Fresh from penning a Christmas-time wailer, Dey Rose dishes out a similarly somber lament called “Tired.” This time, it’s not about love. But it’s no less like a knife through the heart.
When Dey Rose’s Panting Heart first dropped in 2020, listeners were treated to a vigorous anthology of rock ballads. Nobody uses that descriptor anymore, yes, but Rose’s leanings, her impulses, her very biography, are very much married to the form. For better or for worse, it’s the sound of liberation, big choruses, and hyper-stylized expression. Which makes a bare-bones piano-driven track like “Tired” a comforting cabin-in-the-woods detour.
But when you think about it, “Tired” is still cut from the same glorious cloth: it’s the sort of song your favorite hair band whips out during arena shows (the one where they do thirty songs minimum) so they can change shirts or chug at their water bottles while prepping for the balls-out set closer. The amazing thing is, despite the sparse instrumentation—here Rose is flanked by Victor Young on keys and Jonah Ocean on strings—one can still hear the brewing storm within, evident in the always-involved singing of the Filipina tunesmith.
And for once, by her own admission, it’s not about relationships. At least not romantic ones. “It’s been hard to sit and watch people—especially friends and family—argue, fight, and treat each other very unkindly,” the songwriter says of the prompt for her new single. She recalls one toxic exchange between friends online, where “instead of listening to one another, they would just say very unpleasant things, [and] it’s quite heartbreaking.”
Thus the birth of “Tired,” a strikingly transparent song that rings like a pacifist bell but resonates like a prayer. It’s so transparent it often feels like accidentally walking in on a tearful argument you shouldn’t be witnessing. It’s certainly no monumental leap in timbre or temperament for Rose, but it does allow listeners a generous peek into her widening range in heart, in breath, in headspace.
And the future’s looking pretty wide open.