Roxy Rawson - Changing Things EP

Ian Atherton 27/05/2009

Rating: 4.5/5

The past: Roxy Rawson was raised in a Mormon community in Hitchin, trained in piano and violin in Paris, learnt to sing jazz standards, then joined an African choir. These influences intertwine on her debut release, the Changing Things EP.

The present: the Changing Things EP is a bewitching journey through the head and heart of a fiercely creative talent. Opener Riddle It carefully unfurls from an intro of handclaps and excitable yelps to a sprightly verse and a downtempo jazzy chorus. Rawson's effortlessly elegant vocals circle the melodies throughout, while space is provided by instruments dropping in and out of the mix, including an unusual plucked violin and subdued hummed backing. It's magical stuff - experimental and commercial, avant-garde and traditional, affected and affecting in all the right measures. The endearing Philanthropy continues the jumpy rhythms and gentle scatting to genuinely touching effect, while the piano-led Sick Tray slows things with downbeat chords and sluggish finger snaps. Closer Nothing Was Left is simply spellbinding, as a small choir of Roxys back a sweetly intoned tale of “spiralling down to the abyss”. This is how pop should be - from the heart, freewheeling and full of fun. It's been said many times already, but here we have the UK's answer to Regina Spektor, a comparison that will both delight and frustrate a rising star who has clearly worked hard to ensure her distinctiveness.

The future: belongs to Roxy Rawson. Watch this space.