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Hope Roth - Orange

  by John Clarkson

published: 17 / 12 / 2001



Hope Roth - Orange
Label: Zippah
Format: CD

intro

Hope Roth is aged eighteen. A recent High School graduate, she first started playing the guitar at the age of eleven and has been writing and performing her own songs for the last two years. ‘Orange’,


Hope Roth is aged eighteen. A recent High School graduate, she first started playing the guitar at the age of eleven and has been writing and performing her own songs for the last two years. ‘Orange’, her five track debut EP, is limited to just one hundred copies and was recorded over three days at Zippah Studios in her native Boston. ‘Orange’ was co-produced by Roth with James Apt, the bassist in The Willard Grant Conspiracy and Magic 12, who is a friend of the teenager’s family and who, upon hearing her demos, persuaded her to bring her songs into the studio. As well as Roth on acoustic guitar and Apt on bass, it also features Zippah owner, Pete Weiss, who also engineered and recorded the EP, on keyboards ; Roth’s former boyfriend Blake Girndt on guitar and E-boe and another family friend Matt Burke on drums. The opening title song is a catchy punk-pop number that has a blazing bass line and which is reminiscent of The Go-Gos. “Orange is my favourite colour because it looks good by itself” Roth sneers and rages at an ex-boyfriend. “Orange is my favourite colour because it doesn’t need anyone else/Orange is never lonely/Orange always has friends/And if you don’t love me I’ll find someone better instead.” A slapping put-down if there ever was one ! The other four songs show a different side to Roth’s talents and more softly- focused, are in contrast folk-tinged ballads with a dreamy fifties and sixties feel. ‘After All (It’s Only January)’ is plaintive and aching, and describes post-Christmas aftermath and depression. “It’s so easy to say that I love you when the daisies are in bloom/It’s so easy to show that you care when the days are getting longer” Roth sighs wistfully. “Why shouldn’t I buy flowers ?/After all it’s only January.” she bitterly concludes. ‘Ringing Bells’, a nod to the influence of Neil Young, is a cover of the 1968 country-folk Buffalo Springfield tune, while ‘Blue Blue Moon’ has searing, fluctuating vocals and Roth making up after falling out with her boyfriend. “I’m sorry for all the things that I say/You know that I don’t mean them” she coos convincingly before admitting in a neat twist that their argument is all “play” and they can stay this way for all she cares, “wrestling without tripping or falling.” The last song ‘Staring’ meanwhile describes the possible beginning to a romance, and ends the EP on an optimistic note with a soaring and hymnal keyboard instrumental from Weiss. It is a great shame that, because Roth’s finances are limited, that even by indie standards there are only a very small number of copies of this EP being made, and that it will only be heard by a lucky few. This is a strong record, beautifully-crafted, lyrically clever and wryly humorous and which with good performances all around from her diverse backing band, showcases a forceful new talent. Roth will be moving from Boston to go to university in Connecticut in the Fall, and her musical opportunities as a result may be more limited, but hopefully this will be only the start of her recording career and the indie world will hear plenty more of her soon.



Track Listing:-
1 Orange
2 After All (Its Only January)
3 Ringing Bells
4 Blue Blue Moon
5 Staring



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