• rozi plain Inside Over Here (CD, £9.50)

    label: Lost Map Records

    Picked by American freak-folkie extraordinaire and sometimes touring pal Devandra Banhart as one of his favourite albums of 2008, Winchester-born Rozi’s Plain’s debut album Inside Over Here is a lo-fi, naturalistic collection of home-spun recordings that marks the arrival of a unique new voice in British alt-folk. These ten songs capture the burnt haze of endless summers, ebbing and flowing woozily, washing like the tide over your feet. Rozi’s ethereal, breathy vocal takes centre stage, harmonising over itself, without need for reverbs or studio frills. Clarinet, saxophone, accordion, banjo, soft percussion and drums each play a supporting role, but often the voice is accompanied only by itself and a guitar. Songs practically inhabit the rooms within which they were recorded, bouncing around the four walls; they sway back and forth with the crackling hiss of tape and creak of floorboards on opening track ‘Let’s Go’; they jauntily click, purr and whistle on the banjo­-led ‘Knives and Forks’; they slide and squeak over acoustic guitar strings on ‘Foot Out’.

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