Esoteric Antenna (label)
27 July 2019 (released)
03 August 2019
From the opening heavily fuzzed guitar riff of ‘Ride On My Bike’ you can definitely feel you are in for a great blast of rock. On the edge of classic psychedelia but with some wonderful modern playing on the album as well.
Cunningham has an emotive, almost broken, vocal style as well as playing some superb guitar and pitching in with keyboards, bass, percussion.
She wrote all the songs on the album and produced and mixed the album as well. So, all this stands or falls on her shoulders and in my opinion she can take the deepest of bows because this is an album that is going to be living long on my rotation – bloody fine!
So to the music.
It hearkens back to the glory days of bands such as Curved Air, Focus, Trinity, even Nico or Jane Birkin in there as well, great vocals upfront with wide swathes of keys and guitar work, mellotrons and ‘treatments’, we haven’t heard music like this for ages. And it sounds fresh, confident, punchy and loaded with wit and ‘sass’.
Opener ‘Ride On My Bike’ is loaded with changes, from the opening riff through an annoying alarm sound into the vocals, bouncy and with a lovely trill in extended notes and then, suddenly, into a Queen-esque guitar solo and vocal segment. It is charming and complex and great fun.
Just as you think she must have shot her bolt with everything thrown into the mix, the next track ‘Fuck Love’ takes you somewhere else completely.
Massive piano opening running into a tale of woe and hate, dark moods and heavy mellotrons – Cunningham’s vocals are almost at odds with the music as she emotes to the highest standard but with a slightly Germanic quality that seems perfectly pitched with the subject matter.
I found myself having to listen to every track 2 or three times before moving on to the next – there is so much in the music that I wanted to explore all the little touches before I felt I’d fully absorbed the track. Rather like visiting an art gallery where you simply can’t rush through without fully understanding the artists and their work. This album simply would not let me listen lightly.
I loved the circus and theatre of ‘Dethroning Of The Party Queen’, rhythms almost music-hall and her vocals in a semi-burlesque style. She can do the poetic and subtle as well on a track such as ‘Nobody Hears’ with a Beatles feel to it, using simple words to evoke clear images life.
Only 8 tracks, 43 minutes in total, but I had hours of fun investigating and enjoying Rosalie Cunningham,
Modern psychedelia, done brilliantly and one of those utterly original albums you’ll enjoy for ages.