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Album Review: Delilah – From The Roots Up

Photo: Carsten Windhorst

She may have made her name as a guest vocalist for drum and bass aficionados Chase and Status, but Delilah’s debut record ‘From The Roots Up’ sits on the opposite side of electronica, sandwiched between Portishead and Sade in slick trip-hop. Despite receiving minor chart acknowledgement with her debut single ‘Go’,  the record isn’t likely to take her to the top of the charts anytime soon, nor does it feel that it was conceived with the intention to. Delilah is a hidden gem and digging into the record will reap many rewards.

Highlights include the stunning string-heavy ‘I Can Feel You’ and sensational opening track ‘Never Be Another’ – a perfect introduction to the rumbling bass and understated hooks that dominate the album. It also sets the pace that the album, for better or worse, rarely strays from; a mid-tempo foray, touching on pop, electronica and soul with apparent ease. The turgid subject of heartbreak and loss is given a short break as ‘Shades of Grey’ and ‘Only You’ bring a little sunshine into the dark veil hanging over the record. The lyrics do tend to make use of tired cliches for the majority of the record, but when Delilah draws from her deepest sorrows, in the touching ’21’ and closing track ‘Tabitha, Mummy & Me’, she manages to perfect and justify her passionate delivery for the first time.

With an album as chilled out as ‘From The Roots Up’, there aren’t many opportunities for the record to shift from the mid-tempo haven its built for itself. ‘Love You So’ is an exception, with it’s use of grand string sections and a gorgeous build up, but the record does leave you wanting a little more variety or, at the very least, something that might inspire you to bust moves a little more exciting than a gentle sway.

‘From The Roots Up’, in my eyes, is a true ‘lounge’ record. Not your everyday, generic lounge, but a nice industrial-styled ikea-influenced apartment suite lounge. A quick listen to this record and Delilah’s incredibly relaxing voice will make you feel at home, wherever you are. It can boast a warmth that so many other electronic records aren’t capable of and with a voice as unique as her own, Delilah has one inimitable offering that will set her apart from her peers.

Photo: Carsten Windhorst
Words: Simon McMurdo

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