There are only a few times in a year when you hear a song and think ‘this is going to be absolutely huge.’ The last two years, the voices that have instantly stuck out have been women; Kimbra’s ‘Settle Down’ in 2010 and last year, Azealia Banks’ ’212′. Here at One A Day, we’re not prone to picking the Next Big Thing and prefer to reflect on what time has decided on for us, but sometimes, it’s just rude not to share, particularly when we’re talking about an artist this exciting. I wish I could claim the divine Ms Rose as my own discovery, but it was actually Flight Facilities vocalist Jess Higgs who tipped me off. The boys were playing a party at the end of last year to celebrate 12 months of success, and asked this young singer to support them. Higgs, who would be , warned me not to miss her. I’m glad I took her advice.
The reason you need to hear (and ideally watch) Elizabeth Rose is because she’s an electronic perfectionist who has ears of gold and the voice to match. Performing with enough equipment to power an entire music festival, Rose isn’t just a cute girl with a sample pad playing around because she feels like it. Every sound that comes out is synced, timed and crafted to layer onto the last in this wonderful mesh of woozy R&B-style blue eyed pop-soul-something which ticks all bases in one hit. Now that everyone can write a song from a bedroom, there’s an increasing need for something to help separate posers from the real deal, and if there was ever going to be a benchmark, this lovely little Australian-Italian is it. All the little wonders which flow out of the left and right speakers hang there for a specific musical reason, whether it’s the subsonic bass that seems to nod to the work of Jamie xx or the looping vocal samples which change octaves almost as fast as the chords do. Using foreign sources to create a rich tapestry is fast becoming the weapon of choice for The Weeknd, Kanye West and others, but rarely do we hear this much cohesion and calculated brilliance on our own shores. That’s not to mention the beat-making, which is rather sophisticated itself and it would be great fun to be the drummer in her eventual live band. She may yet be the more accessible, (hopefully) radio-ready version of fellow knob-twiddler, Jonti, but that’s only taking into account what’s backing her up rather than what’s sitting out the front, which is a goddamn stunning voice.
What did it for me in this song and confirmed Rose as a serious talent is the things she does when she’s not singing the main melody. Specifically, it’s those absolutely amazing chromatic runs which she whips out at the end of each verse, in the bridge and again during the outro. They’re pulled off so effortlessly in spite of the reverb they’re drenched in and if you get the chance to see her live you’ll know that it’s all part of the package. ‘Ready’ is a song that showcases everything Rose can do and probably gives a good indication of where she’s going, too. It’s got the heart of an independent songwriter but the head of a pop song, and if you can stop singing ‘I’m ready to go, go, go, go’ after taking this for a spin I’ll be supremely impressed. She’s rumoured to be doing some high-profile collaborations with some of our DJ friends soon so this is probably only the beginning of a meteoric ascension into critical success, but hey, we’re here at the (almost, not really) beginning and the beat keeps on coming and synths are warming the cockles of our fusty January souls. Get on board, people.
Elizabeth Rose – ‘Ready’