Rose Elinor Dougall: A New Illusion review – Former Pipette’s dark chemistry
A New Illusion
Rose Elinor Dougall
Singer / Songwriter
Since leaving The Pipettes, the Phil Spector-inspired indie girl group, in 2008, Brighton singer Rose Elinor Dougall replaced the doo-wop cheer with a dark, fast, synth-propelled sound only to strip it back and slow it down to the essentials – ominous piano, wayward strings, modern dread – on her third solo album.
Using the “disappointments of growing up in the 21st-century Britain”, Dougall takes that feeling of a resetting of perspectives so you can survive a new level of misery as she shares broken stories of love, hope and general malaise.
Where the slow-rolling beat of That’s Where the Trouble Starts finds adventure in despondency, Take What You Can Get, a dangerous and fevered lust song, is its thrilling opposite.
Taking us to the edge and daring us to pick the next move, songs like Too Much of Not Enough paint pictures of romantically sad characters, while the dreamy piano-driven Something Real holds up a mirror to the anxiety-ridden and emotionally complicated reality of the end of a relationship.
In thoughtful verse and raw honesty, Dougall skilfully deconstructs the promises people make and the dysfunctions they normalise.