“Best new band I’ve heard…” – Paul Lester, The Guardian
ROMES, a synth pop quartet from Toronto, just released their debut EP Believe through Five Seven last week and was produced and mixed by Tony Hoffer (Beck, M83, Fitz). The band, comprising of Jacob Bitove (vocals), Nick Bitove (drums), Andrew Keyes (bass), and James Tebbits (guitar), blend both indie and pop with groove-laden R&B and funk that is made more unique by beautiful electronics.
They were hailed as The Guardian’s New Band of the Week last week (April 8th). They were even named as a “North American version of The 1975”: “In many ways they’re a North American version of the 1975 with their catchy, shiny, R&B-pop-funk, heavy on the sort of choppy guitar the sort Matthew Healy and co have turned into a fashionable accoutrement.”
There may just be four tracks on their EP but they are all packed with power that would make you understand who the ROMES really are.
The title track opens up with an exciting guitar set with mild humming in the background. It is immediately followed by Bitove’s smooth vocals. The song itself is very empowering with lyrics such as “You’re never going to slow me down/I’ve got the energy of a tidal wave“. Listening to it will make you feel like you could do anything who want to do. The amazing rhythm and beat are like taken straight from an action movie. It’s exciting and motivating.
“Tryna Be” is the band’s debut single. It was the first single off their EP to be released to the public and was premiered with Neon Gold who said: “With all the jubilant skyward synths and angeldusted production you can handle, first offering ‘Tryna Be’ is a lightning in a bottle debut that’s good to the last drop, jolting you to life like a shot to the heart of straight serotonin”. In our opinion, it’s the most electric track out of the four. It opens with synth influenced chipmunk squeaks and an electronic beat. However, it does lose a bit of it’s “electricity” as the song progresses. Despite losing the tiniest bit of momentum, it is still a great song. The lyrics, according to The Guardian, “paint a picture of Weeknd-style Toronto Noir&B desolation” with verses such as “When the sun comes up/or the night kicks in/who are you tryna to be girl?”.
Spend The Night
The third track in the EP is very pop but still has that electric vibe that screams ROMES. Even though the genre altered a bit with this track, it still has that exciting and exhilarating atmosphere that has a good chance of finding itself within a movie or TV show’s soundtrack. We recommend that you listen to this song before doing something really crazy and adventurous like bungee jumping or biking through town at top speed without protective gear. This will definitely be included in our “Running” playlist.
When The Night Comes
“When The Night Comes” provides an excellent finale to an equally great album. It starts off with a series of deep “whoa-oh-oh”s followed by a very pop like beat that is laced with electronic undertones. It then develops into a mixture of pop, electric and rock all in one. The beat is also slightly harder and more pronounced in this track compared to the others. The series of “whoa-oh-oh”s continue throughout the song that would just make you sing along.
Overall, ROMES’ Believe is a great debut EP. Every track embodies the band’s soul and what they want the people to know about them. We just wish that there were more than four tracks in it because we could certainly use a bigger dose of ROMES’ electricity.
Tell us what you think about ROMES in the comments below or tweet us @CelebMix!