Band of the Day

2011.12.19

The Rosie Taylor Project

A combination of delicate British indie pop with gentle flourishes of folk music
I am a beautiful ghost, and I'm under your nails and in the roots of your hair.
lyrics from Sleep

The Rosie Taylor Project is a six piece indie pop/folk band that formed in Leeds, England. After a handful of small concerts, they were signed to Bad Sneakers Records. Through Bad Sneakers, they released their debut single, “Black and White Films.” The video that accompanied the single was played on MTV2, and the single received radio play on 6 Music and XFM in the UK, and KCRW in the United States. Live, they have performed with the likes of Camera Obscura, Jens Lekman, Midlake, and Jeffrey Lewis. Their debut album This City Draws Maps was recorded in the attic studio of producer Richard Formby (Wild Beasts), and was released in the UK in May 2008. The band is now based in London, and are working on finishing their second album Twin Beds. Their latest single “Sleep” was released in June 2011.

At the height of the Industrial Revolution, Leeds, England became a booming metropolis as wool, iron, and printing factories began popping up all over the Northern English city. Over two centuries later, the city saw a music revolution with bands like Kaiser Chiefs, The Music, and The Sunshine Underground putting Leeds on the musical map. But showing the softer side of the city’s music scene is The Rosie Taylor Project. On their debut album This City Draws Maps, the six-piece band (none of whom are named Rosie Taylor) combine delicate indie pop with gentle flourishes of folk music. It's the musical version of taking a weekend trip to the English countryside, when you're fed up with the frantic pace of city life. Songs like “Black and White Films,” their first single, perfectly capture this pastoral quality. Soft and melodic, with restrained acoustic elements, Jonny Davies (vocals and guitar) and Sophie Barnes (vocals, trumpet, and French horn) join forces on lines like, “By God, did everything start to feel strange/with cold feet, and all the wind knocked out of me.” The combination of folk-inspired acoustic guitars with gentle electric guitar riffs makes “Anne Sexton” sound like it could be a lost Badly Drawn Boy song—as if it could also fit in perfectly on the “About A Boy” soundtrack. Davies takes the lead vocals on this track, with Barnes occasionally taking a break from her trumpet and coming in with breathy “woo-ooohs.” A twinkling glockenspiel, courtesy of Sam Cottis, further enhances the beautifully melancholic feel of the song. Showing off everything The Rosie Taylor Project does best is “A Good Cafe On George Street.” Horns mingle with guitars and glockenspiel, and there is just a hint of light percussion elements to give it a more robust feel. As Davies and Barnes weave together their voices on “darling believe me, this is a place we can be happy/I'll not rely on the rain to comfort me,” you'll wish you were at a good cafe (on George Street or elsewhere), watching rain drizzle down from a gloomy Autumn sky, while relishing in the warmth of a coffee-scented oasis. Introverted and reflective, This City Draws Maps is the perfect album for the dreamers and romantics out there.