Kelly Crisp and Ivan Howard were married the week they formed the Rosebuds while still at college in North Carolina. Merge Records released their folk-rock debut, The Rosebuds Make Out, in 2003. Two CDs later, the Rosebuds began to unravel as a couple. By the time of 2008’s Life Like, their fourth release, they had separated and Crisp had moved to Brooklyn. As a couple, the Rosebuds were finished, but as a duo, they were not. This year they released Loud Planes Fly Low, a CD that sees the two as bandmates exploring the gray area of a relationship outside of marriage.
I get Crisp on the phone, pruning roses in her garden in North Carolina. I hear birds in the background. “Yeah, it sounds like I’m in an aviary, but I’m just out in the yard. I have a cottage in a wooded area.” She and Howard gravitate toward that sort of thing — they recorded Loud Planes Fly Low in an isolated cabin in the woods. “It was a place where we could really be honest with each other,” she says. “We needed that.” The move paid off. Critics have called Loud Planes their best and riskiest work to date — which Crisp says comes as a surprise.
“We aren’t doing anything that big. There aren’t any crazy guitar leads that will blow anybody’s mind on this record.” She says Loud Planes is more of a musical collaboration. “Traditionally, my job has been the lyricist. But [Ivan’s] doing more of the lyrics, and I have more of a hand in the songwriting.” I ask Crisp what she thinks Loud Planes is about. She says, “Two people who love each other.”
Other Lives also performs.
ROSEBUDS: The Casbah, Thursday, June 30, 8:30 p.m. 619-232-4355. $12 advance; $14 day of show.