Tucked away in Kensington Market, Downtown Toronto’s most culturally diverse neighborhood, brothers Jacob (vocals) and Nick (drums), and childhood friends Andrew (bass) and James (guitar) have meticulously crafted their debut EP Believe.
Collectively known as ROMES, the four lads converted the basement of their semi-detached red-brick into their full time rehearsal space. For the past year, the band relentlessly spent their waking hours there, exploring their eclectic tastes in music and ultimately writing the tracks for Believe.
Jacob and Nick moved to Ireland in the late ’90’s where the brothers befriended Andrew and James in middle-school. The four mates began jamming together in their young, formative years - spending school afternoons perfecting cover songs and recording home demos. It was from their early, instantaneous chemistry that the band realized a life in music was something they had to do. The natural spark from this abiding bond between these best friends clearly shines through on Believe.
Believe, out this Spring, harnesses their pop sensibilities into an alternative sound that is completely their own. With soulful melodies and bright, funky guitar riffs playing off gritty synths, tracks like “Tryna Be” and “When The Night Comes” are instant, high-energy, anthemic ear candy. These larger-than-life tunes, backboned by thumping, hip-hop rhythms and disco-inspired bass-lines, put a modern twist on the group’s early musical inspirations.
Believe was produced and mixed by Tony Hoffer, who’s worked with some of the greats like Beck, Phoenix, Fitz and the Tantrums, and M83. The acclaimed producer first connected with ROMES over a mutual love for an irresistible-yet unpretentious rock sound. “We chatted about old and new songs that excited us which led to planning on what to do with the ROMES songs once we entered my studio,” he said. “I wanted to make sure you could literally ‘feel’ the power of the band as if you’re standing in the same room with them as well as be able to hear the personality of each member’s playing.” Hoffer’s touch, along with the guys’ genuine chemistry, makes ROMES the kind of band you want to let into your life immediately.
Title track, "Believe,” is as inspirational as it is addictive. As Jacob explained the song’s meaning, “Everyone has the power to dream and no one can take that away from you. I wanted to write a song to motivate all the dreamers, myself being one of them. Live your life how you want to, not how others think you should”.
ROMES stands out not only for their pop sensibilities, but also for the deeper message behind their songs. Jacob describes, “I look up to artists who document true emotion in their writing and I feel that’s rare in current pop music. While writing these songs, I wanted to make sure I was being real, direct and honest with myself. A strong melody with meaningful lyrics was always the goal”. After all, the purpose of music is to tell a story—and the ROMES’ tale is shaping up to be an exceptional one.