Anni Rossi - Rockwell
Debut album from new 4AD signing.
In some circles, the mere mention of Steve Albini's name is enough to induce rabid salivation. Rockwell, debut album of Anni Rossi, will only further cement the ubiquitous bespectacled one's reputation. Recorded in only one day, Albini has helped 23-year-old Minnesota native Rossi to create a collection of raw and edgy loveliness. Known for her use of the viola (not the violin, as is commonly assumed), Rossi has broadened her sound by adding cello, sparse drums and a splash of keys - absent on earlier recordings - to great effect. Songs such as The West Coast, with simple yet forceful drums and accelerating pace, illustrate the purposefully unprocessed feel of the album. Opener Machine is a lyrically eccentric highlight, alongside single Wheelpusher and an almost unrecognisable cover of Ace of Base’s Living in Danger. Given the development Rockwell demonstrates, one can only hope that Rossi will plough this furrow further and vie for a place beside the likes of Newsom and Banhart. [Lauren Mayberry]