Beth Rowley

What? Not another British chanteuse vying for stardom with a collection of Dusty Springfield inspired ditties. Yes it’s true, but Beth Rowley’s brilliantly distilled mix of trad classics and originals prove that she is the genuine bearer of the vintage revival torch.

Move over Adele. Step aside Duffy. Because Rowley’s lazy but intimate voice stands above the shoulders of commercial buzz and over-cooked hype. “Little Dreamer” is opened and ended by two traditional songs. “Nobody’s fault but mine” stirs and broods, underpinned by subtle choral backing. Closer “Beautiful tomorrow” is much more upbeat, ending the album on a perkier note. The production is classy and at times understated, which leaves enough room for her pleasingly seductive voice to smoulder.

Steve Power (Blur) and Kevin Bacon & Jonathon Quarmby (Finlay Quaye) produce a clean mix of sophisticated tradition and sensible pop. Ostensibly, the sound is homage to Beth’s roots and influences - gospel, blues and soul. The album’s borrowed tracks seem to shine brighter than her originals. Beth’s soaring interpretation of Bob Dylan’s “I shall be released” is brilliantly effortless, while Willie Nelson classic “Angels flying Too close To The Ground” features Irish talent Duke Special, whose voice, along with Rowley’s seems to shimmer and glide beautifully.

Being a daughter of missionaries, she seems to retain a spiritual quality to her music, which her contemporaries lack. “Only One cloud” reveals a starker, more naked approach to her song writing; A bearing of the soul, almost. Rowley is a definitely a great original and has potential to storm the charts. To become a true classic though, she needs to work on the standard of her own arrangements, rather than relying on the strength of her covers.