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Blue Roses

Blue Roses

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Album Review

The debut from English singer/songwriter Laura Groves (aka Blue Roses) draws more than a little from 1960s folk traditions, both British (Anne Briggs) and from across the pond (Joni Mitchell). Groves' earnest yet elusive wordplay, serpentine melodies, and minimal arrangements lithely follow the trail blazed by the current crop of postmillennial retro fairy tale crooners like Joanna Newsom, Tiny Vipers, and Laura Barrett, but her willingness to explore the more commercial side of the experimental/alternative folk movement may shield her from the "freak folk" tag so liberally applied to many of her contemporaries. Proficient on both guitar and piano, Groves is most effective when behind the latter, crafting luminous, pastoral ballads like "Greatest Thoughts," "I Wish I...," and "Imaginary Fights" that echo early Kate Bush — the spooky, marimba-laced "Doubtful Comforts" is one of the album's highlights. Alternating between fingerpicked acoustic and electric, the remaining tracks are hardly deficient of introverted charm, but with the exception of the semi-propulsive "Rebecca," the pace is sluggish at best, resulting in a collection of songs best listened to in threes, or all at once with one's forehead pressed against the window waiting for the rain to pass.


Born: Yorkshire, England

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '00s

Blue Roses (aka Yorkshire singer/songwriter Laura Groves) began writing songs at the age of 17. Groves is proficient on both guitar and piano, and her fluid vocals, dreamlike imagery, and serpentine melodies have drawn comparisons to everyone from venerated songstresses Joni Mitchell and Kate Bush to highly lauded contemporaries like Joanna Newsom and Bat for Lashes. Her eponymous self-produced debut was recorded "guerilla"-style in multiple homes, bedrooms, and baths, as well as on a prized Steinway...
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Blue Roses, Blue Roses
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