In her debut EP, UoB student Alexandra Rose shows off her skills in recreating the genres of the 1960s

Final Year History student and Online Music Editor
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Images by Korng Sok

In her Debut EP, UoB student Alexandra Rose, who is also the guitarist in her band Honey, outlines her distinctive style very quickly. It is an exciting mix of psychedelic rock and some heavier stuff in between. In her own words, Alexandra described her aim as to make her music,”a bit like visiting your favourite vintage record shop – keep digging and there is always a new discovery to make just around the corner.” If you want even more 60’s vibes, you can check out her instragram @a1exandra.rose.

If this album had a colour scheme, paisley would run throughout

The EP opens on ‘In the Garden’ which is perhaps the most true to style psychedelic song on the record. The use of heavily synthesised guitar parts and harmonising vocals conjures up typical images of the 1960s and bands like the Byrds. If this album had a colour scheme, paisley would run throughout. They drive the track and are enhanced by some impressive guitar work before fading out into a cacophony of vocals and synthesisers. ‘In the Garden’ sets the tone for the rest of the EP, as any opening track should, and invites the listener into the record shop.

The standout track of the EP, ‘If I Were a Rose’ carries on in this vein. What makes this track so successful is the guitar melody which carries the song throughout, coupled with those same harmonising vocals. Underlining this is a funky bass groove which prevents the melody from becoming stale as your ears hone in on the different sounds emerging from the psychedelic background. The use of a citar-style effect for some of the lead guitar also gives this track the feel of a Revolver era Beatles song, although arguably more tuneful and catchy. Overall this is a very pleasing track filled with promise.

Next up is ‘Happy Accident’, which again follows a similar formula of synthesised guitar and harmonised high vocals. However, this track is more experimental than its predecessors. The octaved guitar sounds rings of ‘My Iron Lung’ by Radiohead but where this song excels, ‘Happy Accident’ doesn’t quite live up to its potential. Despite the cool solo, on what sounds like a theremin, the song continues to repeat the same melody from its start and doesn’t really go anywhere. Although it is still pleasant to listen to, it feels as if this song could have been enchanced by a break from its repetition. The chorus is also not quite as catchy as the other tracks on this EP.

Refreshingly, the EP’s final track takes a different tone, much to the benefit of the EP as a whole

Refreshingly, the EP’s final track takes a different tone, much to the benefit of the EP as a whole, preventing it from becoming samey. To add to this, its all in French. ‘Après Jeudi’ is a heavier effort, filled with distorted guitar and solos. Whereas the first three tracks cover the psychedelic elements of the 1960s, ‘Après Jeudi’ addresses the efforts of the hard rock bands which also emerged during this period. This gives Rose far more space to show off her guitar skills and brings back some of the catchier elements of the first two songs of this EP.

Overall, Alexandra Rose’s debut EP is full of promise. Despite being far from perfect she has shown a willingness to experiment which makes this project successful. The diversification of styles prevents the work from feeling stale. The difference between the first and last tracks are clear and I am a fan of this transition. The standout track is ‘If I Were a Rose’ which has all the best elements of psychedelia with a very catchy and satisfying melody. For the future, Rose should follow the same tact and not be afraid to experiment.


Alexandra Rose EP is available from bandcamp now, you can find out more from her facebook here

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