Roisin O'Hagan - Sunset Valley
Every so often someone comes along and completely blows away your expectations of them - step forward Roisin O'Hagan. The signals were perhaps first indicated with her 2020 single "Us" of what would happen if she backed herself with a truly rocking combo and "Sunset Valley" is the result. Her songs have always been laden with hooks however perhaps lacking the overall sound to deliver on Roisin's vision. With "Sunset Valley" she seems destined to properly announce herself.
With an intro of bright jangly guitars and a power pop drum beat your attention is grabbed from the off and Roisin does not let up in this tale of a teenage relationship. There's a cracking narrative and the sound is punchy which all go to make this a compelling listen.
The lyrics simply keep on coming, bringing one of her influences Counting Crows to mind, and there is so much to take in even though it lasts only slightly over three minutes. There's the boy who says he'll stay but Roisin's narrator knows different
"You'll start a fire in the middle of the night
and you'll lose your way and you might just drive
till you find some place so much brighter than Sunset Valley"
While at the same time she accepts she'll be the one staying behind and that life must go on - she also knows that her flame will still remain burning.
"I'll be the only one left standing while they're dimming the lights
I'll be here waiting right here one day you're gonna be mine
The best things are going to take time"
This is pure Americana pop and but for Roisin's occasional Essex twang on "Best fings" you could easily believe this was a new single from Nashville's latest starlet. Everything about this single screams class from the cover with Roisin overdressed for her surroundings, sitting on bare floorboards leaning against a refridgerator while holding a glass of wine through to the assuredness in the vocals and the overall sound.
With an EP and an album to follow, Roisin has set a marker for the standard that she must now live up to and if she does she could prove to be the suprise breakthrough of 2022.