Release Date: Jul 12, 2011
Record label: Polydor
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Alternative Singer/Songwriter
Alice Gold's debut, recorded over three weeks and produced by Dan Carey (Franz Ferdinand, Hot Chip) is a pleasing mixed bag. Opener "Seasons Change" has a semi-psychedelic feel and crystal-clear vocals and the travelogue "Runaway Love" a Lily Allen lilt; single "Cry Cry Cry" features off-kilter urban beats and a strangely familiar hook in the chorus that will stick in the brain. Elsewhere, there are darker textures to be savoured, and the record gets better as it goes along – I really like the bluesy, wayward "Conversations of Love".
Armed with a free-spirited nomadic back-story (including a six-month U.S. road trip in a Winnebago won during a poker game and a spell teaching English in a Luxembourg castle) and a rough-around-the-edges voice inspired by musical idol Janis Joplin, guitar-wielding twenty-something Alice Gold may be a child of the '80s, but her debut album, Seven Rainbows, is most definitely a byproduct of the '70s. Eschewing the retro-soul sound of her contemporaries, its 11 tracks produced by Dan Carey (Franz Ferdinand, Lily Allen) instead hark back to the classic blues-rock of Led Zeppelin ("Orbiter"), the psychedelic soul of Jimi Hendrix ("Conversations of Love"), and the acid folk of Jefferson Airplane ("Sadness Is Coming").
Details of English newcomer Alice Gold's past are sparse; she seems to have simply materialised, fully-formed, at age 28, with an album of pop-rock she says was modelled on Janis Joplin. While Joplin's hard-living raunchiness surfaces in a couple of songs, notably on the come-hither blues-rocker Conversations of Love, Seven Rainbows is more accurately defined by its velvety heart, which places her closer to Françoise Hardy and Melanie. It's not all reverb and double-tracked vocals, though; there's a clear funk influence in the loping basslines here.
An album that transcends any accepted conventions for female singer-songwriters. Al Fox 2011 As 28-year-old Londoner Alice Gold unveils her debut album, she finds herself lumped with two tags: the obligatory ‘female singer-songwriter’, and the textbook ‘new face’. And while there’s little to contest the former, the tales of loss, guts and adventure she imparts prove she’s no wet-behind-the-ears newcomer.