28th October sees the release of the debut album by the incredible Jasmine Rodgers. Blood Red Sun is an incredible effort which consists of 11 charming cuts which are smothered in plenty of folk goodness. This LP comes 6 years after she released the impeccable self titled EP which featured 5 self penned tunes. Now Jasmine is no stranger to the music scene, in 1993 Rodgers was a member of alternative/ indie band Boa. This group went on to release 3 albums, this being The Race Of A Thousand Camels, Twilight and Get Here. The group sadly disbanded in 2005. Boa’s single Duvet featured in the anime series Serial Experiments Lain. Despite the whole disbandment, Jasmine continued her association with the anime/manga genre, writing songs for the soundtrack of Armitage: Dual Matrix, which starred Juliette Lewis.
Jasmine Rodgers was born in 1976, her mother is Japanese poet Machiko Shimizu and her father is Paul Rodgers who is most known for being a part of Queen. In fact Jasmine has also been doing a stadium tour with her father Paul Rodgers of Bad Company.
I’ve had the pleasure of listening to this record for the past 2 months and seriously the tunes which feature makes my jaw drop. Blood Red Sun is pure folk and whenever I listen to this LP thoughts of Laura Marling come to mind. Basically this full length is breathtakingly beautiful.
Blood Red Sun: Opening up this dreamy LP is the albums title track. I have to say Blood Red Sun was an extraordinary cut which left me hypnotised. Rodgers’s vocals were both rich and smooth, plus you also had some mesmerising finger plucking of a ukulele. This number had been perfectly written as the folkish lyrics captivated me.
Taken: Now this delightful number was both short and sweet. It may last for only 101 seconds but this sleek cut left me completely engrossed. Jasmine’s vocals were literally impeccable and strong at the same time. Anyhow Taken was extremely chilled out and the vocals were reminiscent of Laura Marling.
Let It Burn: Compared to the opening two numbers, Let It Burn was different. Now this was down to the fact this was literally a roller coaster ride. The ever so short tune was smothered in plenty of folk goodness and those compelling lyrics left me enthralled.
Icicles: The vocals by Rodgers were gentle and crisp sending shivers up my spine. The finger plucking on the guitar did give out mellowing vibes. Icicles was a refreshing cut aided by spectacular lyrics which left me captivated. Jasmine’s lovely vocals literally soar on this song and the harmonising like Sense were out of this world. This short but sweet cut actually left me mesmerised.
Follow You: Just listening to this tune leaves me utterly spellbound. Follow You is an intensely bittersweet dramatisation of the end of a relationship “It took alot for me to walk away from you”. The instrumentation was rather beautiful and the intriguing lyrics had sprinklings of emotion. Jasmine Rodgers’s vocal range was smooth like butter and they literally mellowed me out.
Between Spaces: This tune was a collaboration with the legendary Hotei Tomoyasu whom Jasmine met via Facebook. His guitar playing adds rockabilly attitude to a song about the transportive spell that music casts. Jasmine’s says that this number is “about how music can change environments and can help us to reclaim our own spaces, lost to us by ourselves or through times of conflict”.
Sense: Now this was a dreamy tune aided by a magical vocal delivery and stellar harmonising. Once the drums came in this delightful song gained that extra bite. Smothered with plenty of folk pop vibes Sense had wondrous lyrics along with heavenly hooks.
Underwater: Just like Between Spaces this radiated plenty of captivating rock vibes. Now the delectable Underwater was a collaboration with Scott Matthews who played the guitar as well as adding the impressive harmonies. This was a beautiful confessional number which had been flawlessly delivered.
Milky Way: This is inspired by a certain feeling you get when the stars in the night sky divulge the benign indifference of the universe to all our tribulations. Conversely, it’s that benign indifference that comforts us and inspires us to be larger than ourselves. It’s a cosmic metaphor set to warm ukulele that Rodgers sings to someone who managed to turn their life round after overcoming their addictions.
Milky Way had been well written, whilst I adore all the 11 tunes which feature on Blood Red Sun this had to be my favourite. The reason behind this was down to the lightness of the charming lyrics left me grinning until the very end. It again was another stripped back folk song which made the hairs on the back of my neck stand on edge.
Shaping Up To Be: This number was inspired by Rodgers’s little nephew. “You’re Shaping Up To Be/ Quite the beauty”. Now the gorgeous Shaping Up To Be was a bright and breezy cut along with charming vocals. The lyrics were also extremely fluffy and beautiful at the same time.
Where You Lay Sleeping: Ending this incredible LP was this whimsical number. The playful Where You Lay Sleeping is basically about sex and musically it evokes the warm enveloping melodies of Johnny and June Carter Cash.
You can pre order Blood Red Sun from iTunes
If you happen to be in London this Friday Jasmine will be launching this impeccable album at The Slaughtered Lamb. You can buy tickets HERE.
OVERALL: Now I adore my folk music and this record was ever so entrancing. Jasmine may have released both Icicles/ Sense as a AA side earlier this year but Blood Red Sun is packed with songs that have single potential. The stand outs for me were both Underwater and Milky Way. Also you had the lovely Shaping Up To Be which was both warm and beautiful, then you had the infuriating Let It Burn. Now that song may only be 80 seconds but the fast pace literally grabbed my attention.
Jasmine Rodgers does have the gift for songwriting and the songs showcased on this record are a credit to her. I like the fact that those storytelling lyrics can easily make you vision a music video within your minds eye.