Lady Rose – single Pep Talk

Review of the single of the much anticipated Pep Talk by Lady Rose

I am already a big fan of the Nottingham based duo, Lady Rose, having reviewed their 2019 EP, Journey, already for Music Festivals UK. So, I was thrilled when I received a message off them asking if I’d like a sneak preview of their upcoming debut single, Pep Talk to review.

I’m amped at the chance to give it a listen and hopefully (probably) hype it up en route to it’s release. This will be a nice quick one today, let’s see how it is, shall we!

The song opens up with what sounds like a deep double bass running down the notes, already an intriguing, great way to start a song. Heavy soul and jazz vibes right from the get go. As soon as the double bass has counted down from four the song immediately bursts into life, huge, open acoustic guitar chords and a basic drum beat behind it. Joanne’s amazing vocals come in immediately too, the power behind them ever present but somehow still meshing beautifully with the softer music in the background. Amy Winehouse comparisons aside, the woman has a very distinct personality and attitude to her voice, one that is going to carry the duo far, I guarantee. The double bass carries on playing a typical blues-scale riff behind everything, maintaining itself as the driving force behind the verse. It gives everything a solid jazzy groove to it, which I really love. That’s not to take away from the acoustic guitar at all though, either, it plays it’s part perfectly within the verse.

The verse runs straight into a catchy, simple yet great chorus. Joanne’s voice is all over the place, up and down the scale showing off the incredible control she has over her voice. The second half of the chorus where the instruments hit big notes and Joanne sings in between them sounds awesome, everything dropping out and leaving her powerful vocals to drive it through really added a great layer to the song. The lyrics for it are catchy too, and rather easy to sing along to for any crowd member, I should imagine, a must for the very best of singles. This has definitely started out that way, too.

Another little subtle touch that I loved, the intro bridge and the ones coming out of both chorus’ all include Joanne’s own version of some jazz style scatting. It’s so beautifully controlled and works so well with the rest of the song. It’s also definitely not often enough that I get to listen to that sort of style either, so it is great to hear some here. A subtle little touch that adds so much to the song.

The second and third verses and chorus’ are more of the same as before, not that that is at all a bad thing. The lyrics are great too, Pep Talk being a very apt title as it’s talking to a woman being proud and strong and independent. A great message, especially these days when more poppy music is taking a turn for the worst lyrically.

The song also follows almost more of a rap song structure than a pop one, three verses and three chorus’ back to back instead of having some sort of bridge or solo between the second chorus and third chorus. It’s nice to have it mix things up a little from the similar pop structures they used in their EP, and the third verse sounded awesome. It might have been nice to hear even a small solo in there from James in there somewhere, though!

The song ends after the third chorus in the same way it came in, with the double bass running down the scale before everyone hitting a big note to finish. A fitting jazzy conclusion to an awesome song.

I feel bad rating just one song on my usual /10 scale, especially when I was asked by the artist to review it pre-release. So all I am going to say is this: CHECK OUT THIS SONG. If you are in any way a fan of soul or jazz music you will definitely be a fan of this song and a lot of the rest of their music. It is catchy, well written and very well recorded and polished. It’s already made my playlist and I have a feeling it will propel them to new heights within the UK music scene!

The review by musician, blogger & author – Joe Griffiths

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