The Roosevelts See Love Torn Apart in “Cold Sheets”


Thanks to a catchy chorus and warm vocals, it’s easy to get wrapped up in the Roosevelts’ “Cold Sheets.” Well, I hate to give you a rude awakening, but … it’s a bittersweet breakup song. And one that’s worth hearing. Check out the CMT Edge video premiere of “Cold Sheets,” then read an interview with the Austin-based band’s James Mason and Jason Kloess below the fold.

CMT Edge: What was it about this video treatment for “Cold Sheets” that got your attention?

James Mason: Filmed in a little Texas town between Austin and Houston, this video embodies the meaning behind “Cold Sheets” and creatively projects the sentiment of love torn apart. Love can be lost, but that doesn’t mean it’s gone — and what could reflect that sentiment more powerfully than a love torn apart by war?

Jason Kloess: We really liked the direction that we all came up with, as it was something new and different and unexpected. The treatment for the video actually changed as we started shooting, as we kept coming up with ideas and different directions to take it. We actually shot four different endings and didn’t know what was going to happen until we got back the final edit. Our director, Brad Linton, did an amazing job, and we left the final say up to him on how to resolve it.

Do you have a favorite scene in the video, or one that stands out to you?

Kloess: Our favorite scenes are those shot in the bathroom with the tub, as it’s such a beautiful shot. There are so many emotions and feelings depicted on her face, and she does an amazing job expressing the pain and longing that she’s feeling. It really pulls you into the video and makes the lyrics resonate that much more.

Mason: I’d have to agree. The bathtub scenes are the glue that holds the video together. It brings the video home (in the most literal sense). For everyone, the bath is a very private place. For some, it’s the only private place. And in that space, all masks are washed away. The dirt is scrubbed, the makeup comes off, we are literally and figuratively naked. In that vulnerable place, I believe we do some of our best soul-searching, and I think Leah (Nobel) really brought that to life.

How did you settle on the song title? What were you talking about before you wrote the song?

Mason: “Cold Sheets,” as a song and a title, is a literal reflection on the absence of a warm body. When it’s love, and when it’s lost, we will do anything to fill that space or to find someone who can love us as we once were loved. Until it’s filled, we’re prone to romanticize and cling to the past. Those feelings, that evening, that experience — not to fix, but to remind ourselves that we are still capable.

Kloess: “Cold Sheets” was written in the aftermath of a two-year relationship. The kind that just falls apart — not because of someone or something but because it just doesn’t work anymore. When the shock fades and all confidence is spent, loneliness and longing begin to fill the space, and few things more noticeably play upon that emotion than the absence left in your bed.