Review: "As It Seems" - Alice Rowe
This song is a full-bodied glass of red wine that matches the crimson velvet of the vintage armchairs in the low-lit lounge where it plays. Your date is late, but you actually don’t seem to care too much now. You were excited to meet them. But now you're distracted by this smooth, jazz-forward, r&b number that slowly spirals through cigar smoke. This track is warmth and comfort manifest, glowing in flickered reds and yellows.
From the first word, the powerful yet understated vocals set the main grooves for the clean percussion and muted bass guitar to follow. Throughout the song, Rowe switches down into a low r&b flow that might sound familiar to fans of Jorja Smith. When the vocals clear from the track, it's for good reason, leaving room for the saxophone to anchor the song in the jazz-lounge atmosphere. The layered vocals tie things off nicely, acting, in effect, as the backup singers you would expect to see on stage.
Alice Rowe is a singer-songwriter out of Hastings, UK who cites Amy Winehouse, Loyle Carner, and Sinead Harnett as some of her musical inspirations, and their influence is palpable on this most recent track of hers that shows off a curated blend of r&b, soul, trap, and jazz. Rowe began releasing music in 2019 and was met with support and acclaim from the likes of BBC Radio 1XTRA and Capital XTRA as well as online platforms Notion, Wonderland, and Spindle. For “As It Seems”, she has ditched some of the more overt pop elements that featured in her earlier work, claiming to have found the sound she was made to make. It is certainly hard to disagree with her, everything on the track just glides. I look forward to seeing Rowe flesh out her repertoire with this newfound vibe.
Written By *George McSherry*