I will start this by saying that it is rare for someone like Jasmine Rodgers to come along. When this album appeared on my desk I had little to no idea who this London born singer songwriter was, but now I am utterly addicted to this album, and am currently scouring her back catalogue for more fantastic songs.
Blood Red Sun is the sophomore release from Jasmine, and is a total masterpiece. I know that may sound a little hyperbolic, but it is justified. What could have easily been another folksy-acoustic-singer-songwriter album has been masterfully written and produced, ending up with a vast and epic sound, more of a soundscape than a collection of songs. Opening with the single Blood Red Sun, Jasmine sets the tone with a dark and desolate piece overflowing with ethereal vocals, whirling violin and cello parts, and expertly plucked strings. Seamlessly, the LP moves from these kind of scene-setting songs to catchy and melodic offerings like Icicles which are completed by beautiful double-tracking of Jasmine’s voice, leading the entire ensemble.
What really hooked me to this record was the scale; everything flows together so well that it is easy to recognise little motifs used in multiple tracks, much like a musical score. Most are led by Jasmine’s voice and guitar, but the addition of the string section, lack of percussion in most places and brilliant use of dynamics gives the entire collection a natural rhythm, ebbing and flowing from quiet contemplative moments to heart swelling crescendos. Between Spaces is a bit of a departure from the rest of its counterparts but is utterly addictive, a dark country song complete with booming drums, fast paced guitars and more of Jasmine’s proficiently melismatic singing.
If we are talking comparisons I would have to lean on a kind of Laura Marling vibe, but crossed with some of José González and Newton Faulkner. Jasmine Rodgers is difficult to put into words, Blood Red Sun has moments where it could just be you and her, sat under the stars across a roaring campfire, listening to her playing Milky Way – but it also has moments of grandiose brilliance, commanding attention and respect with the likes of Between Spaces and Sense. I cannot recommend this album enough, and seriously look forward to hearing more from Jasmine Rodgers.
Blood Red Sun is out on October 28th, and Jasmine is currently touring the UK, so go get tickets! You can do the usual social media stalking with Jasmine @jrodgersmusic on Twitter and as Jasmine Rodgers Music on Facebook and Soundcloud.
Words by Morton Piercewright