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Songs We Love: Adelyn Rose, 'Perhaps'

Adelyn Rose is Jaime Hansen, Dave Power, Addie Strei, Leo Strei and Hannah Hebl.
Adelyn Rose is Jaime Hansen, Dave Power, Addie Strei, Leo Strei and Hannah Hebl.

"Perhaps" opens with the same steady fingerpicking that made listeners sit up and take notice when the first Iron & Wine songs surfaced a decade ago. It's a progressive sound in that it actually indicates progress, like tape threading through a cassette player or yarn through a spinning wheel, and it primes us to listen by the time Adelyn Rose vocalist Addie Strei arrives with a ghost story."He whispers, or perhaps is just careful with words," she sings, clouding the scene and then adding her own doubts: "Perhaps it was a feeling I heard."

Turn by clever turn, in sensory moments layered with contradiction, Strei's narrator traces the outline of a lover who is at once there and not there. As she moves through phases of sleeping and waking, pacing and dozing, the arrangement shifts its weight around her. A moment of lucidity — "I need to learn to be alone" — is challenged by the arrival of motor-like percussion, pulling her along, deepening the daydream, conjuring warmth and weight where there should be cold and empty space.

Whether her beloved has died, left or simply ceased to be what she needs right now is unclear, but it's also beside the point. "Perhaps" is less about the reality of relationships than the feelings we assign to them — and return to later on, once the real thing is out of reach.

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