rozi plain Friend (LP, £19.95)label: Lost Map Records
Rozi Plain’s exquisite third album is a spellbinding reaffirmation of the London-based, Winchester-born singer-songwriter as one of the most unique and original voices in UK alt-folk, Friend features contributions from Hot Chip's Alexis Taylor and members of François & The Atlas Mountains among many others. Partly a breakup album, partly a beacon of bad times gotten through if never forgotten, Friend is a deeply meaningful and wonderfully measured ode to memory, place, companionship and music’s remarkable power as an emotional salve. Typical of Rozi’s instinctive sense of compositional freedom and unpredictability, ‘Best Team’ juxtaposes busy percussion with mellow strings and warm breezes of brass, hurrying busily on its way towards no place in particular. ‘Jogalong’ drops into the middle of the album as if from a different cosmos, full of tensely circling guitars, heavenly backing vocals and synth lines that orbit like flying saucers. The gossamer ‘Red Dot’ is Friend’s emotional sucker punch, downbeat but somehow uplifting, as Rozi ponders the passing of time and the triviality of marking a date of regrettable significance in the calendar “with a red dot or do you think a green dot?” 1 - Actually 2 - Best Team 3 - Five Beans 4 - Friend City 5 - Jogalong 6 - Quarry 7 - Rearrange 8 - Tap to the Chest 9 - Red Dot 10 - Yard. Inc. download.
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