WOLF TONE LIMITED
MAY 17, 2019
MEL TRECHA // Publicist
A songwriter, producer, multi-instrumentalist and DJ, Rosie Lowe’s work digs into a richly complex mix of musical and emotional experiences. On debut album ‘Control’ she was striding out alone, tackling politics, feminism and modern relationships. But if ‘Control’ was about self, ‘YU’ – says Rosie – “is about other. I wanted to write about my experience of sharing my life with another as a lover, friend and partner.” These are intensely songs of the mind, which makes sense after all when you consider the fact that Lowe is also training in psychotherapy. And it’s a process of analysis which allows ‘YU’ the broader scope to interrogate life as a twentysomething in London, as an artist empowered and in control.
As much as it explores new sounds and stories, ‘YU’ also sees Rosie Lowe look back on her life, and all those things that make ‘YU’. She grew up as one of six kids in rural Devon, having learnt the saxophone young (which she still plays and adores) and been exposed to a broad mix of soul, jazz, funk and R&B; influences which come to glorious fruition on her second album, where inspiration ranges from Childish Gambino, Gabriel Garzon Montano and Erykah Badu to childhood heroes like Ella Fitzgerald or Charlie Parker. Lowe realised early on, too, that love was a fragile, difficult thing, her parents splitting up resulting in weekends spent living out of a bag. Time spent at Goldsmiths and later working behind the scenes at big labels reinforced Rosie’s need to operate outside of the regular rules (whether in relationships, or making music). One listen to ‘YU’ and the strength achieved when you broaden these horizons becomes immediately apparent – which for Lowe, in part involved allowing others in more. Released in collaboration with Paul Epworth’s Wolf Tone and reuniting Rosie with producer and co-writer Dave Okumu, the record also features a rare appearance from Jay Electronica, some of the UK’s most respected vocalists on BVs, and leading lights across the contemporary jazz and dance scenes (Sam Shephard, Alfa Mist).
Despite its richly classic feel, what’s emerged on ‘YU’ is an album on thoroughly modern, twenty-first-century love: its childhood myths and more pragmatic realities, its utopias and difficult weathers. Those moments when you find out how you are, who you are, and if you’re brave enough, you let it all bleed through. On her stunning second album, ‘YU’, Rosie Lowe has also done just that.