Roxanne de Bastion: You & Me, We Are the Same review – risk meets reward

(Nomad Songs)
The rising singer-songwriter’s ambitious second outing fuses psych, new wave and pure vocals, with a little help from Bernard Butler

Brought up between Berlin and the West Midlands, based in London, Roxanne de Bastion is a singer-songwriter whose debut album, Heirlooms & Hearsay, was a pleasant if unexceptional work. It seemed perfectly suited to the folk festival circuit, apart from a couple of outlier tracks that hinted at something stranger. It’s gratifying to report that builds on that promise. With help from Bernard Butler’s imaginative production, De Bastion broadens her sound ambitiously, to great effect.

There are little elements of psych, new wave, late Beatles, indie folk and synthpop, corralled by her clear, pure intonation and unfussy delivery. It does mean that whenever the songs stray back to a more basic feel, the album drags a bit, particularly in its middle section. Much preferable is the outstanding single Molecules, a whirlwind of guitar fuzz, lowing cello and existential pondering, or the gentle grace of I Remember Everything, which considers what it’s like to be neuro-diverse. Best of all might be the last minute of wide-eyed piano ballad London, I Miss You, as it collapses into the arms of the final song via an eerie, echoey coda that sounds like it was recorded in the bowels of platform 9¾.

Watch the video for Molecules by Roxanne de Bastion.


Damien Morris

The GuardianTramp

Related Content

Article image
Alostmen: Kologo review – Ghanaian trad meets trance
This fiery debut blends Ghanaian strings with stylish rap, percussion and trance rhythms

Neil Spencer

30, Jan, 2021 @4:00 PM

Article image
Tinariwen: Elwan review – different deserts, same hypnotic groove

Neil Spencer

05, Feb, 2017 @8:00 AM

Article image
Sturgill Simpson: Sound & Fury review – country meets funk-rock

Kitty Empire

29, Sep, 2019 @4:30 AM

Article image
Katie Von Schleicher: Shitty Hits review - Portishead meets the Beatles
(Full Time Hobby)

Damien Morris

30, Jul, 2017 @7:00 AM

Article image
Little Mix: Confetti review – weirdness meets blue-chip rigour
The former X Factor winners break pop’s rules in some style

Laura Snapes

08, Nov, 2020 @9:00 AM

Article image
Bodega: Endless Scroll review – riot grrrl rant meets deadpan satire
(What’s Your Rupture?)

Kitty Empire

08, Jul, 2018 @7:00 AM

Article image
Lorelle Meets the Obsolete: De Facto review – Mexican psych with melodies
(Sonic Cathedral)

Phil Mongredien

13, Jan, 2019 @8:00 AM

Article image
Angélique Kidjo: Mother Nature review – hip-hop exuberance meets African tradition
The veteran Benin singer emerges as leader of a new generation of African musicians in this joyful blend of new and old sounds

Neil Spencer

05, Jun, 2021 @3:00 PM

Article image
Maximo Park: Risk to Exist review – tub-thumping with soul
(Cooking Vinyl)

Emily Mackay

23, Apr, 2017 @7:00 AM

Article image
Nia Archives: Sunrise Bang Ur Head Against tha Wall review – carnival meets drum’n’bass
Carnival, jazz and lo-fi introspection jostle nicely as the acclaimed Yorkshire-born junglist continues to shake things up

Kitty Empire

12, Mar, 2023 @9:00 AM