King Crimson-esque Acid Jazz + Grizzly Female Vocals + Angelic Lullabies = Rolo Tomassi
Hyper-energetic sound - Check
Explosive energy with bouts of calm - Check
Super fun - Check
Made in Sheffield, UK - Check
That’s a pretty strange checklist, right?
Here’s a quick game to play on Spotify! Give yourself two completely different musicians, and try and get from one to the other using only related artists. I've found a lot of new music this way. This is how I stumbled across Rolo Tomassi.
You’ll struggle to stick any solid genre to them. Believe me, I’ve spent hours trying to explain their style. When I saw that they only have less than 6,000 monthly listeners on Spotify, I almost dived out of the office window. (don’t worry; this is how most of us exit the building here. It's pretty safe!)
At the time, the only album available was Hysterics. The artwork was cool, so I gave it a listen. I was drawn in right away by the intro track Oh Hello Ghost. This song works as a kind of crash course, summing up what you can expect from the album, which then goes on to over deliver on that promise.
You’ll find that each band member gets a chance to go off on their own musical tangent throughout the album. This is notable in the track Abraxis were the synth slowly creeps up and takes the lead, to deliver what sounds like a SNES style boss battle. It’s these little audio adventures that keep their music fresh and interesting.
Hysterics’ final kiss goodbye is a 14-minute long track called Fantasia. This is one of my personal favorites on the album. Much like the first track worked as a sample of things to come, this track acts as a synopsis for the album, highlighting the smooth, but sometimes unapologetically jarring, transitions between the extremes of their sound.