Lou Rhodes

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Lou Rhodes
Lou Rhodes in London, March 2006
Lou Rhodes in London, March 2006
Background information
Birth nameLouise Ann Rhodes[1]
OriginManchester, England
GenresAcoustic, folk, experimental
Instrument(s)Vocals, guitar, cello
Years active1994–present
LabelsInfinite Bloom,
A&G Records, Ninjatune Records

Lou Rhodes is an English singer and songwriter from Manchester, now living in Wiltshire. In addition to providing vocals and lyrics for the band Lamb, Rhodes has released four solo albums: Beloved One, Bloom and One Good Thing and theyesandeye.[2] Rhodes has collaborated with 808 State, A Guy Called Gerald, Funkstörung, Pale 3, Sugizo, Plump DJs, Sheila Chandra, Eliza Carthy, Art of Noise, and The Cinematic Orchestra on Ma Fleur and the soundtrack to The Crimson Wing: Mystery of the Flamingos.


Originally from Manchester, Rhodes was born to a folk singer mother Annie Burton.[3][4][5] She grew up around the English folk scene and worked as a photographer in the early 1990s.[6] Rhodes met engineer Andy Barlow through a friend and recorded a demo tape together, forming the band Lamb.[6] It resulted in a six album deal with Mercury Records in 1995.[7] In 2004, Rhodes and Lamb collaborator Barlow split and both began to pursue solo ventures.[6]

Rhodes started her own record label, Infinite Bloom, at the beginning of 2006, to issue her debut solo album Beloved One, which was shortlisted for the Nationwide Mercury Music Prize the same year.[8] This album explored the folk side of Rhodes's music, which was previously undisplayed while performing in Lamb, although songs such as "Fortress" are reminiscent of her times playing in Lamb. She has been described as following a Nick Drake path as a singer-songwriter.[9] In February 2006, she performed together with other female folk singers at the Daughters of Albion event,[10] which was broadcast by BBC 4.[11][12] Rhodes has performed at Glastonbury Festival a number of times.

In April 2007, her debut was re-released in the US through Cooking Vinyl Records, adding three bonus tracks.[13] Rhodes' second album Bloom was released through A&G Records on 1 September 2007. It featured Emre Ramazanoglu (drums) and Stephen Junior (guitar).[14] On 24 September 2007 she released the first single from Bloom, called "The Rain". In October 2007 Lou Rhodes began a tour to promote the album, however the tour was cut short after the death of her sister.[14]

In 2009, Lamb reunited for a tour followed by an album 5 in 2010.[15] During this same period, Rhodes recorded her third album, One Good Thing in the space of two weeks. Largely acoustic, the eleven songs were recorded with the assistance of Barlow at his studio.[16] It was released in March 2010 and distributed by Ninja Tune.[17][18]

In anticipation of her fourth album release, Rhodes released the singles "All The Birds" in April,[2] and "All I Need" in June 2016.[19] A month later, the album theyesandeye was released through Nude Records.[20] Part financed through Pledge Music, the eleven songs were co-produced by Simon Byrt.[21] It includes a cover of the song "Angels" originally performed by The xx.[22] Other contributors include Ian Kellet (guitars), Nikolaj Bjerre (drums), Danny Keane (strings) and Tom Moth (harp).[2]

Musical style[edit]

Although Lamb is famous for blending electronica with jazz and elements of drum and bass, Rhodes's solo work is more organic and rooted in folk music. Rhodes expressed a doubt that she will ever return to electronica.[23] She combines finely tuned acoustic guitars—the essence of almost every arrangement—with violin, double bass, and rich percussion. Lyrically, her songs can be described as extremely romantic, soulful and very personal,[24] this is how Rhodes explains the last album's lyrics:[25]

Sometimes I think, "My God, I keep writing all these love songs," and I really struggle with that. I think I'm a bit of an emotional junkie, you know? It seems to be what consumes me. The heart never ceases to provide me with subject matter. I don't know why that is. Someone asked me the other day, "Are you in love with being in love?" And I couldn't really answer that question.


Lou Rhodes is also a published author. Her children's picture book, 'The Phlunk'[26][27] (Lou Rhodes/Tori Elliott[28]), published by Strata Books in 2012, received good reviews.[29][30] Follow-up The Phlunk's Worldwide Symphony appeared in 2015.[31] In 2012 Rhodes also contributed an essay to 'The First Time I Heard The Smiths', part of an ongoing series where musicians/writers tell their stories of first hearing the music of an iconic artist or band.[32]


Besides her solo work, Rhodes has provided vocals for a number of other artists. In 1996 she featured on the track "Azura" on the 808 State album Don Solaris.[33] Released as a single, it reached no. 79.[34] In 1997 she provided a vocal for the song "Kanon" on the album Truth? by the Japanese guitarist Sugizo.[35][36] She also co-wrote and featured on the song "Humanity" on the A Guy Called Gerald album Essence released in 2000.[37] The same year she also featured on the soundtrack for the film The Princess and the Warrior, performing the song "Escape (Afraid of No One)".[38] In 2004 she featured on the album Disconnected by Funkstörung,[39]

Personal life[edit]

Lou Rhodes was married to Crispin Robinson and has two sons.[6] She lives in rural Wiltshire, England.[40]




  • 2006 "Tremble"
  • 2007 "The Rain" (A&G Records)
  • 2010 "There for the Taking" (Motion Audio)


  • 2013 The Phlunk (ISBN 9780957369016)
  • 2014 The Phlunk's Worldwide Symphony (ISBN 9780957369023)


  1. ^ "Works written by: Rhodes Louise Ann". ACE Title Search. American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers. Retrieved 3 August 2010.
  2. ^ a b c Gallacher, Alex (13 April 2016). "Premiere: Lou Rhodes - 'All The Birds' from forthcoming album 'theyesandeye'". Folkradio.co.uk. Retrieved 2 August 2016.
  3. ^ Loundras, Alexia (29 August 2006). "Lou Rhodes: Not so sheepish". independent.co.uk. Retrieved 2 August 2016.
  4. ^ Clarke, Betty (26 October 2007). "Lou Rhodes". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 3 August 2016.
  5. ^ "Aon". SoundCloud. Retrieved 3 August 2016.
  6. ^ a b c d Fox, Killian (4 June 2011). "Lamb: 'We made a huge leap of faith'". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2 August 2016.
  7. ^ Sethi, Rounik (17 May 2012). "Artist Interview: Lamb". ask.audio. Retrieved 2 August 2016.
  8. ^ Kezya, Regina (6 July 2015). "LAMB: Lou Rhodes gives BLXS an insight into her life". BLXS. Archived from the original on 14 August 2016. Retrieved 2 August 2016.
  9. ^ Costa, Maddy (11 March 2010). "Lou Rhodes: One Good Thing". The Guardian. Retrieved 6 March 2015.
  10. ^ "Daughters of Albion". barbican.org.uk. Retrieved 3 August 2016.
  11. ^ Clarke, Betty (6 February 2006). "Daughters of Albion". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 3 August 2016.
  12. ^ "BBC - Press Office - Folk Britannia". www.bbc.co.uk. Retrieved 3 August 2016.
  13. ^ Jurek, Thom. "Beloved One [Bonus Tracks] - Lou Rhodes". AllMusic. Retrieved 3 August 2016.
  14. ^ a b Rooney, Siobhan (2008). "Lou Rhodes [Lamb]: Time to Bloom". siobhanrooney.com. Liberation Frequency. Retrieved 2 August 2016.
  15. ^ Warburton, Mike (8 June 2015). "The Sand That Makes The Oyster Pearl - an interview with Lou Rhodes". skiddle.com. Retrieved 2 August 2016.
  16. ^ Taylor, Mikala (10 January 2011). "Lamb Exclusive Interview With Lou Rhodes About New Album '5′". The Backstage Rider. Retrieved 2 August 2016.
  17. ^ "Lou Rhodes". Ninja Tune. Retrieved 3 August 2016.
  18. ^ "Lou Rhodes* - One Good Thing". Discogs. Retrieved 3 August 2016.
  19. ^ Brennan, Collin (21 June 2016). "Lou Rhodes (of UK duo Lamb) celebrates the simple things on solo single "All I Need"". Consequence of Sound. Retrieved 2 August 2016.
  20. ^ Fish, Bob (31 July 2016). "Lou Rhodes – theyesandeye". For Folk's Sake. Retrieved 2 August 2016.
  21. ^ "Lou Rhodes: theyesandeye". PledgeMusic. Retrieved 2 August 2016.
  22. ^ Mardles, Paul (24 July 2016). "Lou Rhodes: theyesandeye review – a fresh flavour for modern flower-children". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2 August 2016.
  23. ^ Wyse, Pascal. "We're jammin': Lou Rhodes | Music". The Guardian. Retrieved 6 March 2016.
  24. ^ Jurek, Thom (30 January 2006). "Beloved One - Lou Rhodes | Songs, Reviews, Credits, Awards". AllMusic. Retrieved 6 March 2015.
  25. ^ [1] Archived 5 May 2008 at the Wayback Machine
  26. ^ "Buy 'The Phlunk' (Lou Rhodes/Tori Elliott) picture book in paperback". Strata Books. Retrieved 6 March 2015.
  27. ^ "Lou Rhodes: Books, Biogs, Audiobooks, Discussions". Amazon.co.uk. Retrieved 6 March 2015.
  28. ^ "Tori Elliott". Tori Elliott. Retrieved 6 March 2015.
  29. ^ "Kids Book Club March 2013 | Reviews". Kids Confidential. 18 March 2013. Retrieved 6 March 2015.
  30. ^ "The Phlunk | Chicken and Frog Bookshop". Chickenandfrog.com. Retrieved 6 March 2015.
  31. ^ "Maintenance". Lamb.stratashop.co.uk. Retrieved 6 March 2015.
  32. ^ "The First Time I Heard The Smiths eBook: Scott Heim, Anna-Lynne Williams, Caroline Leavitt, Miki Berenyi, Vestal McIntyre, Craig Wedren, Andrew Kenny, Simon Scott, Lou Rhodes: Amazon.co.uk: Kindle Store". Amazon.co.uk. Retrieved 6 March 2015.
  33. ^ Doran, John (2 October 2008). "Reviews - 808 State album reissues". thequietus.com. The Quietus. Retrieved 3 August 2016.
  34. ^ "azura | full Official Chart History | Official Charts Company". Retrieved 3 August 2016.
  35. ^ "Lou Rhodes on Twitter". Retrieved 3 August 2016.
  36. ^ "Sugizo - Truth?". Discogs. Retrieved 3 August 2016.
  37. ^ Cooper, Paul (25 August 2000). "A Guy Called Gerald: Essence Album Review | Pitchfork". pitchfork.com. Retrieved 3 August 2016.
  38. ^ "Pale 3 - Original Soundtrack: The Princess + The Warrior". Discogs. Retrieved 3 August 2016.
  39. ^ Smith, Jack. "BBC - Music - Review of Funkstorung - Disconnected". Retrieved 3 August 2016.
  40. ^ Greenstreet, Rosanna (24 October 2007). "Country and western: Lou Rhodes' communal gothic manor house". Money.independent.co.uk. Archived from the original on 24 October 2007. Retrieved 6 March 2015.

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