- 03 Dec 21
Impressive Stuff From Bedroom Pop Merchant
Loud and chaotic instrumentals interlace with laid-back, breathy vocals throughout No Rome’s debut album.
After a number of singles, collaborations, and an appearance at the 2019 edition of Coachella, the London-based Filipino artist has finally released a full LP. The 10-track record serves as a playground for the 24-year-old, as he mixes and matches various elements of shoegaze, R&B and bedroom pop. The result is a unique, beautifully anarchic style.
The opener ‘Space-Cowboy’ is jam-packed with off-beat sounds, entwined with an energetic melody. In the melancholic ‘When She Comes Around’, No Rome manages to capture the pain of heartbreak with simple lyrics and distorted guitar. But it’s ‘A Place Where Nobody Knows’ that stands a notch above the rest, weaving a simple-yet-captivating saxophone around an ethereal backing track. Nostalgic without being retro, it’s a seductive, otherworldly dreamscape.
It’s All Smiles shines when it experiments, but falls somewhat flat when it sticks to more formulaic sounds – the punk-inspired ‘How Are You Feeling?’ being the main culprit. On the other hand, ‘Secret Beach’ tries something new but doesn’t quite land, with the repetitive lyrics quickly getting tiresome.
Even with the slight blemishes, No Rome’s debut remains a fine effort.
Listen: ‘A Place Where Nobody Knows’