On the Rhodes again
Lou Rhodes - "One Good Thing" Album out 15th March (Motion Audio)
Manchester's most cherished and acclaimed female soul returns with her most brutally raw record to date.
'One Good Thing' disarmingly documents the last two years of Lou's life. With exquisite attention to detail, it was recorded over an intensive two-week period. This third album, which follows 2006's Mercury Prize nominated, 'Beloved One', and 2007's frank follow-up, 'Bloom', was recorded solely in live takes with minimal editing and overdubs to reflect the brutal rawness of its subject matter.
"Most of the music I'm inspired by was either recorded years ago or uses similar old-school analogue techniques. If I had a reference point for the recording of this record it'd be stuff like Nick Drake's 'Five Leaves Left' or Nico's 'Chelsea Girl'." - Lou Rhodes
Similar to those records, this is a bold collection of works that reflects a close personal unity between guitar and voice. Charting a vivid passage of her unfolding story, including the painful and unexpected loss of her sister 'Janey', it is tellingly the hope expectancy of opener 'One Good Thing', that resonates across the album as a whole.
"Sometimes there's one little thing that lifts you up for a moment and plugs you into what's good in the world," says Rhodes. "There's so much in this life we can't control. All we can do is find the joy in the little things that happen to us along the way."
Lou admits to being an introverted character, someone who can only transmit her feelings through the delicate power of her song, and it's those very bottled emotions that flood so readily across the eleven songs to form the LP.
The renewed communion of acoustic guitar with her intimate dialogue was a natural one, as was working again for the first time in six years with Lamb partner Andy Barlow ('he's like my brother') in his home-studio. Lou produced the album herself, but working with Andy in the studio again - tapping into his unique understanding of sounds and textures, and his ability to capture the raw emotion of her voice - brought a special warmth and magic to the record.
'One Good Thing' also heralds the birth of Cinematic Orchestra's new label, Motion Audio through Ninja Tune. With a longstanding mutual respect for each others' music (Lou has regularly guested for the band live and on record), this will be Motion Audios first album release.
'One Good Thing' has a passive mystery to match its poetic imagery, and just one sensitive guitar, one romantic vocal, and a flurry of baroque strings are all that Lou Rhodes requires to reach the soul and allow it to resonate.
It's arguably her finest, most beautifully reflective work to date, and the UK's most fascinating and articulate artist has reached to the very depths of her heart to speak it.
1. One Good Thing
2. There For The taking
3. The More I Run
4. It All
7. Magic Day
8. The Ocean (Time Travellers Wife)
9. Melancholy Me
11. Why Wait For Heaven
Last updated: 18/04/2018 17:21:25