Check out this article I wrote for Scene a few weeks back. (And give Rocky lots of love - he's pretty much one of the nicest guys I've ever had the pleasure of interviewing.)
"Sparklers," Rocky Votolato's best new song, is surprisingly simple. Its one-word title and sparse arrangement (only acoustic guitar accompanies his gentle voice) hint at the minimalism of his recently released sixth album, True Devotion. But it would be a mistake to categorize the beauty here as "plain." His fingertips swim over the strings, etching a sonic landscape that's fluid and very much alive. And his voice is a portrait of both pain and acceptance.
The Seattle-based singer-songwriter says the "sparklers" represent the transience of our world: Everything is constantly changing, and we're only here for a little while. As he tries to accept this fact, Votolato translates his struggles into songs. In a mix of autobiographical material and fictional characters, True Devotion simultaneously details his struggle with depression (a lifelong battle that got so bad that he barely left his apartment for a year) and his vivid characterizations of stories and poetry by Louise Erdrich and Sylvia Plath. "There's a lot of run-down characters that were calling to me through the process of making this album," says Votolato.
Read the rest of the article here.