Love, loss, and intergalactic adventures surround Trudy and the Romance’s debut Sandman with a vintage hue that marries ‘50s doo-wop and modern-day punk to form a cinematic experience that shimmers throughout the night sky.
Liverpool-based trio Trudy and the Romance make one thing clear: there isn’t a sound like them in the current music sphere. Their 2017 EP, Junkyard Jazz, saw a refinement of sound and consistency, allowing a niche to begin forming for the band. Now, two years later, the band are back to present new tales of woe with their debut Sandman (out now) through improved productions, arrangements, and livelier sounds that pop and shine with a nostalgic haze.
The trio consists of Oliver Taylor on vocals, Lewis Rollinson on bass, and Brad Mullins on drums. Their self-described “50 mutant pop” sound and cinematic vibe make it abundantly clear that the chemistry they all have with one another is as strong as can be. This talent extends beyond the instruments and into the vocal field as well. As Taylor croons to audiences with his signature warbled voice, Rollinson and Mullins provide lush background vocals that will leave any listener spellbound. And luckily for listeners, Sandman has no shortage of dreamlike melodies that will enchant for years to come.
The album opens with two re-recorded tracks, “My Baby’s Gone Away” and “Sandman.” Both benefit with richer sounds that bring the best elements of each track to the forefront. “My Baby’s Gone Away” immediately hits listeners with a bluesy tale of lost love from a man who wishes for nothing more than to find that source of unfettered bliss once again. This theme is present throughout most tracks of the album, but they each have a unique spin on the tale and present it in refreshing ways. Beach rock vibes waft around listeners with “Sandman,” making for a perfect dancefloor anthem that will have one incessantly toe tapping and swaying.
With “Doghouse,” there is a “caught in the rain” feeling surrounding the track, a song that serves as the perfect companion to a lover-less wonderer searching the dimly lit nights hoping for that one special spark to appear. But it’s no sad affair, it’s a lively and robust one. This journey of love is fiery and sweet-to-the-ears, a combination that makes it hard not to dance to. A common, and most definitely pleasant, problem most of their tracks face. “That’s Not Me” is a lovely serenade with gorgeous backing vocals that make this tale of misunderstanding into a beautiful one.
The halfway point of the album sees two intermission-like tracks appear, “Sand Orchestra” and “Lullabye,” the latter being exactly as described, but in a positive way. All one would need to do is close their eyes and in an instant, a dreamscape of Bel Airs, jukeboxes, and late night escapades is created.
“Hopeless Romantic” showcases the trio’s strength: their background vocals. Rollinson and Mullins harmonize gorgeously with Taylor’s ally-cat vocals on this track, providing an overall tremendous experience. “Candy Coloured” grabs the jauntiness of previous tracks and dials it down a touch. The slow-paced nature of the track mixed with the occasional horns provide an excellent modern-day Marlon Brando moment of a desired love. Listeners just might find their Stella with it.
Towards the album’s close, the fluttering impetus of “The Original Doo-Wop Spacemen” comes in with a dazzling world in which love stretches beyond the cosmos. The emotional weight behind Taylor’s slurred yet charming vocals packs a punch to the heart, bewitching anyone who listens. “Blue World” comes full circle with its bluesy rhythm and forlorn tinged melody that sees our protagonist bellow out a mighty roar of heartache. Love is a force that outshines almost all, but with it comes the chance of loss, and this track provides a lively example of such experiences.
Trudy and the Romance are an act that never seem to fail at gracefully amalgamating the booming sounds of the ‘50s with today’s modern and rowdy rock beats. Sandman captures this essence to create a cross-generational collection of anthems that serve the purpose of exploring one man’s journey of love, loss, and the galaxies explored in between. They are delightfully fresh and magnificently talented, and no matter where they go, busy dancefloors and gleaming smiles will surely follow.
:: stream Sandman here ::
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📸 © Chloe Sheppard