Album Review: Rosie Plaza - "Take Your Time”

Local Bay Area indie band Rosie Plaza prepares to part ways and release their final EP, "Take Your Time," a poignant reflection of their musical journey, one filled with ups and downs, setbacks, and–most importantly–triumphs.

Rosie Plaza was first formed by college roommates and teachers Angel Ibarra (bass) and Nick Musni (guitar/vocals). They honed in on their sound after recruiting Russ Arteaga (drummer/sound engineer), 20 years their senior and with a son in Nick’s math class.

As we delve into Rosie Plaza's final EP, "Take Your Time," the local Bay Area indie band prepares to bid adieu, leaving behind a musical legacy that encapsulates their growth, resilience, and artistic vision.

Q&A with Rosie Plaza: An Insightful Glimpse into Their Journey

Q: How did you guys meet?

Russ: We met at my son’s school where I worked as a tech engineer. Nick was my son’s math teacher and we started chatting and sharing cool music.

Nick: Russ always had cool band T-shirts.

Russ: While I was chaperoning a camping trip, Nick started to play his guitar. I was like “Wow!” We should hang out. From that point on we talked about doing music with Nick’s college roommate who plays bass after the school year ended.

How did you come up with the name?

Russ: Our first name was Bad Wife! But we changed it to be more inclusive…

Angel: Nick had a pet hedgehog named Rosie. Nick would write a lot of the songs in his room with Rosie in it, so then we're like “Rosie…something”? After writing a long list of names, we finally decided on Rosie Plaza.

Nick: Sadly Rosie passed away, but Rosie Plaza made sense. Plazas are a place where people gather and are often named after somebody significant to a community. It was a great way to memorialize her and we thought it sounded cool.

Q: What motivated the band to release this EP as your farewell project?

Nick: We were already playing “Floaties” as things were shutting down during the early pandemic.

Russ: During the first year of covid I landed on my hand breaking the metacarpal in my right hand. My day job is walking dogs and I was walking some new dogs in the rain, and two took off. As a drummer or a musician, it's like, if you can’t use your hands, it’s like that's it.

Nick: The original plan was to release these four tracks as singles but with Russ’s injury we wanted him to recover and get his strength back. And once we got the news Angel and his wife were planning on moving, were like, welp it’s now an EP but we’re glad it happened that way. This album not only tells the narrative of life and the ups and downs of life & relationships but our story as a band. Compiling these last 4 tracks into an EP rather than releasing them as singles allows us to tell our unique story to whoever wants to listen and leave that little stamp of who we are with the world.

Q: How did your perspective change when writing this EP?

Nick: In terms of writing the other projects, I felt like I'd bring a song that wasn’t fully formed, and we would work on drum and bass parts. It's more collaborative!

Russ: Initially with “DIY and Die Trying,” Nick would bring us songs and then we would start playing around with it. At some point, I was like let's get this guitar part down and we recorded him in Ableton Live playing the guitar and then the vocals. I would take a snippet of a section and move it around like pieces of a puzzle. It’s way more fun to arrange our songs that way.

Angel: We've all really grown into our roles, and I feel a sense of confidence in what we're doing and what's necessary. Over time we became a well-oiled machine, we learned how to speak up for ourselves and step up when needed. For example, while Russ was working on mixing the EP, Nick and I went out to print merch and be more self-sufficient.

Q: If you had one song to choose from the EP to be the soundtrack of your experience as Rosie Plaza, which one would it be and why?

Russ: I think “Orange Hands” encapsulates our sound as a band, but I think “Take Your Time” is the one. It was the song that progressed us into “Don't Let Go,” and to me just feels like it is the seed from which the EP came out of.

Nick: I'd say “Take Your Time” as well because of the sound & lyrics. It has elements from a lot of our different projects. It's about trying to find yourself while going out and staying up late drinking with people you don't know because you're sad. You're trying to find your people or person, but it's like, just take your time while you're looking for that. Don’t rush into it! That sentiment encapsulates the journey of a lot of the content of our songs.

Angel: Because we’re a three-piece band we have to be on top of it. I agree, Take Your Time because it definitely highlights the bass at the beginning, and I like that. It’s such a great statement to help you with whatever you are going through. So Take Your Time for me.

Russ: If all you can hear was that one song I think it represents who we are the most.

Q: What are some final words you want to say to your supporters?

Russ: Take your time!

Angel: Thank you and we love you.

Nick: To anyone who has listened to our songs even if it's just for a snippet, bought merch, or came to a show, thank you. We have so much gratitude, and this is why you do it. You want to connect and share your art with your community and if you ever connected with us, thank you. "Take Your Time" serves as a poignant farewell to Rosie Plaza’s unique sound, camaraderie, and artistic evolution. The EP paints a vivid soundscape, drawing inspiration from post-punk luminaries like The Smiths, The Cure, Radiohead, and Deerhunter. These influences intertwine seamlessly, resulting in an alternative new-age vibe that is both nostalgic and forward-looking.

Rosie Plaza's lyrical introspection invites listeners to embrace life's fluidity, to cherish each moment, and find solace in the present. As they say goodbye to their musical voyage, "Take Your Time" serves as a powerful testament to the band's legacy, their friendships, and their unyielding passion for creating music that resonates deeply.

"Take Your Time" is out now on Bandcamp and Spotify.