*****PRE-ORDER NOW OPEN! Vinyl and CDs will arrive on or around May 28th. Digital downloads are IMMEDIATE.*****
"Their songs are eclectic and musical in the purest sense of the word, the way Van Dyke Parks's music is real musician's stuff." - The Austinist SXSW review
"it's full of glistening orchestral sounds you don't often hear in indie rock." - USA Today
"Brooklyn indie rock outfit Friend Roulette pair their dreamy, wildly percussive music with equally feverish visuals" - Consequence of Sound
Got lemons? Sure you could make boring ass lemonade, or if you are Matthew Meade and Julia Tepper you could make the most oragsmically delicious MDMA-laced lemon tart imaginable. In the summer of 2010, Matthew got hit by a bus and found himself facing 2 months of recovery without the use of one of his hands (a prickly pickle for a guitar player). But instead of catching up on the latest in day time paternity test results and class action lawsuit commercials, he spent the time writing songs on one-handed piano with his friend and violinist Julia Tepper. The pair knew they had kindled something special and soon added John Stanesco on bass clarinet & ewi (“electronic wind instrument”), Nate Allen on bass, and Tlacael Esparza and Kyle Olson on percussion.
What do they sound like? Well at one of the first shows I saw Friend Roulette play, I heard someone describe their music as “Parisian”. Now for the record, we rednecks here at Goodnight naturally bristle at anything Franco-fied (ie anything that contains the slightest hint of refinement, beauty, or “terroir”) as much the next red blooded American. But to my surprise, the description didn’t bother me, in fact I found it to be rather fitting. As the night went on the word “Parisian” remained draped across my mind and resonated like an aeolian harp with each note Friend Roulette played. However, I had taken a good deal of angel dust that night, so upon further reflection, I think the more accurate term that Parisian hints at is “elegant”. And not Judy-Dench-in-white-gloves elegant, I mean elegance as unadorned effective beauty, like the elegance of a geometric proof (thanks Wikipedia). Friend Roulette are master chefs, taking only the tenderest cuts of meat from classical, pop, and rock music, discarding the gristle and presenting you with the most succulent tastefully-plated moan-inducing meal you’ve ever eaten. The arrangements are complex but effortlessly digestible; the hooks are sticky without being cloying; the grooves have rock swagger without the stuffed crotch; and the execution by these skilled musicians dazzles without pretension. Their songs are immediately emotionally affecting, gently seductive, and transportive; listening to them leaves me pining for loves I never actually had, lost in cities I’ve never been to.
Record release show May 23rd at Mercury Lounge. Click for tickets!
Playing with the Walkmen at Northside fest on June 15th!