Built around jangly mandolins and guitars, pulsing rhythms, and imaginative harmony blocks, Belle Roscoe's self titled debut is a memorable collection of dreamy pop songs. Everything's warm and friendly, a result, no doubt, of the three vocalists' lifetimes together as siblings and then as musical partners.
The smoothness of their harmonies is nicely frayed with a reasonably tough edge in the musical department, where, on tracks like Shot Gun Love and Young And Fearless, dramatic tensions build as electric and acoustic instruments rub together with enough friction to produce sparks.
The unsung hero of the outfit is Michael McLintock, whose fabulous mandolin plucking and violin scraping add a whole new dimension to what essentially are straight ahead pop songs in the 70s Fleetwood Mac mode. "Folk-pop" scarcely scratches the surface of the sound produced. And here lies the strength of this album - the subtly adventurous instrumentation.
Simple but effective atmospheric touches are everywhere. Take Come Back Jimmy - a driving beat and a catchy melody. But in the mix you've got spiralling trumpets, echo laden electrics and plucked acoustic riffs, all combining to add surprise after surprise with each listen. An album imbued with glowing charm and a musical approach that burns brightly from start to finish, Belle Roscoe is likeable and addictive. Pop par excellence.
Musician, actor, singer, music reviewer, Phil’s interests cover a lot of bases and this is reflected in the music he writes about. From blues to soul, ambient to electronic, Phil writes about artists he feels are interesting, true to their craft and worthy of your ears.