Single Review – Rose Elinor Dougall – Poison Ivy

Rose Elinor Dougall

First of all I’d like to apologise for misleading people about two months ago when Rose released ‘Strange Warnings’ and I reviewed it under the Album Taster title. It isn’t that. Its an EP called Future Vanishes and its out on November 18th. It is the first collection of her work since 2012’s Distractions EP but Future Vanishes is more of a follow up from the excellent Without Why from 2010. Another track from this is ‘Poison Ivy’ which has been produced by Oli Bayston; who she worked with for ‘Strange Warnings’ and whose Boxed In track I let you know about last week. So that ties all of that up together nicely doesn’t it? As well as that, Anthony Rossomando (Who must be a candidate for slickest surname ever) contributed to the musical arrangement. All credit to them two as well as Rose of course for the breezy and wistful flow of the song and the melodic riffs that peer through it. Built on that are her fluid and easy vocals that dance around amongst it all in her typical and continuing fashion. Sort of hidden behind all this is the sustained and complex percussion that maintains the steady rhythmic beat throughout the song and gives it a greater sense of depth and texture. In terms of the lyrics; she told The Quietus that its about jealousy, possession, power, battling ones weaknesses and trying to save love from ugliness. These themes are projected out by the soothing vocals that are tinged with darker undercurrents with ease. Its another great track that is on a more yearning and cascading level than the indelible groove and urgency of ‘Strange Warnings’

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Album Taster – Rose Dougall – Strange Warnings

In an odd sort of way; I owe much of my taste in music to Rose. For years I was wrapped up in the 60’s through to the 90’s and that alone. Discovering her music made me realise that you could still find that creativity today. Her debut album: Without Why came into fruition because of that creativity. It featured simple elements of Folk, Psychedelic, Pop and proper Indie music and displayed them in such an eloquent fashion with a rich, soulful and haunting vocal all rolled into one to channel her personal and considered lyrics through it. Naturally the album had lots of depth and scale to it as well and she made a record far better than most British acts on a hell of a lot less money and demands. But that work was finalised in 2010. Last week she unveiled a new track called ‘Strange Warnings’ which is from her new album. I read about a year ago that there was a desire to put a lot of features from her time working with an amazing set of musicians alongside Mark Ronson into her second album which seemed like an interesting idea if not one I was unsure about too. However if ‘Strange Warnings’ is anything to go by; then she has made an exciting step up from Without Why which as I alluded to, was packed full of creativity. It starts with a calm, Indie riff under a psychedelic disguise that then is suddenly yet all so easily pulled under a bass line that maintains a solid and damn catchy tune and simple percussion that has the urgency of the rhythm being created. Rose joins in with her more haunting vocal but matched to the rhythm and groove of the instrumentals for a great combination. The steady build up of sound continues as the synths latch on too and it really whips up an anticipation that can’t be created when you go in all guns blazing, one second into the track plus there are even more varied percussion elements to keep this going and going. The groove delight and the rhythm feast have an easy melody to it as well as Rose’s vocals add a sense of calm balance to the music going on around her. The effects to her vocals are only subtle and don’t kill off her wholesome voice nor the music and she largely doesn’t need any to make her voice stand out as it has the ability to sit above it while still sort of blend in to the wave of sound that those like Kevin Parker can pull off so well. The lyrics are at least just as good as those from Without Why which she explained to The Quietus that “it deals with the idea of trying to find something to grab hold of when everything feel intangible and confused, amongst other things.” They were worked on with Oli Bayston who she also talks very highly of. All in all ‘Strange Warnings’ has really got me excited for the rest of the album which looks to be a rhythmic and groove fairing venture. There was sort of a feel of some people who have been like ‘where on earth have you gone?’ But if her next album is anything like this then it will be well worth the wait.

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