Roxanne de Bastion - The Real Thing (Review)
Review by Jack Foley
WITH an easygoing style and a good array of styles, singer-songwriter Roxanne de Bastion is clearly a talent to watch off the back of her debut LP, The Real Thing.
Combining her instantly recognisable voice with the sincere, witty and downright ballsy lyrics she is fast becoming known for on the concert circuit, the album has already garnered favourable comparisons with the likes of Fiona Apple and Regina Spektor. And it’s easy to see why.
Often disarmingly simple in design, the songs nevertheless display a quiet ambition whether in the scope of their lyrics or the intricacy of some of the acoustic guitar work.
Former single Red And White Blood Cells exemplifies this. A quirky folk-pop offering that suddenly explodes to life with some electric guitar for a firecracker finale, the song itself serves as both a metaphor for the ins and outs of a relationship as well as a wry tale of a hypochondriac and a white blood cell deficiency.
There’s darkness, too, on tracks like Some Kind of Creature, which declares “some kind of creature has its way with me, forces me onto my knees and suffocates me” – again, raising the spectre of ambigiuty in its meaning… a bad dream? A dark relationship? The pressure of fame?
That’s not to say everything is dark or serious. There’s a breeziness to album opener 1964 that’s also instantly appealing, making for a lovely listen complete with accompanying whistling, while Empty Space has a folk-rock vibe comparable to Dylan.
Similarly, The Life I Lead offers some of the most robust guitar riffs on the LP, over a blues-rock tale of struggling through the hard times, and My Shied carefully builds the tempo with some similarly lively percussion (and even a string arrangement).
Like we said, de Bastion is one to watch…
Donwload picks: 1964, Empty Space, The Life I Lead, My Shield