Rookling dazzles with effortless, ornate debut “Football in the Field”
In a season seemingly ripe for folky introspective releases in Berlin, as the cold nights draw in and darkness envelops us, the debut single “Football in the Field” by Rookling stands out. A warm, nostalgic reverie on childhood and lost innocence, the song is a remarkable first effort. It transports its listener to a calmer, kinder place, providing a welcome escape from the bustling chaos of modern life. Moreover, it suggests a supreme confidence by the young artist in the world they are conjuring, that they weave in song.
now and then I feel the weight of not belonging
Rookling is the stage moniker of Jem Bosatta, who only moved to Berlin late last year. Formerly performing as Jem Kid, Bosatta has performed across Europe and recorded two E.P.’s. Launching the good ship Rookling, Bosatta feels a more assured and mature songsmith. With echoes of Nick Drake and Bert Jansch, Rookling is rooted firmly in the folk tradition. Bosatta is possessed of a beautiful voice, crystal clear and capable of communicating both youthful naivety and the melancholy that intervening years instills. There is a palpable sense of loss in the refrain, “now and then I feel the weight of not belonging”.
The production of the single is incredibly delicate, with instrumental voices drifting in an out without ever clumsily imposing themselves. String and woodwind arrangements develop the melody, primarily based around the guitar and drums. Voices compliment Bosatta’s, providing harmonies and a rhythmic drive which culminate in the song’s climax. At the song’s end, following a gentle, descending ritardando, this reviewer felt the immediate urge to begin the song again, to return once more to the fields conjured by Bosatta and to the innocence therein. It is a potent and intoxicating piece of music.
On the strength of this debut release, Rookling seem an artist to follow closely. Fortunately, another single is planned this winter and so there will surely be more in this vein. We wait with bated breath.