You might recognise the name Rozi Plain as a frequent collaborator with DrunkenWerewolf favourite This is the Kit, also usually joined by Rachel Dadd. Or, it might be a vague recollection that Rozi played DrunkenWerewolf's music stage at this year's Bristol Ladyfest.
The Winchester-born musician grew up playing guitar, performing at open mic nights and writing songs before moving to Bristol and becoming part of the Cleaner Records group - alongside Dadd and This is the Kit's Kate Stables. Joined Sometimes Unjoined is her second album and was recorded in a studio in London, steering Plain away from the homemade bedroom recordings of debut LP Inside. Over Here.
The low-folk indie vibe is still present, with most songs balanced on a careful one-to-two string guitar melody, supported by reserved percussion and harmonised vocals. "Cold Tap" is a wonderfully meandering album opener, with a clean and plucky guitar carrying hauntingly uplifting vocals and the soft yet distinct sunny sound of steel drums.
Joined Sometimes Unjoined is comprised of a delicious blend between old material and brand new tracks, so fans of Plain live may recognise some well-known songs that have finally been preserved on a record. None sounds grander than "See My Boat", a live favourite that Plain described as particular difficult to capture in the studio. In a recent interview, she told The Line of Best Fit that it has "always been really fun to play live and it felt like we never translated it very well when we recorded it," although the end result certainly captures the spirit of the track. It's a song that needs room to manoeuvre: increasing layers of sound build into a tidal wave of energetic and upbeat vocals that just about burst the banks before retreating back into something more melodic, but just as urgent. It's a complicated track, and Plain's hard work is evident.
There's a vague whiff of Emmy the Great's recent musical offering, Virtue: something about the contrasting vocals, plucky guitars, delectable harmonies and meandering rhythm of each track, although it is particularly demonstrable in track two, "Humans". Generally speaking, the sound errs on the side of cutting edge, experimental and lo-fi folkie.
The guitar-work is gorgeous pared-down folk, and the creative blend of instruments really pushes Plain's sound above the rabble of unidentifiable female singer-songwriters flooding the market at the moment. It comes as no surprise to learn that as well as frequent collaborations with This is the Kit, Plain has also supported the likes of Devendra Banhart , James Yorkston and Viking Moses.
Release: 30th July 2012, Fence Records