We’ve long been a fan of Rosie Bans at Louder Than War and so the news that her fourth EP, Opia is being streamed exclusively for one month is something we are very proud of.
Produced by Bans and mastered by Pete Maher (U2, The Killers) the 3 track E.P. is a step away from this Scottish born artist’s usual energetic punk pop sound. Drenched in lush acoustic piano Opia is a collection of love songs, sophisticated and classy, showing a delicate, more vulnerable side to Bans and her writing. With the addition of long time collaborator and fellow Scot Mike Nisbet on guitar, the record is a real heart warming and intimate affair. Recorded between East London and Bans’ home studio in Glasgow’s West End Opia’s songwriting documents both love and pain and is reminiscent of the likes of Tori Amos and Regina Spektor.
Rosie has moved away from the ‘sophisti-pop’ of last EP Process and presents three laid back, piano led pieces. Lead track The Fall in heart-wrenching and sees her in one of her most beautiful vocals performances to date. With an intro not dissimilar to Unchained Melody she soon stamps her mark on the track with the voice that just seems to get better and better.
The inevitable ‘female singer therefore must sound like Kate Bush’ quote comes here but Walking In The Cold does have hints of the great one in terms of instrumentation. Its simplicity holds an amazing feel which is difficult to achieve let alone sustain without falling into oblivion, Bans holds it and delivers.
EP closer, On These Strings once more take simplicity over complication. It has the makings of one of Bans’ poppier affairs but avoids the temptation to lose its gorgeous feel. With added guitar work and vocal layers it rounds off a fine collection.
Don’t just take our word for it, listen to the EP in full below.
Opia is released on 1 August and can be pre-ordered here. Rosie will be embarking on a promo tour of Germany from 8th to 14th August with dates to be confirmed.
All words by Paul Scott-Bates. More of Paul’s writing on Louder Than War can be found at his author’s archive. Paul’s website is hiapop Blog and you can follow him on Twitter here, and on Facebook here. You can also follow him on Twitter as @saveonthewire for all On The Wire news.