Who | Rozi Plain
When | Sunday, October 25
Where | Monarch, Berlin
UK singer-songwriter Rozi Plain’s understated approach could easily cause her music to be overlooked, but contrary to what her name might have you think, it’s not plain but rather a testament to the beauty of simplicity. The London-based musician’s general sound is somewhere between folk and lo-fi pop. Even if the quality of her voice can err on the side of twee, she sings with a candor that begs you to listen. It’s no wonder that the primary focus of her latest album Friend is her singing. Sure, there are the occasional embellishments for effect—some soft harmonies and piano here, or a flourish of horns and synth there—but otherwise, the songs are relatively unadorned, allowing Plain’s endearing storytelling to shine through.
For fans of: Mirah, Juana Molina, SOAK
Who | Low Roar
When | Monday, October 26
Where | Musik & Frieden, Berlin
Some years ago, Ryan Karazija (formerly the frontman of the band Audrye Sessions) decided to leave the California sunshine for the rugged majesty of Iceland, and thus Low Roar was born. If their 2011 debut LP was the manifestation of Karazija’s struggles with moving across the globe to an entirely foreign land, then Low Roar’s latest release 0 is further proof that his newfound home continues to indirectly function as his muse. While the album still contains remnants of their indie rock roots—with Karazija’s folky twang and acoustic gems like track ‘In the Morning’—it also finds them continuing down a more experimental path. For starters, 0 is epic in every way, from the length of both the album as a whole (13 songs, clocking in at over an hour) as well as the songs (many more than six minutes long), to the cavernous sonic landscapes. This vastness allows all of the musical ideas to evolve and build upon each other. The gloominess of the electronically manipulated background noises and the pump organ blends perfectly with the luscious vocal melodies. In the end, Low Roar’s ambient, atmospheric music is truly a dreamlike experience, albeit a slightly haunting one.
For fans of: The Low Anthem. Sigur Rós