Belfast-based artist Naoise Roo gives a measured and poignant record with her sophomore album Emotionally Magnificent. Signed to North Carolina label Schoolkids Records, there’s an American rock tinge found in the album’s textural soundscape. Interweaving events of indie mystery with a pure heart of alternative, there is something to be found for everyone (but particularly for weird 90s film fans). A different soundtrack to the changing of the seasons, Naoise Roo pumps passion gracefully into Emotionally Magnificent.
Opener Sick Girlfriend is a tension building track that releases into a crescendo of well-balanced rock and impassioned vocals. You can feel the influence of Liam Mulvaney who has produced with Gilla Band and Jamie Hyland who has also worked with the Dublin quartet. The melodies and instrumentation are measured, neither drowning out the other and yet they deliver a kick. Kate Bush-sounding drums in Future Ghost, harsh St Vincent guitar on Whoever and Fiona Apple on Razor Sharp Shirt; these inspirations percolate the record, adding to the fiery nature of the tracks. Silent Halls crashes along, propelled by head-banging guitar. Energetic moments like these keep the record buoyant and more of this bombastic Naoise Roo would be appreciated. Sacred Cow acts as a standout track, creating an atmosphere that plays with melancholy and mischief.
Reminiscent of Echo & the Bunnymen, Roo’s voice dances, casting a chilling spell. An autumnal release, Emotionally Magnificent is a perfect listen as the leaves fall and everyone puts on a costume. Naoise Roo doesn’t need to hide behind a mask bearing all on her latest effort.
Words: Sophia McDonald