Back in mid 2008, I was quite worried about the future of indie rock. Arcade Fire was releasing excess in spades with ‘Neon Bible’ and Interpol was derailing their career with some peculiar music that seemed to very nearly spoof the eccentricity of indie rock in the first place. And When the Killers turned all electronic and started singing about dancing like a human, redundancy was coursing through every orifice of this wonderfully odd mini-era of music.
Yet, who would have thought that just five years later bands like Mumford and Sons were leading the indie rock torch with boring aplomb, and groups like the XX and Toro Y Moi were taking the vague genre to all new heights. If all this means nothing to you, let’s segue into why the new indie rock group ‘Rooftop Runners’ should be at the top of the new musical indie echelon. Their music arouses, demands, and attracts with sensational minimalism and gorgeous arrangements with just the right level of rawness to make it all the greater.
The group has a single EP to their name, the aptly titled record ‘We Are Here.’ The album acts as a demand, ‘We Are Here’s appropriate title dignifies it as one of the most instantly lovable collections of songs in the last year. Where mainstream indie rock is flirting with disaster having The Lumineers as their flagship (who? Exactly), indie rock is breaking new and mesmerizing new ground, and groups like ‘Rooftop Runners’ show that it is in the small but mighty where the truly endearing steps forward reside. Like it or not, they may be the course of the future.
The band is made up of brothers Benedikt and Tobias MacIsaac. The duo pairs up for a masterful blending of some sensational attributes. Firstly, it is immediately noticed that the eerie falsettos of the group remain simply haunting. ‘Streets’ relies on a stripped bare-bones backbone that hops along with soulful tenacity, where the vocals dip and weave between the bones of the songs skeletal-thin structure. It is an absolutely enthralling arrangement.
The EP’s second track brings up the energy with a repeated refrain, and shows off a raw more dense aspect of the pair. The song seems under produced in many ways, but this certainly adds not only to the charm and flavor of the group’s sound, but the sincerity.
The one consistent aspect of the band’s EP is the minimal structure. Unlike pop and indie groups that leave no stone unturned (resulting in a bloated mess more often than not), every note on the record seems conscious, apparent, and useful to the song’s mood. ‘Rooftop Runners’ deserve to be a paramount act in making rock and electronic music greater for the future. We eagerly await a full-length and the continued growth of such a mesmerizing twosome.
Ryan Merkel is a cool writer guy and contributor all over the internet, from blogs on music to magazines about music to sites about playing music. He is currently founder of SunState Investing and is head editor of the music entertainment magazine, CultureTease. He has written two novels, and is currently working on a third full-length novel, surprisingly, not about music. His novel “Splatter the Noise” earned accolades for independent publishing. Be sure to check out: www.sunstateinvesting.com
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