The trio that is Drug Store Romeos is made up of vocalist and keyboardist Sarah Downie, bassist Charlie Henderson, and drummer Jonny Gilbert. Their aptly named debut album, The World Within Our Bedrooms, perfectly encapsulates a sound that they first developed in their bedrooms in their hometown of Fleet.
The now London-based band get their name from the Tennessee Williams play A Streetcar Named Desire and have their own unique style and sound that grabs from genres including trip-hop and shoegaze. There is no doubt they have come out swinging with a debut that puts across their uniqueness and colours outside the lines to create a world of their own that listeners are free to enter.
And that world within their bedrooms’ is well worth getting absorbed in as it takes last year’s introductory single ‘Frame Of Reference’ and runs with it into a new realm of musical muster. If fans and new listeners liked the aforementioned single, they’re bound to get wrapped up in the album.
Starting with a deadly duo of songs, ‘Building Song’ and ‘Secret Plan’ both great songs, the second of the two ‘Secret Plan’ has euphonious vocals and wonderful instrumentals. Choosing these two tracks to open with was a great decision. They will leave the listener curious as they are not exactly self-explanatory due to the way Downie writes lyrics.
Downie uses a cut and paste method of mixing words and phrases taken from texts and magazines. Many greats in decades past used this way of writing lyrics, like David Bowie, who once famously explained the process in a documentary. This gives the ambiguity of the lyrics a conceptual base that is squeezed into a vessel that still conveys the emotions she wants us to share.
Throughout the 15 songs and nearly 50 mins of music, it becomes evident that there is terrific chemistry between the three members who moved to London in the pandemic. A situation that may have pushed their music even harder as they found themselves unable to do much else isolated in their new bedrooms.
Other stand-out songs include ‘What’s On Your Mind,’ which jumps out a little and has some genuinely brilliant percussion and a touch of climatic flare. Also worth noting is ‘Electric Silence,’ another song enhanced by Gilbert’s fantastic take on drums. He may have created stand-out moments on the album, but there is no one star in the group as they are all extremely talented and work amazingly well together.
Often on this album, the songs merge a little into each other, but this is no bad thing, and we would suggest it’s a record to listen to the way it was created, so you might want to avoid the shuffle button.
All in all, it’s a wonderfully hazy trip into another time or place (or even galaxy) that many music lovers will want to hop on board with. Just relax into it and let the songs take you on a ride through the ether when the album is out on July 9 via Fiction Records.