ROMES have been gaining momentum over the past year. Their single ‘Believe’ is getting regular airplay and is being featured in ads on Irish TV. The group have been playing as ROMES since early 2015. They met and began playing together at around age 12 while in still school in Bray. They grew up learning the basics: how to sing, how to play, how to write. They never set out to play a particular style, but as they grew up together, their styles and taste in music evolved together. Brothers Jacob and Nick are originally from Canada, and when their parents moved back, the band decided to follow them.
Even though they’re based in Canada now, the band is still very loyal to their Irish roots. They still feel a sense of attachment to the Irish music scene and keep up to date with what is happening here. The guys are “over the moon” about the reaction of Irish fans, and still find it unbelievable when friends message them after hearing their music on the radio. They are big fans of Irish musicians, giving special mention to fellow Wicklow artists Enemies and Hozier. The band’s debut EP, ‘BELIEVE’, was produced and mixed by Grammy award winner Tony Hoffer. Hoffer has worked with the likes of Goldfrapp and The Kooks, who each have a similar stylistic element. ROMES never set out to make a specific style of music, however they do draw some inspiration from genres like rock and soul. However, they make it clear to me that when they write their songs, “it depends on where our head is at, as opposed to making a decision to sound like something”.
The band gives a lot of credit to platforms like Spotify for spreading their music around the world. They tell me that Spotify has been “massive” to them in terms of reach. When they released their debut EP they didn’t expect their music to travel so far. They are a testament to the power of such platforms to give small artists a chance to reach a wide audience. Specially curated playlists are proving to be an invaluable tool for emerging bands. This reach has led to attention from some of the most influential names in the music industry. They were selected The Guardian’s ‘New Band of the Week’ the day their EP launched and have been highly praised in Canada. ROMES look likely to go from strength to strength over the next few months, and definitely one to watch in 2017. ROMES’ BELIEVE EP is available for download now
Aoileann Kennedy | Music Editor