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Rose Red & The Butterflies Rose Red & The Butterflies
Album: New Age Drifter
Label: Pixie Power
Tracks: 12

Six years after Just A Glimmer, which won Debut Album of the Year at the Fatea awards 2010, Rose Red & The Butterflies release their second album, New Age Drifter. So is this sophomore album worth the wait?

The short answer is yes. This is not a huge departure from the debut album, though there is an electronic element to it which gives it an almost retro quality that is just wonderful. Here is an album that feels completely modern, yet could equally have come from the nineties, or indeed any time since. This is acoustic pop with a punk edge, most evident in the title track with its shades of 90s rock band Hole.

There is a mixture of different styles that flow throughout the album. Rivers Flow is a little more folky, largely thanks to the banjo playing of Dana Immanuel, perfectly complementing Rosered's vocals. Surreal could be a lost 90s Sleeper song, a thumping pop tinged track that is just a joy to listen to. Lovers Fool could almost be a Sheryl Crow track, with its strong vocals and catchy melody. New Age Drifter is incredibly varied, each track very different to the one that preceded it, but all tied perfectly together. The vocals are a delight, with a dreamy feel that is particularly strong on Shadow Dance.

It is impossible to keep a smile off your face while listening. The entire album is just full of joyful music to get your foot tapping, and provide a lift to your soul. From the soaring Tickle My Feet, the timely Fire In The Rain, to the beautiful introspection of End Of The Line, this will keep you coming back to listen to it again and again. As soon as it finishes, you just have to press play again… it's the ultimate "just one more listen" album.

It's also well worth checking out the website, which has a New Age Drifter lyrics map featuring specially commissioned artwork from Debbie Attwell. It's as hard to pick a favourite piece of artwork as it is to pick a favourite song, though if pushed I'd have to pick Surreal for both.

This is an album that was well worth the wait. Hopefully we won't have to wait six years for a third, though if that is the case, I'll almost certainly still be listening to this one on a regular basis. With the end of the year approaching, and reviews of the year's music no doubt being written, this is a late entry into my top five of 2016. A delight from start to finish.

Adam Jenkins