Nice new thing on Tim Burgess’ O Genesis (Richard Youngs, Daniel O’Sullivan) here. The Silver Field is the project of one Coral Rose and the various instruments/bits of recording equipment that she’s collected down the years. On Rooms, Rose spools out a brand of dreamy, pastoral post-punk pitched somewhere between Durutti Column and Panda Bear. She’s got a beautiful voice too - it wouldn’t be a stretch to say she sounds like Joni Mitchell.
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The easiest way to make a record feel utterly, specifically, personal is to sing about yourself in great depth and with great clarity. It’s not the only way though. The Silver Field’s Carol Rose shows us another. On Rooms, her debut for Tim Burgess’s O Genesis Records, she creates an album that only she could have made. I don’t say this lightly, this is of course more or less true for almost every album, but for Rooms it somehow feels truer.
The choice of instruments; double bass, bagpipe, electronic valve instrument, seems almost shamelessly esoteric, but they are all part of Rose’s personal collection. Every sound you here on Rooms is like a marker within her own history. This extends to using her friends as collaborators, to building loops not with a computer, but with a reel-to-reel player bought for a pound from a car boot sale and then repaired, but not completely. Even the artwork is painting by Rose of a view from a window in a house she once lived in.
I start with all that because Rooms is decidedly abstract for an album that you could comfortably describe as being folk music. Tape hiss and gentle droning loops. Twisted guitar loops and the occasionally plucked mandolin. Oddly pitch-shifted vocals and lots, and lots of reverb. This shouldn’t feel so homely, so warm. And yet it does, it really does. The most beautiful track, ‘Rosebud’, sounds like if William Basinski got his start at Cecil Sharp House rather than minimalism's New York city.
To be honest though, the whole album is just wonderful. Listening to it here in Norman Towers in the depths of winter I’m overcome by the aching desire to spend time with a loved one.
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