Blue Roses – Moments Before Sleep

7 09 2009

Blue Roses debut album (2009)

One of the best debut albums I have heard in a long, long time. A virtually beat-free album, with layered vocals, underpinned with acoustic guitar, piano and electronics, and hints of folk music.  Laura Groves aka Blue Roses is from Shipley, and there several tracks, such as Can’t Sleep and Coast that could only really come from West Yorkshire.
The albums standout tracks is “I Wish I…” (if this track doesn’t melt your heart, you are made of stone). Just piano and voice, and a string quartet towards the middle of the song, this is one of those songs that could have been recorded at any time in the past thirty years, its untouched by technology, and is all the betetr for it.
“But when he touched my hand like it was gold,
Well I want to pull away and say,
“Look, it’s only…well it’s only made from plain old skin and bone”
The Kate Bush comparisons are an easy (but valid) reference point, but Blue Roses have none of the theatrics of Kate Bush’s early work, and live performances are all about the music, which is powerful and emotive.
Rebecca is the only song to feature electric guitar and percussion, and breaks up the album with its discordant opening, but then the magic kicks in and the song goes to another place.
“Let me sit and watch you working, I won’t be a pain.
You will not notice me at all.”
The album was apparently recorded on a shoestring, with studio-time, borrowed grand pianos and choirs from the local pub, all grabbed when they were available, not that you can tell. There’s a real warmth and clarity to the songs on this album, and the constant touring and support of Radio 2 will hopefully raise the albums profile over the coming months.
The direction of the next album release will be interesting, as recordings released after this album was recorded point to a different direction, with less acoustic guitar and more experimentation with different production techniques.  Single “b” side (is there such a thing anymore, in the digital age?) Moments Before Sleep is a lo-fi wonder, but as magical as anything on the album.  The most recent recording released was an enchanting cover of The Beatles Golden Slumbers from Mojo magazine’s Abbey Road Now compilation.
Greatest Thoughts
Cover Your Tracks
I Am Leaving
Can’t Sleep
I Wish I…
Coast
Does Anyone Love Me Now?
Doubtful Comforts
Rebecca
Imaginary Flights
XLCD 411 UK Release April 2009 / US Release July 2009

One of the best debut albums I have heard in a long, long time. A virtually beat-free album, with layered vocals, underpinned with acoustic guitar, piano and electronics, and subtle hints of folk.

Laura Groves aka Blue Roses is from Shipley, and there are several tracks, such as Can’t Sleep and Coast that could only really come from West Yorkshire.

The albums standout track is I Wish I… (if this song doesn’t melt your heart, you are made of stone). Starting off with just piano and voice, and adding a string quartet towards the middle, this is one of those songs that could have been recorded at any time in the past thirty years.

I Wish I… is untouched by technology, and is all the better for it.

“But you’ve got your eye on the door.
This is what my life is for.
I’ll pray that you won’t drop your anchor here.”

The Kate Bush comparisons are an easy (but valid) reference point, but Blue Roses have none of the theatrics of Kate Bush’s early work, and live performances are all about the music, which is powerful and emotive.

Rebecca is the only song to feature electric guitar and percussion, and breaks up the album with its discordant opening, but then the magic kicks in and the song heads off to another place.

“Let me sit and watch you working, I won’t be a pain.
You will not notice me at all.”

The album was apparently recorded on a shoestring, with studio-time, borrowed grand pianos and choirs from the local pub, all grabbed when they were available, not that you can tell. There’s a real warmth and clarity to the songs on this album, and the constant touring and support of Radio 2 will hopefully raise the albums profile over the coming months.

The direction of the next album will be interesting, as the recordings released after this debut was recorded point to a different direction, with less acoustic guitar and more experimentation with production techniques.  Single “b” side (is there such a thing anymore, in the digital age?) Moments Before Sleep is a lo-fi wonder, but easily as magical as anything on the album.  The most recent Blue Roses recording released was an enchanting cover of  The Beatles Golden Slumbers from Mojo magazine’s Abbey Road Now compilation.

Tracklisting:
Greatest Thoughts / Cover Your Tracks / I Am Leaving / Can’t Sleep /
I Wish I… / Coast / Does Anyone Love Me Now? / Doubtful Comforts /
Rebecca / Imaginary Flights

Lyrics quoted © Blue Roses
XLCD 411 UK Release April 2009 / US Release July 2009

Buy Blue Roses on Amazon UK
Buy Blue Roses on Amazon US

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