Rosie Lowe returns with her much-anticipated second album YU on Wolf Tone. Produced by Dave Okumu (The Invisible, Grace Jones, Jessie Ware) and featuring The P Funk Choir of Jamie Woon, Jamie Lidell, Jordan Rakei and Kwabs, first single Bird Song marks a new dawn for Rosie Lowe. The track was inspired, says Rosie, by ideas of “lust and desire, but with the lingering sense of insecurity and longing.” YU is a record that asks bigger questions of how the heart and mind works, and ultimately finds power through opening up both. A songwriter, producer, multi-instrumentalist and DJ, Rosie Lowe’s work digs into a richly complex mix of musical and emotional experiences.
On debut album Control she was striding out alone, tackling politics, feminism and modern relationships. But if Control was about self, YU – says Rosie – “is about other. I wanted to write about my experience of sharing my life with another as a lover, friend and partner.” These are intensely songs of the mind, which makes sense after all when you consider the fact that Lowe is also training in psychotherapy.
She grew up as one of six kids in rural Devon, having learnt the saxophone young (which she still plays and adores) and been exposed to a broad mix of soul, jazz, funk and R&B; influences which come to glorious fruition on her second album, where inspiration ranges from Childish Gambino, Gabrielle Garzon Montano and Thundercat to childhood heroes like Ella Fitzgerald or Charlie Parker. Lowe realised early on, too, that love was a fragile, difficult thing, her parents splitting up resulting in weekends spent living out of a bag.
Despite its richly classic feel, what’s emerged on YU is an album on thoroughly modern, twenty-first-century love: its childhood myths and more pragmatic realities, its utopias and difficult weathers. Those moments when you find out how you are, who you are, and if you’re brave enough, you let it all bleed through. On her stunning second album, YU, Rosie Lowe has also done just that.
CD - Digipack.
LP - Red Vinyl.