ROSES - Dreamlover LP

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Dream pop trio ROSES bloomed from the recesses of Los Angeles in early 2013. While guitarist JUAN VELASQUEZ was on hiatus from L.A. darkwavers ABE VIGODA, he met singer/keyboardist MARC STEINBERG at a local gay bar, trading mix tapes and finding they shared a love for alt heroines like Yoko Ono, Julee Cruise and Marianne Faithful. Meanwhile, Velasquez knew bassist VICTOR HERRERA after meeting him eight years ago at L.A. punk venue The Smell during its legendary run in the 2000s, bonding over female-fronted jangle pop bands like 10,000 Maniacs, The Sundays and The Cranberries. They were all looking to start a new band, so the three-piece began recording demos reflecting that love of delicate alt-rock of the ’80s and ’90s but smothering the results with industrial beats, shoegaze guitars and Steinberg’s intoning vocals. They’d go on to get their live legs while touring the West Coast and playing alongside bands like Diiv, Dum Dum Girls and Crocodiles. With the four-song Dreamlover EP recorded in L.A. by ALEX DEGROOT (engineer/keyboardist for Zola Jesus) and released on Group Tightener, the band has waxed their sound down to a fine point. They blend shimmering guitars and power chords with washes of dreamy synthesizers and new-wave basslines on “Florence Girls,” like The Wake taking off in The Go-Go’s convertible. An air of New Romanticism and the influence of the Cocteau Twins can be heard on nostalgic ballad “The Fog.” Steinberg’s lilting croon sails on woozy keys and waves of distortion on “Icicle” and skips with David Byrne-esque abandon over a stuttering beat and walking bassline on pop jam “It’s Over.” With Dreamlover, Roses take up the mantle as one of L.A.’s next great bands.