Band of the Week: The Rosebuds

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Band of the Week: The Rosebuds
Hometown: Raleigh, N.C.
Fun Fact: The Rosebuds formed only hours before their first-ever gig, responding to a last-second cancellation at a local venue.
Why They’re Worth Watching: Night of The Furies introduces the dance floor euphoria of New Order to the melodic charms of modern day indie-pop, all while weaving a cinematic narrative that alternately seduces and sounds a sinister warning.

On their third album, Night of The Furies, Ivan Howard and Kelly Crisp explore the power of what’s left unsaid.

Gloom has largely been banished from the forefront, ceding the floor instead to beat-happy synth-pop and propulsive indie rock anthems like “Cemetery Lawn” (complete with a jubilant “Whoa-oh-oh! Woo!” on the chorus), which would fit nicely on a mix alongside labelmates such as The Arcade Fire. Beneath the warm exterior, though, lurks an uneasy lyrical center.

“A lot of the songs are about something about to happen, and the expectation that something is about to happen,” explains Crisp, who admits to occasional frustration when a listener or critic misinterprets the meaning of a Rosebuds song. But if the themes—which are sometimes wrapped in arcane reference and imagery—are lost on audience members who are too busy dancing or singing along, that generally suits the duo just fine.

“I think that most people come to the songs first because of the melodies,” Crisp says. “There’s a lot of really political content in the songs. For us to be able to write a song that isn’t all message—because I can’t think of anything more boring—but instead gives a good medium for the message [allows] people to attach themselves before they ever get the message.”

Crisp and Howard took the production reins on Night of The Furies themselves, enhancing the album’s methodical construction. As a result, there are few extraneous instruments or static moments. Track sequencing—sometimes a neglected art—plays a crucial part in shaping the album, providing compelling juxtapositions like the sheer disco exuberance of “Get Up Get Out” against the restrained ruminations of “Silence by the Lakeside.” (“We cannot be saved from ourselves anymore,” Howard sings, and actually sounds rather nonchalant about it.)

“It’s funny that people ascribe a certain sound to us because, to us, there isn’t a formula,” Crisp says. “People will say ‘This is obviously influenced by so-and-so band,’ and we say ‘Who’s that?’ and have to go research it to find out.”

With no formula to guide them, The Rosebuds wound up writing enough material during their last recording sessions to fill three albums; the songs that didn’t make the cut may still find a home on future releases. If that upcoming work winds up as satisfying and richly realized as Night of The Furies, The Rosebuds will continue ascending the indie-pop ladder to most-assured supremacy.