I want to give my listener something. I want it to havesubstance. I want it to resonate. – Roo Panes
And this is exactly what Roo Panes does. As a relativenewcomer to the scene Roo has already made an impressive impact. With over amillion views on YouTube of his songs the reaction to his music has beenuniversally positive.
Roo’s introduction to music came in equal measure from hisgrandmother, a classical concert pianist, and the hymns and psalms of the localchurch he attended with his mum and dad. His first steps at learning aninstrument were not especially successful due to Roo’s constant desire toimprovise yet it was this refusal to conform that has shaped Roo’s sound. He isnot without influence, the constant spins of Bob Dylan and Nick Drake by hisparents have made a mark but it is more the mood and location of genre defyingartists that Roo is inspired by; the Icelandic wilderness of Sigur Ros, BonIver famed for recording their winter debut in a Wisconsin cabin and Michigan’semotive Sufjan Stevens.
It is however back in the UK where the source of Roo’slyrics lies. A Dorset boy by birth, Roo also spent many family holidays in theawe-inspiring landscape of the Lakeland fells. And like many of his favouriteromantic poets before him he effortlessly infuses this sense of beauty, landscapeand space into his songs.
The Troubadour in London marked Roo’s first gig proper. Hometo so many great performers before him, in fact where Bob Dylan made his Londondebut, it was not without problems. Splitting his thumb during the first songcaused a young lady to faint and have to be carried out. But play on you mustand with word spreading his second gig with the eclectic promoters Communionsupporting Ben Howard was thankfully trouble free. Tired of the coach commutesback and forth to Dorset – two guitars, a mandolin and bag of clothes start toget heavy after a while – Roo moved to London in 2011 and it was at this point,inspired by Johnny Flynn before him, he wrote to Burberry. The rest they say ishistory and it is now hard to miss Roo on the backs of magazines and billboardsscattered across the UK as the new face of the fashion label. Featured also asthe composer of the music for their Autumn Winter campaign, Roo began to expandhis sound with the addition of strings, harmoniums and all manner of acousticrarities. Roo’s second EP Land of the Living will be released on December 2nd2013.
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