Ethereal urban dream pop – with teeth

photo: greg ponthus

Who She?

Kerry Leatham’s the name and there’s nothing to stand in the way of this mature debutante. Her mum’s Irish and her dad’s Dominican – she’s taken the name Roseau from the capital city of Dominica – but her cultural roots are in no way reflected in her urban aesthetic or her broad London accent.

Why Roseau

Her debut album, ‘Salt’, doesn’t sound like a debut album. It sounds like an artist careering around electronic pop curvatures that have been parboiled over a good decade. Sultry melodies are scattered across brittle song structures, crafted from a fertile hotbed of parched beats. The production gleams like it’s been polished with Lemon Pledge. And Leatham certainly knows how to sell a song: her soulful metropolitan vocal chatters like a nightingale, telling tales of lost love via interloping harmonies and a technical proficiency that shames typical synthpop.

Tell Us More

Leatham’s grandfather improvised songs out of stories, emboldening the cherub with vivid images that later became teenage experiments on guitar and tape. Demos became gigs and gigs became a deal with Tape Club Records.

Collaborating with her labelmates, she soon discovered the power of software, subtracted her acoustic heartbeat, placed it on a laptop, and interpolated samples from an abandoned warehouse. The result is a very modern-sounding, not to mention addictive, electronic pop record.

Kerry Leatham was signed by Big Dada in 2013. Two years on and here we are: a luscious inauguration, part Fleetwood Mac, part MIA minus the attitude. Well, almost.

‘Salt’ is out on Big Dada

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