Album Review: Rotait – Sleep Tonight

Rotait is a name that’s been thrown around in conversations and appeared on posters in the Brighton acoustic scene for many months now. And to us, with probably many others, it’s just been another band struggling for recognition in an over saturated music scene. But having heard no end of raving live reviews from well established local musicians and promoters, we decided to give their first full album titled Sleep Tonight a listen just because, well, we were curious what all the fuss was about.

The duo, Jareth Tait and Rosanna Schwarzacher, formed in Ireland in 2009 and have since relocated to Brighton. It is a nice surprise to find out they are a duo, as their sound has the breadth and voluptuousness of a full band and the extent of their musical talent is displayed throughout the entire 11 track album. Guitars, bass, drums and cello combine in ways which make the genre of Sleep Tonight difficult to define.

Ranging from foot tapping, head bopping folk to sombre acoustic, Tait’s vocals, occasionally accompanied by Schwarzacher, are impeccable. The musicians that have influenced their style shine through on particular songs, such as the wistful, gentle acoustics of Nick Drake on closing track Life Is Long and the raw, distorted solidity of riffs reminiscent of PJ Harvey on Come On Home. It must be mentioned that the quality of the recording is something that is hard to ignore. Whoever mixed and produced this album, give yourselves a well deserved pat on the back.

Rotait could, rather unfairly, be held up as an inverted version of more successful male/female duos such as The White Stripes, The Dresden Dolls and The Ting Tings, but unlike the latter and the former examples, they have the clear musical capability to produce something well worthy of listening to all the way through, and thoroughly enjoy. We challenge music lovers everywhere to listen to this album and not appreciate it.

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