There is a difference between loneliness and solitude. The former chooses you, creeping its way into your heart after a bad breakup or the death of a loved one or the dashing of a dream. Loneliness attaches itself like a leech whether you're sitting in an empty apartment or in the middle of a packed room. Solitude is something different. It's finding the sublime internally and embracing the peace that comes with being alone. You find solitude, it can't find you. Songs in the Key of Solitude, the debut album from Rosehardt, is borne of this internal push and pull between two similar yet contrasting states. The title is an homage to Stevie Wonder's 1976 opus, but instead of a sonic survey of life's beauty, Rosehardt turns the lens internally, analyzing faults, failures, and triumphs with equal verve.
SKS emerged from a period of self-imposed isolation following the end of a relationship, a winter spent indoors and out of sight where Rosehardt began searching for a way to embrace being alone without falling into a loneliness' void. The artist wanted the sense of stillness provided by hibernating during NYC's bone-chilling winter months to be able to learn how to express, and finally accept, the internal quiet that comes with being truly at peace with yourself. A contented solitude that comes with being exactly where you need to be, when you want to be. Rosehardt cut his teeth as an actor at SUNY Purchase and as one half of the NYC duo Quincy Vidal before mining his past, present, and future for themes on his introspective (and ultimately defiant) solo debut.
He winds his way between genres and styles with ease, sounding equally at home in setting the stage with R&B for album opener "Sunday' as he does weaving synth-pop choruses into Boot Camp Clik indebted hip hop on "Play" and "Bad Song." The album's emotional and musical centerpieces bookend the record: "Fall Into You" is a devastating embrace of loneliness, a raw meditation on a broken heart that transitions through the stages of attachment, manipulation, emotional burden and, ultimately, blissful detachment; "Goddamn" concludes the LP with a searing depiction of Rosehardt's religious upbringing that documents his family, his faith and his frustration with the world's expectations that have shaped his identity as an artist, and as a man.