The Rosie Taylor Project - Twin Beds

by Andy Brown Rating:7.5 Release Date:2012-04-23

Back in 2007 (remember those heady days?) The Rosie Taylor Project released a gorgeous 7-inch single called 'Black and White Films', a perfect single with an immaculately beautiful b-side ('Maps for Lost Lovers'). These two songs evoked the spirit of early Belle & Sebastian; swooning melancholy and delicate storytelling all interwoven into perfect pop songs. In 2008 they released their debut album This City Draws Maps, a gorgeous 30-minutes of indie-pop which wore its heart on its sleeve.

I saw them play live once and they were great; Jonny's sad-eyed lyricism perfectly accompanied by Sophie's trumpet and Jon's intricate guitar-lines. Finally, this Leeds/London collective have returned with their second album, Twin Beds. I was pretty pleased to read that they had a new record out but was it worth the wait? And what's happened to The Rosie Taylor Project in the meantime?

If you were a fan of This City Draws Maps then you'll be pleased to hear that Twin Beds isn't a massive shift in direction; no 'brave' new black metal influences or Mark Ronson production here (he'd ruin the trumpet parts for sure). The music is still a gentle, indie-pop shuffle while the lyrics still focus on relationships and matters-of-the-heart.

Like a lot of indie-pop songwriters, Jonny seems to write best from the perspective of being heartbroken and lonely, the eternal underdog - yet the music is often subtly uplifting and quietly confident. There are some genuinely beautiful moments on Twin Beds, and you end up rooting for the band like you would a friend's band; hoping they won't go underappreciated for long.

Highlights include the achingly nostalgic 'The Last Happy Writer' as Jonny pines, "She was in my head for days, now I miss my old friend". The Rosie Taylor Project seem to be able to pin down that feeling of nostalgic, bittersweet reminiscing, perfectly illustrated when they sing, "I have a room of memories and I have a box of regrets".

'Sleep' jangles and shuffles like a track from an early Camera Obscura album as they sing, "I'm the debt forever there and I'm between the beds that we push together". The lyrics throw up some great poetic lines; take "There's no defeat like a kiss from an ex-lovers lips" from the wonderful 'Lovers or Something Like It'. There's a lack of pretension in the lyrics which gives them immediacy and an honesty that makes them easy to relate to without losing their poetic charm.

The Rosie Taylor Project aren't really doing anything new but, to paraphrase 'Gloria' from this very album, they put things in a new light and that keeps things interesting. Honest, heartfelt and unselfconsciously twee, The Rosie Taylor Project create seemingly effortless chamber-pop with a big heart and even bigger melodies. I'd say that the first album was just that bit better but perhaps that's the nostalgia talking. If you're a fan of Belle & Sebastian, Allo Darlin', Ballboy, Camera Obscura or This Many Boyfriends, than you'll enjoy Twin Beds immensely.

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