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Dead Leaves Rising

a brief history of Dead Leaves Rising:

Dead Leaves Rising was the project born from the ashes of DeRosa’s first musical project Fade, which was active from 1993-1995 while he was still in high school. He released two cassettes under this moniker, 1993’s Pale, Broken Truths & 1995’s Windows, & performed his first concerts in New York City. Musically, it can best be described as minimal dark folk.

Musically, DLR showed a complexity & an aggression that was absent in all of the Fade material, which tended to be passive & mournful.  The acoustic guitar still served as the basis for all songs, but DeRosa’s classical training & appreciation of the studio environment led him to experiment with layered guitars, other instruments & collaboration with other players. He drew influence from bands on the Projekt Records label, (Lycia, Black Tape For A Blue Girl, Thanatos, Love Spirals Downwards, & Eden) as well as the 4AD label, meshing darker atmospheres with the folk music he grew up with.

DLR’s first album Shadow Complex was recorded from September 1996-January 1997, at Waterlands Studio in Colts Neck, NJ. DeRosa funded the project through part-time jobs during his senior year of high school & released the CD on his own Brighter Records imprint in June of that year. It was limited to 500 copies on matte art paper, hand-assembled, & included a comic that DeRosa drew. DeRosa made up the term “shadow complex” to describe the social phenomenon he saw in a lot of his (often older) friends & acquaintances: 20-somethings from affluent upbringings with college educations, doing hard drugs & looking for reasons to be miserable. As someone who grew up feeling extremely detached, he couldn’t imagine why someone would want to “portray” that mood as glamorous, as those in the gothic community had.

In the years that followed, DeRosa began his ambient/guitar project Aarktica, released a cassette of downtempo ambient/electronic music as Still, joined the NYC chamber pop ensemble Flare, & graduated from NYU. It wasn’t until 2001 that DeRosa released the second & final DLR album Waking Up on the Wrong Side of No One on Plow City Records.  This release displayed DeRosa waning from the brooding, gothic sounds of the first album, & toward a folkier, dark indie rock sound.

Label problems plagued the release from the start, & the album fell largely into obscurity. Frustrated & now involved in other projects (Aarktica & Flare), DeRosa laid the project to rest in 2002.

Dead Leaves Rising Press:
Jon De Rosa takes gothic melancholia into the folk realm on his debut, a collection of gloomy songs that grapple with concepts of faith. Graceful arpeggios & lilting chord sequences are accompanied on different tunes by an interesting array of elements: mournful electric guitar, hand percussion, drum kit, viola, harp, & keyboards. DeRosa's bass vocals possess a theatrical quality that offers a nice contrast to his acoustic six-string, & he sustains a balance of light & dark that keeps the songs compelling.
~ Acoustic Guitar Magazine

This is certainly my favorite of [DeRosa’s] solo work. His voice is perfect for the pristine guitar & soft melodies, filling these long, moving songs with a deep melancholy & beauty that is very unique.
~ Jeff Marsh, Delusions of Adequacy

Dead Leaves Rising Discography
Dead Leaves Rising: Shadow Complex Dead Leaves Rising - Shadow Complex
MP3 Album 1997 | Silber 101
7 tracks, 37 minutes
$5 (320 kbps, ~92 megs)
The first release of dark folk from Jon DeRosa of Aarktica's Dead Leaves Rising from his senior year in high school.

: Listen to the track Shadow Complex
: Press release
: Reviews

Dead Leaves Rising: Waking Up on the Wrong Side of No One Dead Leaves Rising - Waking Up on the Wrong Side of No One
MP3 Album 2001 | Silber 102
11 tracks, 62 minutes
$5 (320 kbps, ~136 megs)
The second release of dark folk from Jon DeRosa of Aarktica's Dead Leaves Rising recorded shortly after No Solace in Sleep.

: Listen to the track Fortress
: Press release
: Reviews

dead leaves rising Links
dead leaves rising on Last FM