Friday, January 18, 2013

Albums of 2012 # 7: Delilah - From The Roots Up

2012 was great year for female solo artists. Jessie Ware, Claire Boucher (Grimes), Natasha Khan (Bat For Lashes), Regina Spektor, Cat Power, and Lana Del Rey, are just a few of the more prominent names to gain both critical acclaim and/or commercial plaudits for their album releases during the year.

Some we knew a little bit about before, but others, not so much. Cue perhaps an awkward acknowledgement that Adele’s grip on the pop charts – over what is now a THREE year period – may have been a contributing factor to any perceived opening of the floodgates.

And flying a little further under the radar we had Paloma Ayana Stoecker – aka Delilah – a prodigiously talented 22-year-old singer/songwriter with a breathy vocal, who released arguably the strongest set of songs of all in the form of her album From The Roots Up. An album that was pretty much conspicuous by its absence on the multitude of other more renowned blog year-end lists.

But that, of course, doesn’t mean it wasn’t any good. At one point mid-year I just couldn’t get enough of this album (as I said in my review here) … an obsession that passed eventually, but not before it had provided the soundtrack to a large chunk of my obligatory mid-winter blues.

In recent months however, I’ve moved on, and the thought of listening to it again holds very little appeal. I made a copy for my 15-year-old daughter and suggested she might like it.

That’s as it should be … despite my bravado about pop music being non age specific, it was never really an album for a 40-something bloke. But that doesn’t mean I couldn’t appreciate it for what it was ... something close to an unheralded pop masterpiece.

For the record, my daughter loves it – for its themes, for its of-the-minute relevance, for its sense of teenage angst, but I suspect she loves it mostly because, as a student of music herself, the album is nothing short of being a compositional work of art.

And of course it probably helps – from her perspective – that Delilah’s roots are firmly planted in the dubstep camp!

(That said, From The Roots Up is NOT a dubstep album. I suspect if Delilah had wanted to go down that path she would have called upon genre heavyweights Chase & Status, the outfit that helped launch her career in the first place).

Here’s Breathe:

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