Big Indie Records
When I reviewed Rosehip Teahouse’s lead single from this ep, ‘A Million Times,’ in October, I said, and I quote: ‘I, for one, am looking forward to the ep.’ And, you know what, kids? It did not disappoint. Whatever the cool kids say about whatever genre they fall into (this is allegedly called ‘bedroom pop’), I call this dreamy, alternative music that draws back to the early 90s, to a different world, one full of optimism and hope as the Cold War ended and Thatcherism and Reaganism collapsed under their own weight and we saw a better future. We sure as shit do not live with such optimism now, not with the collective nastiness of Boris and the Bozos in the UK, and even with the end of at least Trump’s presidency in America, not with Covid running rampant still. And yet, I listen to Rosehip Teahouse and I feel immediately better about everything, despite the lyrical content of the ep being more in tune with the struggles of life as we know it than the music belies.
Bursting of out the scene in Cardiff, Rosehip Teahouse provide us with a shot in the arm, jangly, pretty guitars, driving bass and crashing drums provide the background for frontperson Faye Rogers and their beautiful voice, so reminiscent of Harriet Wheeler of the Sundays.
Comprised of five tracks, including the afore-mentioned ‘A Million Times,’ Fine collectively soothes us. Lead-off track ‘I Meant What I Said’ begins with Rogers’ beautiful vocals and a carefully plucked guitar before the riff begins, their voice floating over top and we burst into song. The bass and drums drive us forward whilst the guitars are both pretty and careful whilst Rogers continues to float. This feeds into ‘No Gloom,’ which starts with the rhythm guitar before the lead steps in, and then the rhythm section does their thing. As the bass and drums stop/start, Rogers’ voice completes the captivating sound here.
I am particularly fond of the third track, ‘I’m Not Whole,’ which is a mellower one, the two guitars in different channels, taking turns, as if figure skaters on opposite sides of the rink, and then Rogers’ voice. And there is a theme here, no? The music is pretty, it is shimmery, it is glossy, but its Rogers’ voice that makes Rosehip Teahouse stand out. The way their voice floats over the music, in between the notes of the guitars, weaving their lyrics into this story across and within the music.
As for the ep as a whole, it is the culmination of Rosehip Teahouse’s existence as a band over the past four years, a collection of moments, says, Rogers, the songs
They cover love, losing love, fighting an eating disorder that wanted to take me over completely, my unregulated emotions, dreams (both literal and metaphorical), finding some sort of meaning amongst it all and coming out the other side, slightly stronger as a result of it. A lot of the songs are re-arrangements of the very earliest Rosehip demos and it’s been really cathartic and really special to let them free with the help of the rest of the band. I hope people can relate to the songs, give them a home for a bit and feel at least a little supported in the struggles we all have staying grounded in this overwhelming world.
And it is this intimacy this musical soundscape, plus Rogers’ voice, create here, this is what drives the band, this is their gift to us in a very troubled time