December 8th sees the release of roves’ 6th single (or 5 singles and one EP to be precise), i’m on your side. Since resuming indie music blogging (I contributed to a couple of hard print punk fanzines back in the early days of the genre), one of the bands I’ve discovered which have given me a true rosy glow, and a lasting genuine pleasure is Reading based roves.
I feel roves have just a perfect sense of emotion in their melodic, thoughtful and slightly depressed tunes. As well as the right twist of jingle in the guitars, a nice languid beat, lead singer Ethan Morgan has a voice of rare elastic; deep as a cenote, and imploringly expressive.
Here with i’m on your side, Ethan rather reigns in the range in his vocals and sings in a slightly understated lowkey way. Shoegaze is not the word but it’s kind on that way. Behind Ethan, the roves guys have produced a lush landscape of rolling hills; a rich pasture.
There is a serious reassurance within the song; I know you feel anxious but always know I’m on your side. It’s the musical equivalent of your big brother giving you a hug. Who doesn’t need that sometimes?
I think if it were released during the early days of roves I suspect this track would have a few more rocky peaks, but here the lads seem intent on producing something a tad more evenly confident and firm. Overall there is an understated confidence. If you like your songs melodic and thoughtful then roves are for you.
Behind Ethan (vocal and guitar) is Connor Coutts (guitar), Ellis Morgan (bass and vocals) and Matt Jamieson on drums. It is worth mentioning that you should not confuse these roves with those London boys The Roves. Really rather curiously I caught The Roves live just 24 hours ago, as they are currently touring with the rock majesty of Primal Scream. Not to criticise The Roves, but my preference is upon these really rather more unique roves.
In my world, roves would already be one of those bands thought to be the next big thing (oh to own a record label). While roves are not yet spoken about in those terms, they have made steady gains and have achieved a respectability and permanence in music. Most recently, roves have recorded a set for BBC Introducing, and completed some well received summer festival gigs. There is a new EP in the works too.
Live roves tend to perform either around Reading (so sadly I’ve not yet had chance to catch the band). Some lucky souls will be able to see roves at a BBC Introducing event at Reading’s Purple Turtle on December 28th.
* Images taken from the band’s social media. No attribute available.