Simply a debut of consummate poise...

In what seems to be a never-ending swathe of feminine singer songwriter loveliness, Blue Roses (a.k.a. Laura Groves) is intent on painting us a very pretty picture indeed. In fact, it was probably done with watercolours, under a big orchard tree at the height of summer, too. On the surface, all seems to be serene and unspoilt; but there’s an underlying subtle sense of despair that immediately endears you to Blue Roses.

Drifting in with the same ethereal splendour as Soap&Skin (review), Blue Roses effortlessly casts aside the talk show toting of Allen, the teapot-wielding Nash and any other contemporary looking to play on a quirk. Far from tainting the album with introspective, personal evaluation, her eponymous debut is a thing of delicate beauty, playing out past experience with wistful melancholy that doesn’t so much tug on the heart strings as caress them. From the piano-led opener of ‘Greatest Thoughts’, it’s an album to wallow and luxuriate in, as tracks wash and segue into a velveteen score of Groves’ gorgeous vocal and graceful compositions of glockenspiel, piano and strings.

‘Does Anyone Love Me Now?’ haunts with layered vocals and shimmering harp while previous single ‘Doubtful Comforts’ is as ardently impassioned as it gets; her waiflike siren call as likely to mend her aching heart as it is to break ours. Rife with twinkling mischief, there’s as much a sense of restlessness as there is overriding beauty. Constantly snaking and enveloping, her luscious vocal is an elegant delight; scaling octaves with breathtaking fragility, capturing the emotional longing for her former love. The tandem of intricate guitar work and soaring vocal on ‘Rebecca’, although stark in its make up in comparison with the rest of the album, is a particular delight as she picks and strums to a pronounced close.

It’s simply a debut of consummate poise and refinement with every note and lamenting strum beckoning you to close your eyes and retreat into total immersion.

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Click HERE for three special video performances from Blue Roses.

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