One of the musical trends I’ve really loved over the recent months is the rise of singer-songwriters making music that is some combination of folk and jazz, sometimes adding in influences from other genres. Rosie Miles is another brilliant exponent of this. This is her debut single, taken from her forthcoming EP, ‘Still Life’ (due out in May 2023).
‘Pieces of Sky’ builds from voice and guitar to swell after swell of sounds; sometimes these are harmonised vocals, sometimes the addition of keys and bass, and then again with layers of carefully chosen sounds. Sometimes the feel is folk-ish, sometimes richly jazz-ish, and sometimes it blends both. And I should warn you this song has a melody that’s going to haunt you forever.
The music does two things wonderfully; it both paints a picture in sound of the song, and provides ‘a platform’ for Rosie’s voice. I’ll come back to her voice in a moment but first the song’s subject. The song seems to be about living in an over-crowded city, but wanting to live in a place where there is space, freedom, nature and peace. The feeling of being there is expressed in a musical welling of joy.
And now to Rosie’s voice. Look, hers is a voice I have fallen for big time. She sings in a style that is both folk and jazz. And that would be lovely enough but Rosie has an expressive emotional voice that in sound alone tells the story of the song. But there is more, for the words she is singing are frankly amazing. Simply put these are words to listen to, to think about and ponder on.
There is no disputing that her music has something of the sound and feel of late 60s/early 70s singer/songwriters like Joni Mitchell but then again it’s not a copy or tribute because there are clearly other influences in the sound. The key similarity is one of richly emotional music and meaningful poetic lyrics. And that is a good thing, a very good thing.
I’ll gush for a moment, but only for a moment as I just really just want you to listen to the song. This is words, music and voice that make something so much bigger than its parts. This is haunting and achingly beautiful. I, for one, can’t wait for the EP.
Rosie Miles is an alt-folk singer songwriter and storyteller, who’s soaring melodies and poetic lyrics serve as her ink and pen. Living among the bustling DIY scene in Leeds, her music moves effortlessly between the world of Folk & Jazz, evoking a welcome nostalgia of the 70s songwriter movement. Inspired by the great writers Joni Mitchell and Laura Marling, her confessional lyricism exposes and explores familiar narratives with a shrewd vulnerability that is both comforting and deeply moving. Rosie’s band add warmth and depth to her tunes, weaving lush guitars and jazz-inspired rhythms beneath her powerful voice and lilting refrains.
Since moving north four years ago, she has worked with many familiar faces in the Leeds scene, singing lead vocals in art rock crossover group Yaatri and touring with nu-soul project B-Ahwe.