2019 album also available in CD.
The exceptional pop indie rockette Rose Elinor Dougall returns with her third solo album ‘New Illusion’ two years on from her critically acclaimed album ‘Stellar’. Rose has a knack of creating warm modern pop tinged with synths and her new album has a noticeable shift in dynamic, written in the climate of 21st century Brexit Britain she is unafraid in tackling the sense of perpetual unease, but looks to music as a form of defiance not escape. Relaxed and biting, this is a record that thrives in duality. Douglas is looking into the abyss of the impossible disappointments of growing up in the 21st century Britain – singing quietly with piano, with guitar, and with a gentle fuck-it attitude. “I just wanted to sit at the piano and play, I wanted to return to something essential,” Dougall explains. “There’s something comforting and solid about that instinctive relationship with music, with playing and singing.”
With that essential instinct, Dougall is aligning herself with the tradition of Sandy Denny, Bridget St John, Anne Briggs – English women who sang with proud fragility. “There’s something essential and earthy about them,” says Dougall. “there’s something more bloody about the way they sing.” It’s evocative of the English sweet-sharpness of Kirsty MacColl too – in the dreamy jangling pop lifted up by clear folk vocals and a minor-key melody.
The record features her brother Tom, also the lead singer in Toy, his bandmates Maxim Barron and Max Claps, Euan Hinshelwood and Joe Chilton of Younghusband, and other old friends from London, Brighton and Cornwall. “It does feel like a really nice group effort – I didn’t want to be over-prescriptive, so some of it is quite loose. I wanted to make it about musicianship.”
A 'New Illusion' is slower and more confident than her previous albums – the themes may be urgent but the sound is more relaxed. “I don’t feel the same angst about acknowledgement or approval. I decided to trust my instincts, to see if they connect with the world. I’ve been making music all my life, and this feels like a culmination of those experiences. I feel I’ve grown more fluent, more confident, more in charge that I have come closer to my natural sonic habitat.”