ROE (an all upper-case artist - can someone please explain why some go for all the uppers and some all the lows, thanks) is, as far as I am aware, nothing to do with deer or the egg masses of fish. The explanation for her name comes from a much simpler place – it’s short for Roisin Donald, her full name.
Hailing from Derry in Northern Ireland Roe is 18 years old and has already released a number of songs, one of which was recently played in an episode of TOWIE (although the music snob in me says that this isn’t something to shout about). She’s also been selected as one of the recipients of a new Help Musicians NI development scheme and will be playing at the Alt-Escape part of this year’s Great Escape.
And despite my sarcastic comments about TOWIE, there’s a reason why she’s getting picked up in this way. There’s no flash major label budget behind her (she’s on a tiny one man band indie label called Fictive Kin) and has no big PR machine. Yet what is present is good songs. It’s the glue that I like to think bonds this blog together – irrespective of genre.
And talking of genre, of the tunes on her Soundcloud page, two of them are labelled Grumpy Electro Pop. Of those two songs Cheek, Boy doesn’t sound particularly down in the dumps to me – with a mix of simple guitar riffs and lush electronics it has a rather positive effect. What I particularly like is that musically there’s a lot going on in this song – plenty of little production flourishes and sounds to gorge on, but they are never over-bearing – the tune still stands up on its own merits. Likewise, Fake Ur Death, despite its title, is just too interesting to bring you down.
These songs mark a transition from ROE’s earlier more traditional singer songwriter with guitar songs such as Ghost and bode well for her forthcoming EP. Let's keep and eye and ear out for more material from ROE in the future.
ROE - Cheek, Boy