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.