“A gorgeously somber, impassioned song that finds Rocky sounding as impactful as ever.”- Brooklynvegan
Seattle-based indie-folk hero Rocky Votolato has unveiled “Little Black Diamond” the next single off of ‘Wild Roots’— his first album in over 7 years– which will be released on September 9 via Spartan Records and Thirty Something Records (Europe/UK).
An intimate concept album inspired by and written for his family, each song is a letter dedicated to a specific family member and focused on a special memory or moment in time. After losing his child in December of 2021 in a tragic car accident, the entire album, and especially the song “Becoming Human,” now a posthumous love letter, takes on an even deeper while devastatingly bittersweet meaning.
‘Wild Roots’ was produced, engineered, and mixed by Votolato himself and features a stellar lineup of musicians whose contributions perfectly compliment the delicate nature of these songs — Abby Gundersen (William Fitzsimmons) on piano, string arrangements, and vocal harmonies, James McAllister (Sufjan Stevens, The National) on drums and percussion, Phil Wandscher (Whiskeytown, Jesse Sykes and the Sweet Hereafter) on electric guitar, and Marcel Gein (Perry O’Parson) on electric guitar.
The production on ‘Wild Roots’ is hushed, handcrafted, and warm — an intimate and personal experience that brings the nature of Votolato’s storytelling to life in very authentic and genuine ways. The record is a deliberate construction of his conceptual vision and new phase of his recording career.
In many ways, ‘Wild Roots’ is not only a break in silence for Votolato, but the opening of a new chapter — one that feels laser-focused on what really matters in life. Whether discovering Votolato for the first time or adding another record to your collection, Wild Roots resonates on the most simple and important human levels — a sharing of experience that encourages us to keep believing in ourselves and in the magic of this life, no matter how harsh and difficult it can be.
Praise For Rocky Votolato
” Votolato has an excellent voice and the vocal delivery that can make girls swoon and make guys purchase his music in order to make their girls swoon. His songwriting is strong enough to stand on its own, and that’s rare these days.”- Pop Matters
“It might be easy to lump Rocky Votolato in with the downtrodden likes of Conor Oberst and Elliott Smith. But his songwriting is a bit more triumphant than theirs: Votolato would rather pull himself out of a gutter than wallow in it, focusing instead on the victory before the misery.”- NPR
“Listening to the lovely acoustic folk pop of singer/songwriter Votolato’s recent years, it’s difficult to imagine he started his career as a Fugazi-influenced punker. The introspective, poetic often conflicted lyrics and sparse melodies are sometimes reminiscent of Neil Young…thought provoking, melancholy, remarkably personal and ultimately revealing of sober truths…”- American Songwriter
“His singer/songwriter style is one that seems extremely comfortable in its own skin. The songs are fleshed out, full of sincere musings and introspection, all under the guise of Votolato’s strong and earnest vocal style.”- Punk News
“Rocky Votolato has always won points for the intense honesty and emotional transparency of his music.”- Glide Magazine
“Votolato’s lyrics stand apart from his uncomplicated sound and quietly, but unyieldingly, demand deeper engagement.”- Denver Post