Released: 9th July 2021
It only takes a few short seconds of the opening track to ascend to the particular world that London-via-Fleet trio Drug Store Romeos have created in their debut record, a warm hug of an album in a time when we could all do with one. Like Alice popping through the looking glass, ‘The World Within Our Bedrooms’ seems to exist in a world that’s close to but parallel to this one – a realm of opposites where the organic meets the scientific, where light meets dark and becomes something entirely new.
It manages the trick of sounding deceptively simple at times, but it is instead intricately pieced together. Each track builds on what has come before, additional layers slotting into place to create an entire mood that surrounds you. There are soft explosions of vivid colour like paint dropped into water, the oblique lyrics acting as guides to what’s going on rather than anything more prescriptive. Sarah Downie’s voice is almost treated as an instrument, so delicate and precise is her vocal style – some tracks feel like she could float away at any given moment. The synths and basslines may swirl and caper like sprites in the wind, but equally there’s a surprisingly crisp edge to tracks like the Pixies-on-half-speed ‘Vibrate’. Meanwhile the woozy shoegaze of ‘Adult Glamour’ hints tantalisingly at where the band could head next.
It’s sometimes code for ‘a bit difficult’ to say that a record rewards repeat listens, but ‘The World Within Our Bedrooms’ contains so much beauty and subtle colours that it demands a return trip to make sure every inch of it is explored thoroughly. You’ve got to hope they’re ready for the world to crash into their rooms, because that’s the only way this is all heading.