Bedroom Walls
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Bedroom Walls

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Music

The best kept secret in music

Press


"These Angelenos dub their languorous art-pop 'romanticore' and back it up with gauze-patois and Wildean indolence, encircling Bowie and Galaxy 500 in a Pernod-at-noon halo of earned ennui." (Laura Sinagra) - Village Voice


"A penchant for boy/girl harmonies, arrangements as soothingly simple as they are deftly melodic, and a dreamy, ethereal quality that’s as perfect for Saturday-afternoons as it is for late-night cool-downs." (Jeff Miller) - Boston Phoenix


"Bedroom Walls' graceful brand of 'romanticore' weaves in and out on the band's debut, I SAW YOU COMING BACK TO ME. It's a slow, summery collection of beautiful songs that display the groups sophisticated lyrical and instrumental chops. *Recommended - TimeOut New York



Top 10 of 2003

"10) Bedroom Walls – I Saw You Coming Back to Me

LA’s self-proclaimed creators of “romanticore” released a debut album for warm mornings and chilly late nights. Spacey, pleasantly wandering, jazz-tinged melancholic rock that’s lo-fi with a purpose. The song titles themselves are mini-epics." (Sahar Oz) - Delusions of Adequacy


Los Angeles' Bedroom Walls weave soft singing, brooding instrumentals and sweet sadness into their treasure-y, ambient debut I Saw You Coming Back to Me: a gooey nine songs the group has splendidly labeled romanticore. Moody and spacious, this sensuous collection brims with creepy guitars, teasing keyboards and a hearty sense of irony. Frontman Adam Goldman seamlessly stitches together earnest heartbreak and wry playfulness, mismatching sound with song-title. There's the spooky, climbing guitar in "Landlord! Watch! Coffin! Angels!" the gossamer, female singing on "I've Been Thinking a Lot About Dots on the Wall" and the glockenspiels throughout "There's Nothing to See in the Morning Light." A stream-of-conscious humor dampens the album's hypnotic morbidity: "There's a lonesome sound/And it ricochets off the bathroom walls/And the bed is made" (from "Dots . . ."). I Saw You Coming Back to Me at times approaches an affected heavy-hand, but its whispers, drones and wit make it the ambient-pop set that no one saw coming. (Benjamin Friedland) - Rolling Stone


BEDROOM WALLS
at the Derby, Los Angeles

Bedroom Walls describe their music as Romanticore — approximating (among other things) "the last paragraph of The Great Gatsby...knowing your ex-girlfriend is happier now...sighing too loudly and too often." What sets it apart from typical diary-rock is that this is also music about joy.

Joy is a difficult thing to write toward. Joy isn't mere happiness, nor is it ecstasy. Joy may be pleasure you don't earn, simply allow yourself to experience; it's about surrender. Coming back again to the band's mission statement — "knowing your ex-girlfriend is happier now" — this joy is sad and kind of beautiful, the ability to shrug it off. What's familiar is the willingness to be absurd, refusing to let your intelligence become a burden. Because joy is absurd, joy's all about enjoying things more than you should, be they cigarettes, wind or bedroom walls. Even music. Perhaps especially music. Music has to be liked a bit too much.

Bedroom Walls make that easy, playing songs with awkward perfection; music to dance to like an idiot, in your room alone, or in the opulently lit Derby. How to convey the music? It's shamelessly melodic, kind of ambient, kind of spaced-out, surprisingly clever. It's like your little sister on drugs, insouciant and a bit off-the-wall. It's all these things, but it's precisely them; this is a personality carefully crafted and practiced. However, pop skill doesn't preclude the need to rock out. It's just that when Bedroom Walls do, they caution the crowd they're about to do so. As exquisite and polite as any dandy. (Russel Swensen) - L.A. WEEKLY


This lush and ethereal debut is the kind of moody album to put on in the wee hours of the morning. The dreamy atmosphere and graceful chord progressions persist throughout the record, reminiscent of Yo La Tengo. Having coined the term "romanticore" themselves, the quintet characterize their sound to "the last paragraph of The Great Gatsby" and "an unhealthy preoccupation with staring at your ceiling." And while the record seduces you to lie around, doing and thinking nothing, each track spills into the next, and by the time you know it, it's over and you're lying there in silence. Though I Saw You Coming Back to Me doesn't break new ground, it's an album that persuades you to once again realize and appreciate the beauty of music. (Kristina Francisco) - KITTY MAGIK



"10 L.A. Bands you Really Need to Know About"

In a scene where dance-punk and pop are king, Adam Goldman has managed to find his own niche. More specifically, the man has founded his own genre. Goldman, frontman for Los Angeles band Bedroom Walls, describes his own "Romanticore" in such terms as "the Santa Ana winds, first kisses, sedatives, sighing too loudly and too often, photos of dead pets, and drinking peppermint Schnapps because it's all that's left in the house," along with dozens of other equally saccharine metaphors.

Regardless of how Bedroom Walls try to define their sound, it's simply, originally good. They create a mellow yet intense tone that would make it a fitting secondary soundtrack to the film "The Virgin Suicides."

A sleepy, soothing, multi-instrumental dreamscape manages to oscillate between beautifully sparse and satisfyingly dense, and is punctuated with a blend of echoey male and female vocals. This, one should assume, is Romanticore.

The band is made up of Adam Goldman, a Cal Arts graduate who is as versed in the intellectual art world as he is in music, as well as Kris Canning, Sean Hoffman, Vanessa Kaufman and Arisha Smolarski playing a myriad of instruments ranging from the guitar to the glockenspiel.

Bedroom Walls' soon-to-be-released debut album, "I Saw You Coming Back to Me," was recorded by the reputable producer Rafter Roberts, who has worked with such noteworthy acts as Black Heart Procession, Pinback, and GoGoGo Airheart. With a recent spot at a high-profile KCRW event and several more performances coming down the pike, the album can be expected to make a significant impact when it finally does hit the shelves. Look out for Bedroom Walls later this month if you need a break from the L.A. musical norm. (Lesley Bargar) - L.A. ALT PRESS


Rare is a band so bold to declare a new subgenre – and itself part of it. But L.A. posse Bedroom Walls has done just that for their debut; on their web site, they openly announce: "Romanticore is a term we coined to describe the kind of music we make. Some elements include: dancing alone in your bedroom to 'Love Plus One'; losing friends; trying to cry/trying not to cry." Sure enough, all these elements shine through on the Walls' self-released debut, which is coated with the help of Rafter Roberts, producer of such like-minded bands as Black Heart Procession and Tristeza. As if they were very much sheltered or hurt, the Walls prefer to let their music – swirls of quiet pop, flavored with some trumpet, flute and vibraphone – do most of the talking. - BIG TAKEOVER


Low-key, softly twangy, contemplative in a sort of swinging fashion — these are not necessarily the types of things ascribed to most acts in Los Angeles, but there's always room for surprises. If not quite as minimally hushed as Mazzy Star or the like, Bedroom Walls aims at and pretty well finds the kind of gentle sway-along rock that isn't slowcore but isn't rocking out as such. That the opening song "Do the Buildings and Cops Make You Smile?" sounds more like an end of the evening wrap-up — Bowie's "Rock and Roll Suicide" tempered down and placed at the start of a record — seems appropriate enough as a result. Lead singer Adam Goldman sometimes distorts his voice, sometimes lets it through more clearly, isn't whispering but isn't trying to shout either, and as such readily matches the music on display as well. Many times he just stands aside for the whole band to take over everything as instrumentals, to fine effect. Sometimes the just jet-set/sci-fi enough keyboards add a bit of post-lounge sparkle to the proceedings, not so much trying to recapture a past as refilter it a bit. Toward the middle of "He to Whom Mercy Had Been Granted," as the song quiets down to a few gentle tones before a final full-band conclusion, they're like strange, calm signals from somewhere distant. (Ned Ragget) - ALL MUSIC GUIDE


Discography

All Good Dreamers Pass This Way (coming May 2006)
I Saw You Coming Back to Me (LP) 2003
A Species of Idleness (EP) 2004

Bedroom Walls performed live on 89.9 KCRW’s "Morning Becomes Eclectic. "I Saw You Coming Back to Me" reached #9 on KCRW's album chart, and was music director Nic Harcourt's top recommendation in January 2004.

The songs "Do The Buildings And Cops Make You Smile?" and "Winter, That's All" were popular on college radio.

Photos

Feeling a bit camera shy

Bio

Hailed as "the next breakout group from Los Angeles" by the SF Bay Guardian, Bedroom Walls enchant fans with a voluptuous sound they call Romanticore. Armed with a narcotic grace and a bone-dry sense of humor, the band's songs aim to instruct listeners in the proper use of melancholy. The L.A. WEEKLY says: "Music has to be liked a bit too much. Bedroom Walls make that easy, playing songs with awkward perfection. It's shamelessly melodic, kind of ambient, kind of spaced-out, surprisingly clever. It's like your little sister on drugs, insouciant and a bit off-the-wall." Or, as Bedroom Walls told the LOS ANGELES TIMES, "We just want to make people sad."

Bedroom Walls formed in 2002 when Adam Goldman, Melissa Thorne and Julian Gross (now of Liars) got together in Los Angeles to arrange the repertoire of rainy-day pop Goldman had been amassing on his 4-track (naturally). The group began rehearsing songs that would eventually populate their sleepy, infectious 2003 debut, I SAW YOU COMING BACK TO ME. Critics and fans liked what they heard – the record earned praise for its stunning textures, shimmering melodies, and dark wit from the likes of ROLLING STONE, THE VILLAGE VOICE, and THE BOSTON PHOENIX, and DJ Nic Harcourt invited them on his legendary KCRW radio show for an in-studio performance. (ISYCBTM reached #9 on KCRW’s album chart the month of its release.) The band expanded to a septet and played shows in New York City, Boston, San Francisco and Austin, where they wowed industry-types and lone star hipsters at last year’s South-By-Southwest Festival.

Now comes Bedroom Walls' breathtaking sophomore album, ALL GOOD DREAMERS PASS THIS WAY (Baria Records). Produced by Rafter Roberts (Sufjan Stevens, Fiery Furnaces, Black Heart Procession, Castanets) and mixed by Joe Chiccarelli (Beck, U2, Rufus Wainwright, American Music Club, Journey), the record finds the band indulging both its melodic gifts and its love of ornate instrumentation. Goldman says he was trying to capture the epic schizophrenia of his high school mix tapes: "When you're a kid, you just love what you love without thinking too hard about classifications or sub-genres. So, I would make myself these mix tapes with a Squeeze song followed by a Pink Floyd song, followed by a Smiths song followed by Led Zeppelin. I found one of these tapes when we were starting to arrange this record and I loved the crazy internal logic of it. I wanted to get all of that – the anglo-pop of Squeeze, the mythic bombast of Led Zeppelin, the druggy sprawl of Floyd, the teenage narcissism of the Smiths."

After recording ALL GOOD DREAMERS, the band underwent another transformation, paring itself down to an essential foursome of Goldman, Thorne, Donna Coppola and Jeff Kwong. The sound is more intimate onstage, allowing for the details and nuances to shine through the lull and hush. It’s really just a continuation of the mission: to craft a sound that hints at the darker side of beauty and the lighter side of knowing your ex-girlfriend is happier now. Romanticore is spreading beyond Los Angeles to a suburban bedroom near you. It’s going to start showing up in the eyes of people you think you know, as sad and lovely as the sun setting through smog.