Not to be confused with Dan Bejar’s labor of love, Blue Roses is the performing name of Yorkshire singer-songwriter Laura Groves. Back home, she’s landed at the fertile NME/BBC/Guardian intersect of critical kudos, but things States side are set to launch with the XL release of her self-titled, self-produced debut next month. Blue Roses cites an alliterative gaggle of influences on her introspective, heart-worn folk — “Bartók to Bush, Tiersen to Tears For Fears, Debussy to Du Maurier” — to which you could safely add your favorite coffee shop chanteuse (Leslie, Joni, Joanna) and probably find a moment to back it up. Ultimately Laura’s writing never approaches the most innovative and extreme aesthetics of her RIYL list, but she’s clearly listened well, and in command of a pristine, flexible, endearing voice. Her best look comes on the sublime marimba-waltz of “Doubtful Comforts,” which recalls Feist’s spin with Grizzly Bear on “Service Bell” before it spreads into a line of classical, ascending intervals, and then a crackling reprise. Pair that MP3 with the open-road finger-picked folk of “I Am Leaving” for another side to her stylings.
[Photo by Danny North]