Rose Kemp – A Hand Full Of Hurricanes

Don’t let lazy comparisons put you off.


Don’t let lazy comparisons put you off.


Bloody hell, according to the press release I’m supposed to be listening to "equal parts PJ Harvey and Sandy Denny, a truly original British singing talent" (which begs the question if Rose Kemp is so original, why compare? Ah press releases, the fun you can have…)


Let’s skip the rest of the information (save to tell you that Rose Kemp is the daughter of Steeleye Span’s Maddy Prior and Rick Kemp) and concentrate on what the LP sounds like shall we?


Well, it’s intense stuff. Sonically its pretty basic stuff, the usual guitar/drums etc… And she has a beguiling voice; full of purpose but brittle in parts. And its bloody great there’s some crushing guitar in there; watch out to be assaulted by the guitar breaks on the otherwise maudlin and distracted Violence. The changes of tempo and direction are well handled on this song too. Hints of the folk grounding are heard on Tiny Flower with the clever vocal arrangements.


Now and again I think I can see the PJ Harvey connection the press release barked on about, there are moments that do sound like Rid of Me, for example moments in songs like Little One and Morning Music, but maybe that’s the thumping drums. To be honest the LP (with its spiralling love songs, twists and turns, and wanton chord progressions) reminds me more than anything of Jeff Buckley’s Grace. Check out Orange Juice and the follow up track Dark Corners for some kind of confirmation. It’s a very dreamy release.


Talking of dreamy, the tour de force on the LP is definitely Metal Bird, an ever changing collection of moods and textures. And clocking in at 6 minutes, it is able to effectively work its muse out properly. A word must be said too about the track Skins Suite, which is a mesmerising if frankly weird confessional.


An intriguing release. Don’t let lazy comparisons put you off.


Words: Richard Foster