I went through 3 stages with this album.
STAGE 1: It’s Friday April 5th and I’m off work sick. Rozi Plain has an album out. I’m a massive fan of This is the Kit and Rozi is a member of the band, has been on stage with Kate Stables every time I’ve seen her, and is absolutely integral to their sound. Rozi seems cool. She, like the rest of her This is the Kit pals, makes music seem effortless. I’ve never listened to a full Rozi album, though. This is going to be the first.
BUT WHAT’S THIS?
This sounds exactly like a This is the Kit album. Fair enough, you’d expect people who work together this much to have similar soundscapes, but if I didn’t know differently I would think I was listening to Kate. Single ‘Symmetrical’ sounds like it’s been lifted straight from one of her albums. So does ‘Dark Park.’
I don’t know about this. Where’s the originality?
I feel ill and this album is making me mad.
I’m going back to bed.
STAGE 2: My chest has cleared up and I can breathe again. It’s warm outside. It’s a weekday and my home town of Hebden Bridge will be free of the usual tourist throng at this time. I’ll take a walk by the canal.
I’m about five listens in now, and What a Boost is warming on me. I’m still unsure whether the similarities are too strong, whether it is simply derivative, but you know what? So what if she sounds like This is the Kit. I love This is the Kit. So if I’m basically getting a This is the Kit album when I wasn’t expecting one then that can only be a good thing.
I’ll keep walking, enjoying the sun, pretending I’m listening to a surprise album by one of my favourite artists. Happy days. This Rozi Plain might be a bit of a copycat, but at least she’s copying something worth copying.
And damnit, ‘Conditions’ is a pretty special song.
It’s alright this.
STAGE 3: I’m sweating and the train is packed, but there isn’t even room for me to take my coat off. That bald bloke keeps staring at me. Work was an absolute bastard today and I need something to calm me so I don’t go home and kick the cat (I would never kick the cat, I’m just being dramatic. Sorry Nesta, I should never have said that.)
I’ll stick What a Boost on.
BUT I REALLY SHOULD LISTEN TO SOMETHING ELSE.
I’ve got two podcast episodes to prepare for, another album to review, and there’s been a whole host of new releases I’ve been meaning to catch up on.
But I can’t stop listening to this album.
It’s mesmerising. I’m in love with it. That song that made me angry on my first listen, ‘Symmetrical’, is an absolute standout. What was I thinking?
Why should I expect an album by Rozi Plain, a member of This is the Kit, to not sound similar to their work? That would be crazy. And why didn’t I notice all the little nuances that make it unique? It’s focus on mental health in several songs, the introspection, the blurring of dream and reality.
And now the train is emptying as I get closer to home. I’m nearing the station.
‘When There is No Sun’ is playing and I’m wondering how, in just over a week, I have been completely turned around by Rozi’s mysterious, ethereal, and really quite beautiful third album. And why hadn’t I listened to her before?
If you have been equally mistaken in this respect, I suggest you rectify that immediately.
Get What a Boost in your ears.
Words by Fran Slater.
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