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New York Times

Dec. 22, 2022

By Penelope Green

Denise Marsa, a singer-songwriter, has lived in her tidy studio around the corner, in the building Ms. Martin once owned at 18 Christopher Street. She, too, has rendered her home in song, as Comden and Green once did, in numbers featured in “The Pass,” her one-woman show about making it in the big city, which she performed at United Solo, a theater festival in Manhattan, in the fall of 2021.

The “FLOAT (The Cowgirl and the Alien)” video (directed by Marsa & Karolina Tyszkowska) is an animated fantasy of impossible romance becoming real.

NEW YORK, NY, USA, June 6, 2022 / — PREMIERE | Denise Marsa ‘FLOAT (The Cowgirl and the Alien)’ video premiere

Cowgirls and aliens might seem like opposites. Cowgirls are terrestrial, material, tethered to a particular time and place; aliens are stratospheric, spectral, transcendent, and defiant of the laws of gravity. Yet they’ve got more in common than it might initially appear. They both operate on the frontiers; they’re both explorers, comfortable on the margins of society. And courage is demanded from cowgirls and aliens alike.

Because she knows there’s not much difference between an epic roundup and a galactic rodeo, singer-songwriter Denise Marsa identifies with the cowgirl and the alien. In her long and varied career in music, she’s been the interstellar traveler, brave enough to cut the cord and float in space, and she’s been the traditionalist, a firm believer in the basics, rooted in classic rock history. She’s stood in the center spotlight; she’s been a side-person; she’s collaborated with Dean Friedman and The Flirts; she’s hit the charts; she’s entrenched herself in the underground. Marsa has made waves overseas, and she’s made New York City her artistic home. All of that experience is audible in the music she makes — music written and performed with the urgency of punk rock, the passion of the blues, and the muscle of classic rock and roll.

“FLOAT (The Cowgirl & The Alien),” her latest single, showcases both sides of Denise Marsa’s artistic personality. The cowgirl is present in the tough, uncompromising guitar arrangement, the sinewy, blues-drenched vocal performance, and the illustrative lyric, which firmly bonds the track to pop-rock storytelling tradition. But the alien is here, too. She drifts through the echoes and the spacy effects, the synthesizer, and the ambient sounds. Most of all, the alien is palpable in the spirit of the song — its sense of quiet destabilization, longing, and questing. The single was produced by Marsa and collaborator the past two years, Janosch Roth, owner of Lautstumm Studios in Germany.

Denise Marsa and co-director Karolina Tyszkowska bring the cowgirl and the alien to life in the “FLOAT” clip. It’s an animated fantasy of impossible romance that becomes real through the power of faith and audacity. When the clip opens, the cowgirl is alone on a range that resembles a lunar landscape. Once the alien makes her desires felt, the two become inseparable and travel the world on the coolest UFO in the solar system: a flying skateboard. Only at the cowgirl’s home are the couple made to feel unwelcome. Do the characters transcend the disapproval of the small-minded? Might the sheer courage of their unlikely love light a fire in the hearts of the young and hopeful?

MUSICEXISTENCE “FLOAT is thoroughly more engaging than some of the other crossover singles I’ve listened to this summer largely thanks to the physicality of its mastering, which allows for the instruments to have equal footing with an otherwise overpoweringly melodic vocal from Marsa herself. She’s quite a brilliant singer, and it’s only because of the stripped-down arrangement in this track that we’re really able to appreciate how deftly she can navigate even a complicated groove that would be a lot less forgiving to anyone else who had given this same song a shot. If this is par for the course, I can’t wait to hear what she comes up with next.” – Nera Mitchell

Since 1976, Denise Marsa, a singer-songwriter, has lived in her tidy studio around the corner, in the building Ms. Martin once owned at 18 Christopher Street. (She can still remember the original rent: $174.24.). She tried to help Ms. Martin in her final years, urging her to make a will, but her landlord “lived in a fairy tale,” she said. read full article

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