Germany has had a mixed musical history. From composers being co-opted by Nazi’s to The Scorpions, via The Hoff single-handedly bringing down the Berlin Wall it is safe to say that credibility hasn’t been high on the checklist.
This all seems ripe to change with the appearance of Roxanne de Bastion, a singer/songwriter from Berlin. She released her debut album The Real Thing on the 19th April, and I would suggest that you go out and locate yourself a copy of it.
Now based in the UK she has put together a 10-song album that’s full to the brim of lovely, earnest and heartfelt acoustic songs. Starting off with 1964, it’s a warm, folksy tune with even warmer vocals. De Bastion has a gorgeous voice that you won’t grow tired of. It suits her style of songwriting to the ground. The whistling that comes in just over halfway through won’t put a smile on your face for one reason – your heart would not be beating and you’d be on a slab in a morgue somewhere.
There are two major strengths to this album. The first is her voice. Read above to see what I think of it. The second is its production. Being a singer/songwriter what you’d expect is an acoustic guitar and not much else. Any additional instrumentation is there in the background and only adds to the songs they appear on.
Some Kind of Creature is a perfect example of this. Starting of with guitar and vocals, layers are added slowly but surely, crucially not overpoweringly so. Double tracking of vocals and the organ are never there at the same time.
Red and White Blood Cells, which was given away for free in February is a catchy and fun love song. The chorus is probably the catchiest thing I’ve heard all year. It’s also the song that includes a plugged in guitar, so stands out more than the other songs here.
Somewhere Upon Avan brings a slower tempo, but only serves to bring her skills on the guitar to the fore. The album closer, which shares its name with the album, is another lovely song. Delicately sung and played it is a joy to listen to.
In celebration of the release of The Real Thing she’s headlining a gig at St. Pancras Old Church on Friday 3rd May. If you’re in the area get down there and give her a watch/listen. You’ll not regret it.
The Real Thing by Roxanne de Bastion was released on 19/04/13 on Nomad Songs