James Roseman
Gig Seeker Pro

James Roseman

Medford, Massachusetts, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2014

Medford, Massachusetts, United States
Established on Jan, 2014
Solo Alternative Indie


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"Quickie Review: James Roseman “The Demo Tape”"

I always find it interesting when an artist manages to blend two different genres that are seemingly un-blendable. James Roseman does this particularly well. He takes folk, acoustic style guitars mixes it with some almost hip hop style backbeats, and sprinkles a little indie pop repeatability on the finished product. I will be honest, this is not my typical taste in music, but it’s enjoyable to listen to. Roseman has a strong and steady voice. It feels familiar, alluring and welcoming. The layering of the parts works well, this sounds like something that should be on college radio and all the hip kids are listening to. Production is great, the sounds he is getting on this collection are solid.

You said you’d be a friend
Well all you’ve been is afraid
You said you’d be my rock
well show me how that rock gets made

The three tracks flow well and quickly. There are hints of folk buried down in there somewhere, there are bits of rock, I guess this is indie rock music? That’s the classification I suppose. I think if James was able to pull this all off live with loop pedals and built up the music right in front of you, that would be an impressive live show. I think the star is Roseman’s voice. Even with a lot going on with the sound effects and throbbing beat, his voice cuts through the mix particularly well. For someone who isn’t typically a fan of this particular type of music, the artist makes it a good listen and I may change my mind about it in the future. - RedLine Roots

"James Roseman releases his debut demo tape"

I was first knocked sideways by James Roseman’s music back in the summer of 2012. He had just released his debut album, Words and Tricks, where he accompanied himself on acoustic guitar, saxophone and drums. In it, I found a wise and sly old soul trapped inside an 18-year-old body. Wiser and slyer and a few years later, today James releases The Demo Tape, which can be listened to on iTunes, Spotify and Bandcamp.

This is billed as his “debut 3-song demo” and indeed, it’s a stylistic departure from his earlier work. With the same wry, sophisticated lyrics, the music is far more developed and professional. He might call it a demo, but clearly a lot of attention was paid to production values this time around. Fortunately, his warm, intimate and insanely charming style is left beautifully intact. “Wasting My Time” is a pretty, haunting reflection about a one-sided relationship that’s far too jaded and insightful for a 21-year-old. In addition to his spare, sharp and sparkling musicianship, Roseman has a gift for storytelling, as is evident in “Jack Rose.” He uses acoustic guitar melodies, a touch of bass and handclaps to great effect, perfectly highlighting his vocals and harmonies. I’m still working out the deeper meaning of “Croesus Curse” but there seems to be a central theme running through these songs that has to do with what one does in one’s life and the regret of wasted time. “Croesus Curse” uses the same minimalist percussive sounds and handclaps with haunting guitar melodies. Brilliant. - The Boston Survival Guide

"Recommended | Ryan Pirtle-McVeigh"

I have a soft spot for unslick, unpretentious music that has a kind of a dark side mixed with naivete of the best sort. Neutral Milk Hotel-esque. I really look forward to whatever's coming next. - Ryan Pirtle-McVeigh

"Introducing James Roseman"

A curious thing happened as I listened repeatedly to James Roseman’s debut album, Words and Tricks, a surprisingly sophisticated effort for an 18-year-old with a G4 Powerbook in his bedroom. What first came across as a charming collection of songs about young love and heartbreak from the vantage point of naiveté, after a few spins took on the tone of a wiser and far more jaded jilted lover, looking back with both nostalgic compassion and sardonic disgust. His musical palette varies from whimsically wayward multi-tracked vocals (“Track 3”) to a touch of flamenco (“What Are You Waiting For”) to saxophone and kazoo, bass drum and snare.

In the middle of these nine songs I find myself listening to over and over again, there’s an achingly vulnerable, sweet and melancholy take on Ben Gibbard’s brilliant masterpiece, “Such Great Heights.” James also has some rather stark poetry of his own – “With your feet in the mud, you feel right at home / And it’s in the dark you feel so alone / Yet so at ease, no one to please, hasn’t it ended yet?” (from “Young Blood”). Young blood, perhaps, but an old soul. I mean really, how many 18-year-olds would use the concept of 21 grams in a pop song? (“21 grams I follow for / 21 grams I’m chasing”). I’ll be keeping an eye on you, son. - Musings from Boston | Boston Survival Guide

"Artist of the Month Interview"

"Words & Tricks" is the debut release from young Boston-area songwriter James Roseman. The album signifies a more than good start. Largely an acoustic pop sound, Roseman demonstrates allegiance to his role models (e.g. his Postal Service cover) and an ear for catchy melody, but his musical versatility is clear. "Words & Tricks" is an endearing, homey project with Roseman playing multiple instruments, each track delivered in an exploratory and sometimes rough-cut style. Still, as he'll be the first to tell you, it's all about the process. I'd like to think this means we'll be hearing more from him in the future.

First of all, congratulations on your album "Words & Tricks!" It's a pretty cohesive project for a one-man debut. Had you been stockpiling songs for a while? Or was this a "burst of inspiration" endeavor?

Thank you very much for the congratulations, Kristina!
I had hit a slump of writing for a while and one day I sat down at my computer, set up the microphones and all equipment so that it was easily accessible (saxophones, MIDI keyboards, etc.) and told myself I couldn't get up until I had a song recorded. I started with an idea and a few hours later I'd be lost in what I was making. I started into a routine where I'd do it every day. Not every song idea was great, and some days I'd word for hours with nothing to show for it. But for me, that wasn't the point. The purpose was the process, and the musical process to me then was and always has been about a certain type of release from stress.

As and individual performer (assuming you're performing under your given name), the recording of music can become intensely personal and reflective of self - perhaps more so than with a band. Any particular anxieties/hopes approaching the album? Do you believe being young necessarily makes you more vulnerable?

Writing for a solo project is definitely a more personal experience than working on an album with a band. I've been part of a group throughout and after high school called Sababa and the types of song ideas I'd present to the group would never have been as personal or blunt as most of the tracks on the album. At the time of writing most of these songs I was going through the obligatory teenage break-up and I was angry. With nobody but myself to bounce these song ideas off of, I ended up with a much more honest type of songwriting than I had previously experienced. It's not to say the songs ended up better than with a group, but some songs definitely benefited from the personal perspective. "Things To Understand," to me, is a good example from the album of where this personal perspective goes right and strikes a nice balance, where as a track like "What Are You Waiting For" was more of something I needed to write rather than wanted to hear, if that makes sense.

You are quite the multi-instrumentalist, according to Bandcamp. So which instrument was the first love?

First instrument was cello, followed by bass and swiftly afterwards by true musical love: guitar. Along the way I've learned a few instruments like alto and baritone saxophone, which I learned in high school bands.

Having won Artist of the Month, no doubt your fan base is behind you on this. Generally, who have played the biggest supporting roles in you music career thus far?

My hometown of Swampscott is a small one, yet one of large artistic promise. It seems like most, if not all, of my friends in town are involved in music in some way or another. To break out of the Swampscott mold and do something recognized by something beyond just that small circle feels amazing, and undoubtedly I wouldn't have been able to do it without the help of all my friends and family, especially my mother who, at times, seemed to be more obsessed with the constantly shifting votes than I was!

Name one thing you look forward to doing with your summer now that this album is out, and people consider you awesome.

This summer has been filled up with the 5-Week Performing Artist program at Berklee. I'm going through the Jazz Guitar track and getting my first introduction to some difficult (for me) theory to wrap my head around. It's been heavily influencing the type of music I make and certainly making me think about where my artistic future may lie. To be honest, it makes me want to go out and play shows and write and record more! Speaking of which, I'll be playing in and around Boston this coming school year with a friend of mine I met at the 5-Week program, so (to those reading) check us out some time! - The Deli | New England


Words & Tricks (2012)



Raised in the Greater Boston area in Massachusetts, James Roseman ties together musical roots across a variety of genres to produce a unique blend of indie-pop, rock, and alternative. 2014 marked a new style, seen in his 3-song demo "The Demo Tape". In 2011, James released a debut album titled "Words & Tricks" which features his work on acoustic guitar, saxophones, and drums.

James attends Tufts University, where he hopes to pursue a degree in Computer Science as part of the class of 2015. He lives in Medford during the school year, and is always looking for gigs around the Boston area (especially near Cambridge/Brighton/Allston).

Band Members