Published Sep 16, 2015Following acclaimed appearances on records from Lapalux and DELS, tours with Lianne Le Havas and Laura Mvula, a modeling campaign with Adidas, not to mention a million-plus plays on YouTube, East London-based Kerry Leatham (aka Roseau) has dropped her highly anticipated debut, Salt. While its genesis was reportedly sparked in a decaying warehouse where Leatham screamed and banged on an old car tire and bottles, Salt is an alluring, superbly crafted effort that doesn't abandon the "experimental" or "avant-soul" tags that have been ascribed to her thus far.
Leatham's beautifully layered vocals and billowing synths set a mesmerizing sonic template on the title track and set opener before "Kids and Drunks," an intoxicating portrait of a toxic relationship, shifts the album into gear with an hypnotically laid-back take on electro-funk. Roseau's emotional plea to "Please help let me go," and that juxtaposition between astute snapshots of relationships in crisis and soul-baring vulnerability, lay at Salt's heart. The jittery bounce of "Hot Box" exemplifies its theme of adolescent angst and social paranoia, while the haunting "Florida" is textured by buzzing synths and a thumping bass undertow, not to mention sublime electronic effects that underscore Leatham's beautifully understated vocals.
Given that this is a debut, there's a bit of room for improvement, but not on Roseau's end. The male vocal on the rudderless "See You Soon" is more intrusive than complementary given Leatham's already impressive voice, but overall, this is a more than promising debut. (Big Dada/Ninja Tune)