The intimacy of a pub session continues on Rosie Nimmo's new album Home. Nicely paced, its tempos shift up and down as other instrumentalists join in (fiddlerMairi Campbell, Hobotalk's Marc Pilley and Ali Petrie) or leave Nimmo's acoustic guitar and the blue velvet of her voice to caress listeners' ears on their own. Campbell's eastern-influenced minor scales are a dark addition to Timeclock, while standout track Life Can Pin You To The Wall brilliantly sets a subtle and restrained organ arrangement against the emotional whirlwind of the lyrics.
Sunday Herald 3/10/10
Mid-November, with a gale flinging the leaves against the window and a darkening sky that seems to promise eternal winter: it's the perfect time to be listening to Home, a second album from Edinburgh singer Rosie Nimmo.
Not because Nimmo's lyrics are relentlessly bleak and introspective – although they have their moments – but because despite a sheen of melancholy, little beacons of hope, comfort and warm humanity flicker across her complex vision of life's travails. Just when you think the darkness is closing in for good, there's a nip of something strong and reviving to pick you up and give you a wry laugh.
"The secret's to enjoy the view If you can enjoy the people too,"
Nimmo sings with cool irony in the opening track, "Never go Back". And there's the rub, of course, because it's people who tend to get in the way. Nature can be a more rewarding companion. Songs like "Moonglow Music" and the title track are like little oases in a landscape of experience that in other numbers – the desolate "Life Can Pin You to the Wall" and "Low Blue Way" with its aching harmonica (a Nimmo speciality) – is often obscured by mist.
"The End" is a frank and simple account of leaving things too late in a relationship. Perhaps, as Nimmo suggests in "Listen to Your Own Voice", it's ultimately best to be accountable to your own instincts. That way lies inner strength.
This is a wise collection of songs that faces up to some rough realities, not least in the unsettling, driven "Timeclock", a sensory exploration of life's rapid passage that really works its way under your skin. But there are moments of joy in the infantile escapism of "Being a Child Again (in the Snow)", and even the sad tale of "Little Bird" ends on a note of fragile hope.
Nimmo's style veers between soft, gentle folk and an edgier, almost bluesy quality that keeps you guessing where the mood will lead her. There is some exemplary, unfussy accompaniment from, among others, producer Marc (Hobotalk) Pilley on guitar, keyboard player Ali Petrie (the much-neglected Hammon organ comes into its own on several tracks) and fiddler Mairi Campbell.
Subtle, understated and sure-footed, Home is an intelligent, rewarding piece of work full of quirky hooks and rhymes that send your thoughts spinning off in all kinds of unexpected directions.
On the back of Rosie Nimmo's 2nd album 'Home' is a picture of herself laying on her sofa with her dog by her side. Looking comfortably playful and with cowboy boots on, there is an air of confidence, of not needing to hide behind a 'pouty moody' look and a feel of being... well yes, at home. Without that 'staged' presence Rosie looks every bit a real woman. It's an honest look I find, and I like it. And so I admit with hands held high that I judged a CD by it's back cover before I even listened to the first track. Isn't this what most of us do? I hear you ask. Well yes, and that's why I mention the homely looking CD packaging photograph in the first place; it's a good indication of what you can expect from the album as a whole.
Pure of voice and flexible enough to shift her overall tone from a high silky almost hypnotic lull (think Alison Krauss ) to a deeper textured raunchier vocal (think Patti Smith). Rosie Nimmo's songs blend styles of country, folk, jazz and blues beautifully and with little quirks here and there, for instance the subtle time change in 'Never Go Back' and the hint of Egyptian inflection in 'Time Clock', make up a lovely and delicious collection of songs. Nimmo brings with her strong song writing a string of fine musicians who accompany her music perfectly, never overdone, and we can still tell who's boss.
So to reflect my earlier statement regarding the CD photographic design and packaging; A wholesome, honest and 'real woman' type album. Only there are no dogs.
Lost At Sea Records
Rosie Nimmo - Home (Kick My Heels Records)
Edinburgh-based Rosie has been singing jazz and blues for several years, mostly with the band Rosy Blue, but only comparatively recently has she felt sufficiently confident to chance airing her own songs in the public domain.
Rosie's first album of original material (which came out last year) sported a title, Lazy And Mellow, which proved a fairly apt description of her singing style: exactly as the press release claims, reminding one of qualities in the voices of Billie Holliday and Dory Previn. But I'm less influenced by those comparisons than I'm impressed with Rosie's own special alluring quality, an elegant combination of poise and depth that informs her approach to phrasing, and Home's opening track, the understated Never Go Back, perhaps best exemplifies those features. Later, the sophisticated-crooner side to Rosie's voice comes to the fore in tracks like the swooning Moonglow Music, while she also does a nice line in genial, slightly kooky pop stylings on Precious Mistakes and Timeclock.
Yet, while vocal versatility is definitely a byword for Rosie, her songwriting is also very persuasive in an understated kind of way, capably treading the fine line between reflection, personal self-examination and brooding observation. Just occasionally, as on Little Bird and Life Can Pin You To The Wall, you get the sense that Rosie doesn't quite dig deeply enough, and that she's on the very verge of coming up with a revelation; most of the time, though, her conciseness of expression is a virtue and proves more than sufficient to convey her feelings, as on the disc's sweetly anguished emotional centre, The End.
The delicate trio of songs comprising the evocative Home, the nostalgically carefree shuffling jazz of Being A Child Again (In The Snow) and the desperate Low Blue Way together form what's possibly the disc's most imaginative sequence, while at the other end of the scale, Listen To Your Own Voice couches its numbingly blatant message in a naggingly catchy melody and insistent poppish arrangement. And on the subject of arrangements, these have been masterminded by Hobotalk's Marc Pilley (who also plays guitars, drums and marimba), with further help from that band's keyboard wiz Ali Petrie, while respected fiddle player Mairi Campbell contributes meaningfully to just two of the songs, as does Emma Turley on cello.
Home is an exquisite disc, one whose songs really haunt you, grow into you almost subliminally and yet also have an immediate musical appeal.
David Kidman October 2010
Edinburgh based Rosie Nimmo has been singing jazz & blues for several years including performances at the Edinburgh International Jazz & Blues Festival and the International Book Festival for the last two years.
Her second album Home was released this month, featuring the renowned fiddle player Mairi Campbell amongst an ensemble of top musicians who compliment Rosie’s voice and songwriting skills on a collection of songs exploring the trials and tribulations of life.
Home is the second self composed album from Rosie Nimmo who hitherto had chosen to cover other peoples music, the success of her debut Lazy & Mellow led her to continue writing her own songs which she shares on this second album.
Given Rosie’s fondness of jazz and blues the songs on Home are surprisingly contemporary leaning more towards pop music which will no doubt broaden the appeal of the album although it is more late night listening than daytime radio pop.
Favourites for me on the album are the beautifully sensitive The End, the title track Home, the opener Never Go Back and the final track Little Bird, all of which represent the softer most sensitive side of Rosie’s various singing styles.
Being A Child Again (In The Snow) is a wonderful jazz driven romp, a lovely track on which the singer perhaps sounds most at home, but overall it is the variety of songs and singing styles that make this album stand out from the crowd.
A voice to be celebrated on a haunting and intimate collection of songs, this is Home by Rosie Nimmo.
John Williams, buzzinpopmusic.co.uk - Wednesday 20.10.10
Rosie Nimmo's new album Home is released at a time when there are already a fair few female singer/songwriters plying their wares. It very congested at the moment and getting attention will be hard. Home is a very well executed album and the performances are uniformly excellent. In particular Ms Nimmo's voice which has a clarity and range that does set her apart from others. The plaintive Never Go Back opens the album and it's very easy to see oneself pouring a glass of wine and flopping into the sofa, and switching off. Precious Mistakes up the pace a little and is a jaunty country tinged song. Coming halfway through the album Timeclock is a welcome departure with its sinister metronomic beat and eastern melodies.
Listen To Your Own Voice's main riff brings to mind The Proclaimers. The title track is has to be said is a beautiful song. From its acoustic beginning it slowly builds collecting and subtly adding viola and a mellotron but it's Ms Nimmo's voice that fills out this song.
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