Two parts Irish and two parts Canadian, Toronto-based alternative pop quartet ROMES has released their debut EP titled Believe via Five Seven Music. ROMES has taken advantage of their culturally diverse downtown Toronto neighborhood, fine-tuning their eclectic sound in a converted red-brick basement. The band is comprised of Jacob Bitove on vocals, brother Nick Bitove on drums, and childhood friends Andrew Keyes on the bass, and James Tebbitt on guitar, all having met while attending school in Ireland. ROMES’ Believe EP marks an impressive start to a very busy 2016.
The four track release surrounds their pop sensibilities with an alternative vibe that is completely their own. Acclaimed producer and mixer Tony Hoffer (Beck, M83, Phoenix) first connected with ROMES over their 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.”
ROMES’ official music video for the EP’s empowering title track, premiered worldwide last week via Noisey – check it out HERE. The title-track “Believe” encapsulates the message and mission of the band. As reflected in both the lyrics and video, ROMES holds perseverance, self-confidence, and overcoming obstacles close to their hearts. As lead vocalist Jacob Bitove croons, “You don’t gotta believe in me, I know who I wanna be,” we watch our female protagonist as she trains and runs the streets alone, unafraid and self-assured. Jacob explains, “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.”
The team at Noisey adds,”’Believe’ is an indie-pop anthem replete with layers of unexpected percussion and rippling synths. Meanwhile, singer Jacob delivers a topline melody that’s lithe and catchy as hell.”
The Guardian’s Paul Lester caught on immediately and featured ROMES last week as The Guardian’s New Band Of the Week. Lester praises, “The four tracks on their EP virtually knock you down with their brio and self-belief…Surrounded by swirling synths and ebullient percussion, Romes sound giddy with possibility…”
The group’s initial performances in Canada have been turning heads and there are more to come. For music fans in Toronto, ROMES hits the stage at The Velvet Underground on April 23rd and May 4th for Canadian Music Week.U.S. touring to be announced momentarily.
Purchase your copy of ROMES debut EP, Believe, today.