With the continued popularity, dominance even, of the female singer-songwriter, you might think that you have come across all the possible serving suggestions that the genre has to offer. From the pure vocal and thoughtful lyrics of Joni Mitchell to the mangled street jargon of Lily Allen and from the retro-diva channelling of Adele to the dazzling re-emergence of Kate Bush, surely it’s all been done. It is wonderful then to come across a female voice that still manages to leap from the music and capture your heart without sounding as if it’s all been done before.
Last years album, The Real Thing, certainly turned a few heads and this EP is set to carry on where it left off. There is a vocal purity that connects with the past folk greats, from the aforementioned Joni to Nick Drake, Suzanne Vega and even Paul Simon in the immediacy of the songs but it sounds anything but bang up to date at the same time.
The attraction is the simplicity of it all. No gimmickry, no drive to be fashionably cool (and all the cooler for it) no compromise to chart acceptance, just a crystal clear vocal that sounds innocent without resorting to girlish and songs that are light and poetic without straying into fey hippydom…or indeed hipsterdom.
I’m sure that given the passage of enough time, you will see Roxanne’s name cropping up in those seemingly endless magazine polls listing the top 50 female singer-songwriters of all time but at least you will be able to look up from the article knowingly and bore people with the “I was into her music back when…” line. Why not? I’m going to.