Mojo * * * *
“As fresh and enveloping as morning mist – and as disquietingly opaque – the music of Rosie Brown weaves a wondrous spell. It’s centred on the silken murmur of siren songstress Rosie who coos sensual pieces about weather, colours and intimacy… and the effect is bewitching. She is partnered by producer and co-writer Bernd Rest, whose neat guitar parts (along with Simon Russell’s double bass, and the general air of trippiness) recall vintage John Martyn. But the post-Norah subtlety (acoustic group at its core), post-Portishead portent (neurotic bluesy dissonance) and post-Zero 7 lounge-chill results in uniquely affecting sounds which unsettle as they seduce.”
Q * * * *
“Elemental, sensual, laced with choice saxophone, vibraphone, double bass and oboe, Clocks and Clouds is often reminiscent of John Martyn circa Bless the Weather, but on the skewed One Horse Tango, Austrian guitarist and arranger Bernd Rest conjures something more evocative of Les Paul backed by Goldfrapp. Enjoy by candlelight with a good red, or something green and combustible.”
Mojo * * * *
“Centred around the considerable talents of Rosie Brown and Austrian guitarist/producer Bernd Rest, this sparkling record will hearten those who thought that the kind of pastoral arranging skills with which Robert Kirby furnished Nick Drake were history… In a climate where every week sees major labels foist new singer-songwriters of questionable quality, this is the real McCoy.”
Straight No Chaser
“Rosie’s vocals conjure up hints of Joni Mitchell in her heyday… Rosie and her band of accomplished musicians push boundaries once more… Check this lady out. She should, by rights, be massive.”
“This is an intriguing work from UK singer-singwriter Brown… the affecting vocal delivery and sparse acoustic instrumentation lend this a left-field feel akin to Cat Power or Stina Nordenstam.”
Q * * * *
“There’s an angular, jazzy touch to her tunes that suggests Brown is much more than the latest cute girl with a guitar… this is the sort of music Roni Size might be making if he’d discovered Joni Mitchell instead of drum machines (for the evidence, investigate the crunched groove of Bliss). That’s not to say Brown can’t do the breathy vocal thing (Sweet Girl is wonderfully understated, a kind of summery Nick Drake) but she obviously feels much more at home with a lopsided rhythm and a twisted hook.”
“Rising star of the London acoustic scene, Rosie Brown has come up with a spellbinding collection of deliciously poetic and intelligent songs on this, her debut album. Seductive and delicate, there’s also plenty of attitude in her voice, which has the same breathy quality as Beth Orton. But By The Blue is far more than just another pop-acoustic album and defies easy categorisation with its beguiling mix of not only folk influences, but also elements of jazz and even awe-inspiring torch song… The strings on Sweet Girl are ethereal and heavenly. Catch recalls the sublime feel of John Martyn’s early 70s albums, while the arrangement on Crazy is strongly influenced by Joni Mitchell’s The Hissing of Summer Lawns. Yet there’s never any doubt that Brown is entirely her own woman. By The Blue heralds the arrival of a major new talent in our midst.”
Rip & Burn
“The story: Brighton chanteuse meets Austrian guitarist/composer/producer Bernd Rest and they become stars on the London acoustic scene. This is the follow-up to acclaimed 2002 debut, By the Blue.
The vibe: Breathier Beth Orton meets more sensual Alison Goldfrapp over lightly funky but expertly played strands of acoustic jazz, folk and blues (shades of Nick Drake). Und erstated backing with occasional blasts of sax or oboe helps to create beautifully mumuring mood mus ic that’s alternately intense and lulling. Natural elements – skies, breezes, oceans, light – also feature in the slinky, flowing love lyrics. Very nice indeed, guv.
Analyse this: ‘Late light lately lingers low and slowly made me say today I’m looking your way’ (Late Light).
Bloodline: Joni Mitchell. John Martyn.
Rivals: Polly Paulusma. Kathryn Wiliams.
Poster quote: Acoustic ladyland.”