Esther Rose: “Safe to Run” [ft. Hurray for the Riff Raff]

Esther Rose has called several places home—Columbiaville, Michigan; New Orleans; and now Santa Fe—and she seems to find comfort in the in-between, scattering vignettes of freedom on the open road throughout her music. On “Safe To Run,” the gentle and poignant title track from her upcoming album, the country-folk singer once again entertains fantasies of a nomadic life: “What if I left the city behind/Just dreaming in the trees, untie my mind,” she begins in a breezily wistful tone. But there’s darkness trailing this vision of untethered spontaneity, one that’s rooted in climate grief and the great big unknown. Joined by Hurray for the Riff Raff’s Alynda Segarra, Rose contemplates exactly where to escape when environmental ruin is happening everywhere. “Fire surrounds me, from here to there/And the waters’ rising, everywhere,” they sing, as pedal steel, mellotron and acoustic guitars gradually build alongside their intertwining voices. Ultimately, even if Rose takes the wheel, it’s fate that’s in control.