Getting The Scoop on Rose Room
Words by Derek Miles (Miles Photography)
Let’s talk about Rose Room. Never heard of them? Well that’s why we’re here. MusicMarauders is here with the scoop on a new duo project that is putting out some frighteningly fresh new music under the radar, yet soon to become ubiquitous. The music is a synthesis fused from the minds of Thomas Lafond and Dimitry Bolotnyy. You may know Lafond from Banshee Tree, a successful modern swing band in the area. Some elements of that music can be heard in Rose Room as well, yet leaning more heavily on the hip hop/R&B side of things.
Bolotnyy and Lafond have been making music together since their teenage years in New York. Eventually making their way out west, Lafond settled in Colorado and Bolotnyy was drawn to the Los Angeles area. After they had both spent time travelling between Colorado and California to record music, it became apparent what direction the music was taking. Both of them now reside up in the hills of Nederland, CO. Which is perhaps the environment that inspired the title of their newly released single “Look High Over the Mountain,” the second of two tracks they have put out thus far.
Upon listening to Rose Room, the sound strikes one as distinctively familiar to contemporary R&B/Hip Hop. We hear this especially with “Look High Over the Mountain." You begin to feel the music as autobiographical after knowing the background of these the musicians. There is a nomadic freedom captured by the lyricism and the mountainous imagery while also illustrating the pulse and grit of a big city (LA maybe?). The essence of the track comes out in the opening lyric of the song “Home is a language I never speak,” a sentiment that conveys a feeling of isolation while simultaneously being comfortable in any surroundings. Sparse percussion and lush keyboard sounds lend a wistful groove, decorated with synthesized embellishments and playful chimes.
Kyle VandeKerkoff is to be credited with a fantastic mixing/mastering job on these tracks. His reputation of artists he has worked with lines up appropriately with the sound here. You can feel the style come through in spades. Kendrick Lamar, SZA, & Dr.Dre are just a few names Kyle has worked with. The whole production comes off really clean and meticulously mixed. Hat’s off gents!
“Fighting Feeling” was the first single from Rose Room and takes on more of a soulful and slinky funk. Stuttering staccato guitar, Rhodes-like keyboards, and thick, punchy bass give the impression as if Vulfpeck could have been the backing band. Incredibly tight stuff, and it’s all Lafond and Bolotonyy here. The spanky groove of the song segues into a contrastingly tense but driving interlude which then releases a triumphantly joyous gospel return, “I know just what you need!” Enter church choir and soaring Leslie driven organ (the layering and versatility of Lafond’s vocals really come through here). And then with only about a minute left in the song, a melody that hooks like the best of ‘em comes and hits you when you least expect it, but wanted it most. That feeling is parallel to the sound of Rose Room overall and is a sign of fresh and genuinely impassioned music, where you didn’t even know you wanted it until you hear it. Rose Room has that “Fighting Feeling,” and it’s just what you need.