ROSE KEMP - "Unholy Majesty"
Deluxe 180g LP, with poster, first press of 1000. ABX030.
CD version available on One Little Indian.
ROSE KEMP plays Roadburn Festival, Thursday April 23rd.
ROSE KEMP came to the attention of Aurora Borealis when she thrust an advance CD in our hands at a Grave Temple show in London after her telling us how much she loves DEAD RAVEN CHOIR.
Upon listening to the first 60 seconds of the album it became clear that we were dealing with something quite remarkable and got on the phone. Some wrangling and legal shennanigans later, the vinyl was confirmed for an
Aurora Borealis release.
Undoubtedly something of a curve ball for fans of Rose's work up until now, "Unholy Majesty" represents a type of coming of age, a bold step out into the landscape of musics less travelled. From the heavy, prog influenced stomp of "Dirt Glow" through to
the wavering cries of the penultimate track "Milky White", this is the sound of an artist following her own ear. Some AB adherents may be aware of Rose from her work on the second ATAVIST album, so perhaps her wide musical palette is not such a surprise.
That love of sheer heavy power comes through in "Unholy Majesty" time and time again, and dovetails seamlessly with the more gentle moments on offer: without darkness, there can be no light.
Part of folk-rock heritage, Rose is the daughter of Maddy Prior and Rick Kemp from seminal, pioneering British band Steeleye Span. As a young teenager she sang and toured and occasionally wrote with her parents various different projects including Steeleye Span
(who still gig today), and her life on the road began when she was knee-high, accompanying her parents on tour. Her first recorded & writing contributions were on 2002's a cappella folk album
'Bib And Tuck' by Maddy Prior And The Girls, released on Park Records. The same record label released Rose's debut solo album 'Glance' the following year, before she hit the road with
The Oyster Band and Eliza Carthy among others. But Rose was ready to find her own way and continue to branch out of the tradition, trading her acoustic guitar for an electric guitar, taking her
in the rock direction we hear today. Rose is keen to push further into the outer limits of modern music supplying Runhild Gammalsaeter, Wolfmangler, Khanate, Asva and many more as a list of profound
inspiration. We can only begin to wonder what the future holds, but in the meantime, bask in the moon glow that is "Unholy Majesty".
"A singer/songwriter based in Bristol, Rose Kemp is doom
incarnate, think Coven. Think Jex Thoth and Blood Ceremony if you want a
modern reference. And as for the folk element, she's probably likes to play this
down, after all she doesn't need her parental ties to stand above the crowd, but
she is the daughter of folk pioneers Maddy Prior and Rich Kemp (of Steeleye
Span)!" -- Louise Brown, Editor Terrorizer