The Rosie Taylor Project - Twin Beds

The Rosie Taylor Project craft songs wrapped with melancholy, while still allowing them to be fully exposed.

Label: Odd Box Records

Rating: 6

With the credit crunch and ensuing recession, there hasn’t been a lot to sing about lately. The Rosie Taylor Project has decided to use these tough times to their advantage on their second album ‘Twin Beds’, crafting songs wrapped with this melancholy, while still allowing them to be fully exposed. They’re honest in a subtle way, like the way mist and the lightest of rain can fall softly and dampen your hair.

The album begins with the short two-minute title track, a floaty, ephemeral affair. Then a spry trumpet ushers in ‘For Esme’, which you hope is a loving reference to a J.D. Salinger short story. In this song and throughout the whole of ‘Twin Beds’, the vocals of lead singer Jonny Davies brings to mind Charlie Fink of Noah and the Whale and Simon Balthazar of Fanfarlo, or more specifically, the dangerously breakable by emotion qualities of the first and the delicate yet carefree characteristics of the latter.

In sad songs, you hear his voice and the sound of your own heart breaking. ‘The Last Great Writer’ revisits the dream state of the album’s intro, but instead of acting like a nice starting point, it plods along and acts as a strange speed bump to slow things down. Sounding every bit as depressing as the title suggests, ‘Last Drinks At Niagara Bar’ is dark; even the trumpet that has added much needed levity to other songs on this album appears to be sympathetic and mournful.

On jauntier numbers such as early single ‘Sleep’, which has already managed air play on Huw Stephens and Steve Lamacq’s BBC programmes, and ‘Lovers or Something Like It’, there’s no stopping the band. Davies feels like the leader of a welcoming committee, alongside Sophie Barnes’ lovely dulcet tones. Speaking of which, is it now a requirement for alt-folk bands to have a female backing vocalist that plays an unusual instrument? See Cathy Lucas of Fanfarlo and Doris Cellar of Freelance Whales. Since the Rosie Taylor Project have been away, both of these bands have grown by leaps and bounds in stature and squarely in the same kind of genre as theirs. The main issue listeners will have with this album is its subtlety; in a post-‘Reservoir’ / ‘Weathervanes’ world, have the Rosie Taylor Project done enough to keep people interested?