“My Only” is a song for late-night drives: for the dark and dream-like stretches of highway; for the distant glimmer of city lights; for the thoughts that dance through your head as you stare at the road—or as you glance at your partner in the passenger seat, curled up beneath the blanket, gently snoring (and looking beautiful). It’s a love song crafted from emotion and imagination, and it manages to be both vivid in its storytelling and haunting in its performance.
And really, vivid and haunting are ideal descriptors for Ivy Rose’s style. The Houston-based singer-songwriter injects all her work—covers and originals alike—with an unabashed vulnerability that often veers into mournfulness. Her debut EP Skyscrapers, featuring “My Only” as its single, is a deliberate dive into the emotions—both painful and paradisiacal—that accompany a romantic relationship. “I want people to feel inspired and motivated,” she explains of the EP. “And to feel the real pain and feelings that are behind my voice.”
It certainly isn’t difficult to glean feeling here. Rose’s voice is mournful, bewitching. Even in its most ecstatic moments, it still drips with elegy. When, in the chorus, she sings “Could you love me / like I love you”, her voice lifts half an octave, threatens to transcend, and just about breaks your heart. “My Only” is full of hope and contentment, yes; but it also reminds us of love’s innate liability—of the essential vulnerability that comes from exposing one’s feelings.
This vulnerable beauty comes not just from Rose’s voice, but from her lyrics, crafted with the help of veteran songwriter Mark Goldenberg. Goldenberg gives vision and color to Rose’s emotion: the “precious petrol dashes burning bright” are just as intimate as the tremble in her voice. Even the pacing is poetry. After the choral line “You’re my only one”, there’s a moment’s pause, and in that instant, you feel as if you’re floating in space.
“My Only” doesn’t have a bridge, nor does it change pace much. But why would it? It is, after all, a song for late-night drives. There’s no need for braking or reversing. Instead, Ivy Rose takes us ever-onwards: drifting through the highway, exploring her emotions, feeling her vulnerability.
And somewhere along that midnight road, we start to open up too. Love is, after all, a two-way street.
By Alex Figueiredo