On 22nd April 2008 at 14:43 Anonymous 7052 wrote...
Ace singer! Definately has a depth beyond what is typical for her years!
By Rose Kemp
OK, hands up, how many of you initially thought Rose Kemp was a tongue-in-cheek novelty act based on former Eastenders hard-man Ross Kemp? Much to my own relief, I was delighted to find that Rose was indeed a Carlisle-born, Bristol-based singer-songwriter who has drawn comparisons with the likes of Regina Spektor and PJ Harvey.
Just like the anti-folk demeanour of Regina, you might attach a similar tag to Rose. Surprising then that she has parents of a folk grounding in Steeleye Span's Maddy Prior and Rick Kemp. A sign of repression? Or just a natural urge to find her own feet? Perhaps. But when the music is this good, who really cares about the smaller details?
With the exception of the extraordinarily haunting 'Dark Corners', the first four tracks are the strongest songs on the album. Opener 'Little One' gives a good preview of Rose Kemp's ambitious vocal range, whilst 'Violence' alternates between moments of delicate beauty and frenetic, raging bursts to provide the highlight of the record. 3rd song 'Tiny Flower' portrays mirrored-like imagery with smartly layered offset vocals and 'Morning Music' fluctuates with colour to provide one of the albums less sinister moments.
Though Rose declares that she never tries to emulate anybody, those healthy similarities with Regina Spektor and PJ Harvey are quite evident, but its testament to her own brilliance to be likened to such a high calibre of artist. A Handful Of Hurricanes may contain a few fillers, but it's a fine example of dark, uncompromising, brooding rock scattered with moments of experimentation and backed by an astonishing display of domineering vocal beauty.
At just 22 years of age Rose Kemp is not only a massive British talent, but you can sense the potential on an international level too, though (as much as it pains me to say it) I think a lot of that promise will boil down to whether she chooses to conform to a more accessible level of pop-songwriting (without losing the edge displayed in this fine debut, of course).
After searching for more Rose Kemp material I was bemused to find that you could pick up A Handful Of Hurricanes for around £3 on E-bay. Let me tell you... it's likely to be the best £3 you spend all year. Go get it.