For some people, music is totally ingrained in them from childhood. Big Dada newcomer Roseau is no exception, having been raised on a diet of story-songs courtesy of her grandfather and concocting creations of her own with her sister, practising with a tape recorder.
Fast-forward a handful of years and Kerry Leatham has produced a truly stunning record as her debut. 'Salt' emerges as a bold yet breathtakingly delicate full-length, underpinned by tales of heartbreak and belonging, self confidence and the lack of. Her own haunting vocal harmonies weave through the album's eleven tracks, which she recorded (along with some of the percussive elements on the LP) after stumbling across an abandoned Essex warehouse and seeing it as a found sound goldmine.
We fired a few questions at the singer-songwriter to find out a little bit more about her leftfield pop album, which you can stream in full, exclusively, after the jump.
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I take it your grandfather was an important figure in your musical development as a child? How did that come about?
I didn't really realise he was such an influence until quite recently when I actually sat down and thought about what sparked my interest in lyrics and writing. He always used to make up silly songs and stories which my sister and I found hilarious and entertaining. I really enjoyed writing stories as a kid, and that later developed into songwriting when I discovered I could make music.
Then your father is Dominican, did any sounds from that part of the world influence you and filter into 'Salt'?
Not consciously. I mean, my parent's culture is important to them and they tried to maintain a balance of both my Caribbean and Irish heritage. I'm influenced by a lot of the music I grew up on so in a roundabout distant way, possibly.
Your album was created after finding an empty warehouse, and screaming and smashing objects together inside it. How did you feel while doing it? Did you worry that someone would hear you?!
Ha, I didn't really think about that actually - If anybody had heard me I imagine they would have carried on walking. I must have sounded pretty nuts. I got pretty engrossed in what I was doing when I was in that warehouse and generally found it really peaceful and calming. Though a little creepy sometimes - I walked in there once and there was this guy in the far corner staring at the wall... I didn't even notice him there until about ten minutes in - it was like something out of the Blair Witch.
Along with these recordings how did the album take shape? What sort of gear did you use for production?
I have a pretty simple setup: Macbook Pro, Focusrite Liquid Saffire 56 interface, KRK Rokit 6 Monitors and a decent microphone. In terms of instruments, mainly a bunch of cheap synths and some found sounds.
What was the most challenging part of the album's creation?
Probably the final back and forth trying to finish the songs. It's really hard to know when a song is complete - there is always more you can do.
You've said in an interview that all of the tracks on the album were created out of "one thing that happened", can we be nosy and ask what that thing was?
I'm not really good at talking about personal stuff... unless I'm writing lyrics.
'New Glass' revolves around characters too hung up with their earthly possessions. Do you think as a society we're too material?
Most definitely. I've had a lot of intense conversations about this. I think we put way too much value on possessions (myself included), and I think we're getting worse.