Monday, 21 December 2009

Blue Roses - Blue Roses - Album of the Year #1

It seems appropriate that on the 1st January 2009 we posted an article here at Breaking More Waves introducing the music of Blue Roses and by December we are naming the same act as our album of the year. Blue Roses has retained a significant presence on our stereo through the whole of 2009 since spring and will do so for many years to come, such is the timeless nature of the recording.

Laura Groves from Shipley, near Bradford, effectively is Blue Roses, although the project has encompassed a variety of other musicians to help her form this wonderfully layered piece. Recorded in living rooms, bedrooms, bathrooms and a piano shop after hours, it is an album of sublime musical depth that casts magical soft hued spells on its listener. With a sound that verges from classical piano on Greatest Thoughts to softly spun acoustic guitar on Can’t Sleep, it is a record that in a year that was lazily heralded as that of the synth pop girls, only shares a similarity in the tag that Laura is female. This is not an album of instant pop thrills, it does not contain colourful quirkiness and it certainly isn’t an in-fashion album. It is an album that comes from a very personal perspective, focussing on relationships, experiences and how Laura’s surroundings were linked to them. These themes are carried by Laura’s Kate Bush meets Joanna Newsom choir girl voice and natural organic musicianship.

We have often said that talent doesn’t necessarily concern us. What matters to us if is a song, a record or a performance has an emotional connection in some way. With Blue Roses there is undiluted talent and a huge connection. This album will never grace the top forty, nor will Blue Roses will ever be a household name. It is the antithesis of every X Factor / Britain’s Got Talent TV show that exists, and for that matter Rage Against The Machine as well, and is all the more delightful for it.

The irony of this album being listed as our favourite of the year comes from the Blue Roses website. Here her biography states “Instant praise is neither expected nor sought; Blue Roses is not the stuff of lists, tip offs or hollow press recommendations.” Well, this is certainly no hollow recommendation, although it is at the top of a list, albeit from the ones we have seen, only ours. Blue Roses by Blue Roses is our album of the year. Quite simply an evocative and perfect recording - the sound of beauty.


James said...

Pleasant surprise to see this at the top of your list! I concur that it is no chart topping album with catchy tunes and stylish hairdo's but it is a beautiful piece of music. I've seen her play live 3 time this year and bar one gig at Green Man (I was sitting a bit too far away and people's chatting were drowning out her voice) she hasn't failed to lift me up from where I was sitting/standing and take me somewhere else. Her Bestival gig certainly won over some of my mates as fans =]

Garry M said...

Good choice. It seems to me that this year on one side you have the bearded whining people who don’t really like music choosing albums like the vastly over rated Grizzly Bear as their number one, the so indie it hurts choosing the equally over rated Animal Collective and the hipsters and dinner party middle classes choosing the XX or Phoenix as their number one.

So it’s nice to see someone choose something different. I’ve heard Blue Roses and whilst I don’t think it is as good as you do, it is still a very decent debut. She certainly has potential to go on to bigger things if she can fine tune a little.

Breaking More Waves Blog said...

James and Garry. Thanks for your comments. Glad to see that you both like Blue Roses as well.