voice is one you need to hear before you die. This duo does it right.