'Rosa Jules' - 'Valparaiso' EP
I guess if there's one thing that we've prided ourselves in over the last few years it is that we've tried to search out those artists that do something slightly differently, that don't conform to a musical stereotype, or that blend musical influences to create something that sounds quite unusual. So we're delighted to restart proceedings with an introduction to Finnish songwriter 'Rosa Jules, who's debut EP 'Valparaiso' was released just yesterday.
Rosa Jules is probably best described as a free spirited artist, who's main inspiration come from her desire to travel, with musical influences from different nations and genres - jazz, soul, psychedelia and conventional pop. 'All I want is to sleep late, have fun, eat strawberries, fall in love and jazz around the world with no destination" she says, and the result is a laid back, wistful selection of songs that might take a while to get into the spirit of, but are well worth the investment of time.
The EP opens with 'The Only Thing We Have' and immediately I'm struck by the tone of the voice and the distinct psych sound of the guitar, a jazz inspired track that I imagine Rosa Jules singing to no-one in particular on a street corner in Lima - 'life is simple, but we make it so complicated' she laments. But if the style of the song doesn't quite suit you, stick with it, because 'Sailing out to Space' launches off in a different direction, a trippy warped psychedelic pop track written as a comfort track to an ex Chilean lover, carried forward by a mind-blowingly good bass line, it's both infectious and endearing in equal quantities.
'Monday Mood' brings us all back to earth slightly, an earthy jazz influenced track with a beautiful laid back charm that's grown on me so much after multiple listens, it just seems to seep into my inner consciousness and makes me want to throw aside my daily responsibilities and just listen to the music and write at my own pace. 'La Parte Más Triste del Amor' (loosely translated as 'The Saddest part of Love') works really well sung in its native language, building with a gently hypnotic guitar and drumbeat and a pleading melancholic style vocal, the combined effect will almost send you into a hazy trance. And I particularly like the concluding track 'Let Me Sleep Some More', the strength and charm of Rosa Jules vocals really shine through, and it seems to combine the best of her jazz and rock influences, switching between intensity to fragility in an instant, and as with all her songs, offering interesting personal lyrics that make you warm to her personality and approach to life.
I have way too many ridiculous ideas for my own good, but we should really start a Crowdfunding style campaign and each pay a few dollars (the UK pound is obviously worth far less since the shambles of Brexit...) to send 'Rosa Jules' away for a couple of years with her guitar, traveling to the far reaches of the world and writing music and stories for us all about her travels. Sadly life doesn't quite work out that way, but in 'Valparaiso' we have a glimpse into her world, and it is simply a joy to be able to immerse ourselves into it.
You can find out more about Rosa Jules in the following places.