Surrounded by Animal Collective, Jeff Buckley and Bon Iver, Laura Groves aka Blue Roses is in good company. Alas this company is only by way of the racked CD’s, which her debut album will shortly join, as she plays a short in-store live set at Resident Records, Brighton. The intimacy of the venue and hushed silence that greets Laura’s performance is enough to make any artist jittery and certainly at the start she appears slightly nervous. However if there are nerves, they surrender as soon as she begins to play, the confidence and beauty of the music taking over. Besides the songs the only sound that can be heard is that of a weary brush, sweeping the street outside. The Council worker in charge of the brush seems to linger by the open shop doorway an unnaturally long time; the sound of Blue Roses may have found another fan.
Blue Roses mix songs between piano and guitar, Laura’s voice wonderfully strong and otherworldly throughout. She sounds like a young Kate Bush or Joanna Newsom. These are not simple pop or folk tunes but deft and often complex pieces of work. The piano based songs in particular owe more in their structure to classical music, inventive and challenging, rising and falling in waves. The guitar songs are slightly simpler, nimbly plucked with a folkish tinge and then layered with her mesmerising voice. “I want to see the electricity, on the masts of the ships, as the storm builds,” she sings poetically on Coast against gentle faultless guitar and backing xylophone accompaniment. Innocently seducing, the music of Blue Roses deserves its place on those record store racks. Based on this performance she is a very unique artist.