If a spaghetti western and Nancy Sinatra had a love child, it would be Rodes Rollins. The 23-year-old singer could fool you into thinking she’s from another time, care of her haunting vocals and sprawling psychedelic-tinged Americana rhythms. But it’s 2018 and Rollins proves that her music transcends space and time.
Hailing from Boulder, Colorado, the singer-songwriter - born Talia Taxman - has been making music since she was eight years old. After her sister decided guitar lessons weren’t for her, Rollins picked up the instrument and started songwriting, eventually recording songs in her guitar teacher’s studio at nine years old. From childhood until she was 19, music was a hobby for Rollins. It wasn’t until her time studying at NYU’s Gallatin School that she would consider becoming an artist her full-time gig. With time spent living abroad in Buenos Aires and Mexico City, she was compelled to take more risks and began performing during her travels - something she had never done before. Initially Rollins began making music under her given-name but soon realized she transformed into a different person when she was on stage. It seemed natural for her to become a character; so, Rollins chose a moniker with a meaning. “Rodes” was derived from a “rode” - a thick rope that attaches to an anchor of a ship, while “Rawlins” was the name of a town in Wyoming she once saw on a bumper sticker. It was the perfect fit: the town paid homage to the western ethos of her songs, and it reminded her to stay grounded.
In 2017, the Rodes Rollins project really began. The rising musician released her debut EP Young Adult with the help of producer Alex Goose (Weezer, Kevin Gates): a coming-of-age tale full of vintage rock, ethereal pop and wavy melodies. Tracks like “Young & Thriving” and “Wes Come Back” stood out on the EP, inspired by her first love who had a momentary lapse in judgment and was put in jail and later deported. With a story so heavy and personal, she spent the five-track EP analyzing the lack of humanity there was surrounding his situation. Now Rollins is ready to introduce the world to more of her self-described “cowgirl poetry.”
With “Nasty Woman”, Rollins is truly focused on the next chapter of her music career. Instead of centering on her own stories, she’s opening up the narrative. “Nasty Woman” is a feminist anthem that recalls the smoky vocals of Florence Welch. On it, Rollins collaborated with Goose once again, but recruited Portugal, The Man’s Kane Richotte to play drums on the track. This isn’t the first time she’s worked with big players in the game: Rollins’ recordings have featured accomplished artists like Stella Mozgawa of Warpaint, Matthew Compton of Electric Guest, and Greg Rogove of Devendra Banhart. Major Lazer’s Jillionaire has even championed Rollins over the years, helping facilitate a collaboration between she and producer Branko for his album Atlas.