Premiere: Nora Rothman Shines in the Rain with Dreamy Folk-Pop Single “fifteen / feet”

Nora Rothman © Emily Knecht
Two cups of warm folk, one cup of ambient electronica, and a dash of poetry in Nora Rothman’s “fifteen / feet”

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Listen: “fifteen / feet” – Nora Rothman

In 2016, Nora Rothman left music behind to campaign for Hilary Clinton as a field organizer. That battle was lost, but Rothman’s vitriol for social inequality was only fueled by defeat.

fifteen / feet - Nora Rothman Single Art

fifteen / feet – Nora Rothman ft. Cape Francis

Shortly after releasing her self-titled EP, earning her praise from The Deli and Paste for its sophisticated approach to mellow folk-pop, Rothman made use of her natural organization skills to facilitate her next cause: to help raise the voices and visibility of female, queer, and trans artist through Earhart, a platform that helps “womxn” artists connect and collaborate with one another. She took her activism a step farther in a vow to work exclusively with female and gender-nonconforming artists on a remixed version of debut album, dedicating half of the project’s proceeds to Planned Parenthood. Rothman has always found a way to combine her passion for music and activism in resourceful ways, and her upcoming EP is an extension of that ingenuity.

if we end up in the woods
trying so hard to be good
will they hear us
if we start to lose the light
and there’s no one else in sight
will they hear us

Atwood Magazine is proud to be premiering “fifteen / feet,” Nora Rothman’s second single off her forthcoming debut album Nothing New, out May 31, 2019 on the female-ran Unspeakable Records. Produced by Los Angeles-based Kate Ellwanger (aka Dot) and co-written by indie musician Cape Francis, “fifteen / feet” is a song about failure, about how trying too hard can actually widen the distance between the individual and their happiness.

Nora Rothman © Emily Knecht

Nora Rothman © Emily Knecht

if lightning strikes us down
roots rip up the ground
will they hear us
will we end up heart to heart
or fifteen feet apart
will they hear us

The top of the track starts off with a warm blend of guitars and sharp synths, flickering like morning sunlight passing through willowy branches. In fact, Rothman places us there, in the thick of the “woods,” a place just as foreboding as it is wondrous. “If we end up in the woods / trying so hard to / will they hear us,” she husks, wondering if she will ever be able to dig her out of own self-imposed exile. Though stuck deep in a shrouded reality, the bass drum heavy percussion and layered synths that soar on second verse exudes an optimism. Here is Nora, unheard and unanchored, still fighting for to be seen — for herself, for the silenced, and for all “womxn.”

The woods isn’t solely fraught with danger either; it is also a place where life can take on a leavening clarity otherwise lost in civilization and its materialistic distractions. Deep in the woods, there is no purpose in rushing. Each trove, path, and turn blurs into the next, begging us to slow down – otherwise we might end up lost, afraid, and alone.

Stream “fifteen / feet” exclusively on Atwood Magazine!

Listen: “fifteen / feet” – Nora Rothman

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fifteen / feet - Nora Rothman Single Art

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📸 © Emily Knecht

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My name is Nick. I am currently unemployed and live on the beach with my surfboard in Los Angeles. When I am not home, I am busy attending NYU studying journalism, slurping ramen, moshing, or gentrifying the Lower East Side. Cheers!