Much of the problem with music that’s tuneful and beautiful is working out whether it’s genuinely great or if it could be the soundtrack to an emotional Waitrose advert. And whilst Laura Groves could just as easily get middle class mothers around the country buying butter, there’s no denying that she’s a wonderful songstress. After a couple of a years of putting out material under her own name, Groves finally settled upon using the moniker ‘Blue Roses’ and a deal with mega-indie XL soon followed. The results have thus far been utterly spellbinding.
Living in Shipley, Yorkshire, her eponymous debut was released last year, not garnering anywhere near the amount of acclaim that it should’ve. At most, that could be placed down to the amount of artists treading in similar ground – Laura Marling and Joanna Newsom are the contemporary queens of the genre – but Groves shows throughout that there is more to her than simply an astounding voice. Whilst the album does play host to some more generic tracks, the spectre of Kate Bush looms large over much of her work, but not simply due to the haunting vocals. Comparisons are easy because of their truth, though the arrangements used thus far are relatively simple compared to ‘Babushka’ and ‘Wuthering Heights.’ It’s the voice itself that is the main instrument in the work, and the simple, minimalistic backing is reflective of the wonderful range and control exhibited in each track. Bush may be remembered by many due to persistent rumours of mental illness, but that’s largely due to how wildly experimental much of her work was, a legacy that Blue Roses seems intent to carry on, utilising vocal looping to wonderful effect on standout track ‘Cover your tracks’.
In the past, Groves has found herself playing alongside the likes of Jeremy Warmsley, Grammatics and Jeffrey Lewis, and has a couple of dates coming up in the near future. There’s been little in the way of news about a follow up record, so we can only hope that it’s on it’s way.
Blue Roses – Cover Your Tracks [originally posted on the daily growl]