Impressing with her ‘Right Thing’ EP back in late 2013, West Country-raised Rosie Lowe is now ready to take on the world proper with her outstanding debut ‘Control’. Combining the best parts of ‘90s R&B and contemporary synth-soul such as The Weeknd, these eleven tracks are truly made with the weight giving by Lowe’s personal lyrics tackling 21st century femininity, friendship and the complexity of love.
The stage is set with ‘Run, Run, Run’, a smooth-as-silk attack on a partner trying to pass off their issues as hers. It’s equal parts sassy groove, call to arms and hum along magic. ‘Who’s That Girl’ deftly covers the idea of identity over some dreamy backing vocals and slowly building melodies. Such moments clearly show the other star of ‘Control’, co-producer Dave Okumu of The Invisibles. His fidgety and tweaked sonic touches help elevate these songs from your usual minimal bedroom beat fare to something more arresting.
Recent single ‘Woman’ will no doubt prove to be one of the most intelligent pop songs of the year, its matter-of-fact statements such as “I have analysed every single inch of my skin / And comparisons I can’t seem to break in my daily routine” delivering more punch that most online thinkpieces. Your grab a tissue moment is provided by ‘Nicole’, an effecting and all too relatable tale of a best friend losing themselves in a crap relationship. All of this is delivered without rising orchestral sweeps and overdone singing. Its soft touch just proves more devastating.
Closer ‘For You’ ends things on a dreamy note, Lowe’s voice drifting off to the abyss accompanied by reverb drenched squeals and a sense of respecting oneself. This is a near flawless record sounding both contemporary yet grounded by timeless themes we all can’t but love to relate to. If there’s any justice 2016 should prove a fruitful year for Rosie Lowe.
Words: Sam Walker-Smart
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