Monday, October 18, 2010

Tin Roots: Set Sail EP and Video

CD EP/digital EP

London's Tin Roots are a terrific female-fronted group that sports a crisp and distinct modern reggae/ska sound that defies easy categorization, but should definitely appeal to fans of vintage ska and roots reggae. One major element that sets Tin Roots apart is lead singer/guitarist Ruby Taylor's ethereal, yet commanding voice. It may remind one of Lily Allen's, but Taylor's is much more colorful and pure--and it's mesmerizingly gorgeous.

The songs on Tin Roots' new four-track Set Sail EP are uncluttered and precise; they project a shimmering sound, like sunlight dancing off translucent seas on the clearest of days. "Set Sail" (the video is below) is a skittery cut about navigating one's way through life--destination unknown: "For every time that I ever sinned/I feel cold touch of the wind/Know it’s there to teach but not to preach/And I will listen to its ways/A tingle to the skin I know it’s with me/In dark times it will keep guiding/While this life I ride is un-indentified/Exactly why I’m here." The deep, dubby "Other Day" and slinky "Basically" ("...I have no clue") are strutting, chin-jutting-out defiant rootsy tracks, while "Closed Doors" is a mournful, self-doubting/paranoid minor-key ska tune that questions what exactly is going in there--in both physical and mental spaces ("Do what goes on/behind closed doors/If one can ever find the key/I will go back/and push on through/Till then I'll always wonder/Was this my third time now?/I hesitate/I contemplate/I might never know why...").

One thing is for certain, Tin Roots have crafted a fresh and intriguing sound--and I definitely want to see where they are going to take us next.

The Duff Guide to Ska Grade: A

No comments: