This Album Changed My Life: Billie Rose On The Lumineers' 'Cleopatra'

23 February 2024 | 11:43 am | Mary Varvaris

To celebrate the release of her long-awaited new single, 'Heartbreak Subway Train', Billie Rose has written about the album that changed her life for Countrytown.

Billie Rose

Billie Rose (Source: Supplied)

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Today, Australian rising alt-country songwriter Billie Rose released her poignant new single, Heartbreak Subway Train.

Heartbreak Subway Train has arrived after a long time in the making. Written initially with Townsville-based award-winning songwriter Peta-Cherae in 2019, the song was finally recorded in 2022 with Garrett Kato (Busby Marou, Tones And I) at his home studio in Byron Bay.

Of the primarily acoustic, tender track that highlights her angelic vocals, Rose explained in a press release, “In this soulful track, I delve into the emotional struggle of witnessing my ex-boyfriend moving on ahead of me. The song encapsulates the discomfort of feeling compelled to expedite my healing journey to match his pace.”

Exploring the number’s travel theme, she continued, “Picture my heart as a separate entity, standing at the subway station, ready to embark on the profound journey of love once more. The lyrics capture the essence of this tender moment, portraying the vulnerability and resilience intertwined in the process of moving forward.

Heartbreak Subway Train is more than a song; it's an intimate narrative of healing and self-discovery, resonating with anyone who has navigated the bittersweet path of letting go and embracing new possibilities.”

You can listen to Heartbreak Subway Train below.

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To celebrate the release of her long-awaited new single, Billie Rose has written about the album that changed her life – Cleopatra by The Lumineers – for Countrytown.

This Album Changed My Life by Billie Rose

As I read the question, “What album changed your life?” I had my answer straight away – I was immediately taken back to a memory. However, if I am being honest, for a moment, I doubted my own answer and thought surely there is another album, but the truth is, that memory was hearing The Lumineers’ Cleopatra album for the very first time.

It was 2018; I was seventeen years old at the time, sitting outside the classroom on my lunch break. Being a senior in high school meant I was allowed to have access to my phone. I used the time to watch live performances on YouTube. A video of The Lumineers came up in my recommendation; it was the Ophelia music video, and my ears pricked as soon as I heard the song.

I spent most of my schooling listening to what everyone around me was listening to: a lot of country music and mainstream top hits. The Lumineers’ sound was different to anything I had heard before. The vocals were so raw and filled with emotion. It was the first time I saw music as art; I was so intrigued by how these instruments and vocals could make me feel so much. That’s when I knew I wanted to make music that made people feel.

I remember Googling a lot of the lyrics to their songs; I loved finding out the meaning behind the metaphors; this really gave me the inspiration to explore my own songwriting in a deeper sense. Listening to this album opened up a whole new world for me, and I found my love for alternative music.

Heartbreak Subway Train is out now.