Rosie Lowe Debuts Stunning “Pharoah” from Upcoming Album Yu
UK-based singer Rosie Lowe— who is also a songwriter, DJ, and producer— has released her much-anticipated second single from upcoming album Yu, titled “Pharoah.” The bluesy neo-soul song pays homage to the American jazz saxophonist Pharoah Sanders, most famously known for his exceptional technique within tenor playing. Lowe herself was trained in saxophone at a young age, which she still plays and adores.
Sanders’ 1977 track “Memories of Edith Johnson” from his self-titled album Pharoah has a striking similarity to Lowe’s new single, the two close to identical in rhythm. Triumphant sounds of organ chords accompany steady percussion that grows with each beat through the almost six-minute track. While “Memories of Edith Johnson” paves the way for intoxicating saxophone and crooning vocals, Lowe’s “Pharoah” stomps in with powerful bass and alluring guitar, amping up the rich tones with smooth, warm melodies. The result comes as a collection of suspended chords and controlled emphasis on distinct lyrics— a clear display of tenacious skill within the production of the track.
The song’s namesake creates double entendre, as well, referencing both Sanders and its commonly known origin in Egyptian ancient history. Lowe dove deep into Egyptian culture, The Book of the Dead in particular, for the creation of the song and music video. Within the video for “Pharoah,” each shot of the camera is intentional, every unfolding moment representative of the meaning behind the words. The vocals and instrumentation together resemble a triumphant gospel hymn as the video plays out the scene as if it were a modern day Egyptian parable.
Most captivating of all, Lowe brings in an essence of power, and the power of women in particular: “My power's in my self conscious believin'. Who I'd be, and what I do, is down to what I'm weaving. Think it through, is to think it true. And when they start to doubt, just ask what would Cleopatra do.” This certainly keeps in tradition with her discography, emphasizing central themes based on her own agency and struggles of being a woman.
What feels different for this track— as well as the rest of her forthcoming album Yu— is the significantly more vibrant and positive undertone. In comparison to her debut album Control in 2016, Lowe wanted Yu to become more colorful in discussing the power of opening up in relationships. She explains, “I wanted to write about my experience of sharing my life with another as a lover, friend, and partner.”
Listen to Rosie Lowe’s empowering single “Pharoah” below and check out her new album Yu on May 10th.