In Rooms
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In Rooms

Des Moines, Iowa, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2011

Des Moines, Iowa, United States
Established on Jan, 2011
Band Pop World


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"In Rooms – Accidentally On Purpose Broadening My Horizons"

"Influences can be what you make them. For instance, I spent most of my formative years playing hockey and reading Silver Surfer comic books. I pretty much listened to whatever was given to me on the radio, and was pretty sheltered artistically. It was okay for what it was, but I look back and think that maybe I did it wrong. I feel as if I’ve grown a lot over the past few years, but I spent a long time in kind of an artistic blind spot, that I have to work extra hard to catch up. Despite my attempts to become more learned, I still come across something that surprises me, yet somehow everyone else in the world seemingly knew about it years before me. I didn’t listen to Neutral Milk Hotel until 2008. I didn’t really know who Amadou and Mariam or Fela Kuti were until probably this year, and I feel really dumb about that. Hell, I actually sat down and listened to an entire Lou Reed album for the first time, like, two years ago. These aren’t things I am proud of and very likely kill my credibility, but it is the unfortunate truth.
So, when I listen to a band like In Rooms, I know that I like it, but at the same time I wonder what I’m missing out on. Their style is classic pop with a reggae or world music tinge. However, it is recorded in a seemingly unique way, so as to sound grainy and lo-fi, even vinyl sounding despite being digital. The instruments are untraditional as well, with mandolin and organ being the main ones, as well as lots of percussion. There is even a track, “Chuva” with some almost Parisian accordion which is pretty neat.
Their influences are pretty obscure to me, though, and I feel like just by saying that there is going to be a huge backlash towards my intelligence. They say they are a cross between King Tubby and Mercedes Sosa and, well, I had to Google both of them. The first track on their self-titled EP, “Deves Estar A Chegar”, is a cover of a Portuguese band called Oioai (off topic: does anyone else listen to songs in another language and try to sing a long, even though you are definitely butchering someone else’s language? Just me? Very well, then). So, to say I was coming in cold, is a humbling confession to make. I’m sure there are a lot of people out there who knew right away when I said those names, and honestly, I envy you for that. If that makes me unqualified, then so be it. I also feel like there are acts that sound like this, but maybe I am wrong and this really is a wholly unique experience.
But here is what I do know, In Rooms sounds really cool and I like them. They are way different than most other things I listen to. The reggae tempo combined with the graining recorded sweetness of Heather Young with the bed of unique musicians and instruments provides for a stunningly powerful, yet completely do it yourself vibe. Through all the unrecognizable sounds, though, there is something comforting about them. While the sound is unique to me, there still seems to be lots of familiar rhythms and beats. Vocal and lyrically, they on occasion harken back to 50’s doo-wop. It it weren’t for the reggae beats and world influence, I would say a couple of the songs, like “Pumpkin Pie” or “Sofi Song”, fit in just as well on KIOA as it does anywhere else.
It is neat when you stumble across something like this that is made in your hometown and also makes you want to see what else the world has to offer. It is like a slice of home and a reminder that there is so much more you haven’t experienced. Humbling, and motivating all at once. Also, it’s just good music to listen to."
-Dave Murphy, Des Moines is NOT boring - Des Moines is NOT boring

"In Rooms – The Night Has Come"

"A while back I wrote about the band In Rooms, they offer the unique Lo-Fi sound and world music inspired beats. The theme of that column was that I was almost embarrassed to not be as versed as I would like in their sound. So here we are some 16 months later, and, yeah. I’m still not that versed. About the best thing I can add about In Rooms now that I couldn’t before was there is a bit of a “Zou Bissou Bissou” quality to their sound, which I think is now a super dated reference.
In Rooms Sadly, I feel like I’m less versed. The older I get and the more things I take on, it seems like I get further and further away from doing the things I want to do. Or maybe, the things I want to do and have to do have changed slightly and I just haven’t accepted that fact.
What stayed the same in the last 16 months is In Rooms’ comfortable and chill sound. Their reggae and Caribbean influenced pop shines all the way through their debut LP The Night Has Come. It is a unique album to this scene and a beautiful listen that can soothe and calm, but also has a groove and beat that keeps your attention and head bobbing.
I call the album a full length, and at eight tracks, it is close enough to an LP. However, it clocks in at right around a half an hour. So, it is a quick listen. However, they pack in a lot of interesting sounds in those minutes. They aren’t wasted. The deliberate tin can production adds a lot to the presentation, as well, and makes this project an almost childlike bliss. Heather Leo’s vocals come across sweetly. There is just a waves crashing serenity about the whole thing even when they up the tempo a bit.
My favorite track is probably “A Sweet Love”, the only one carried over from their 2011 EP. But I also really liked the French inspired “Sweet Pretty” and the really pretty “Water Fish”. There is a lot to like and a lot to be inspired by, and maybe not feel so bad about missing out on things. So, let’s take a break together and listen to The Night Has Come and then get back to the rat race."
-Dave Murphy, Des Moines is NOT boring - Des Moines is NOT boring


"El ritmo no sabe de estilos ni géneros. Se pega al cuerpo y no hay forma de pararlo. Eso podemos comprobarlo con esta joven banda de Iowa, In Rooms, cuyo sonido combina cadencia jamaiquina e indie pop con un resultado peculiar: no sabes si bailar de manera cadenciosa o simplemente escuchar.

El quinteto formado por Heather Leo (voz, mandolina, guitarra), Nick Leo (bajo), Dustin Smith (órgano), Ryan Mullin (batería, percusión), Tim Sanders (teclados, saxo) y Fernando Aveiga (percusiones) cuenta con influencias varias; desde la música brasileña hasta la cumbia latina, pasando por el vintage pop y el folk selvático. Claro, interpretado con un acento netamente anglosajón. Escucha aquí su segundo EP, The Night Has Come, y prepara un coco con ginebra o un café cargado. Exotismo dosificado, pop de la selva cibernética."
-Hugo Letras, One Heap Wonder - One Heap Wonder

"In Rooms-The Night Has Come"

"Whenever you hear a married couple playing music together, it usually goes one of two ways-one person is far more talented and makes the other sound like a tag-a-long, or they compliment each other in a way that makes the music feel very intimate and real. Heather and Nick Leo, the duo that formed In Rooms, feel very much in sync as they weave their voices through the eight songs on the new album, The Night Has Come.

Released a little over a month ago, The Night Has Come acts as a kind of travelogue with each song finding it’s origins in a different exotic location. It’s bookended by nights at the Copa Cabana, and in between we get flavors from Portugal and France, among others. It’s a very unassuming record, one that does not necessarily require your full attention to be enjoyed, but rewards it when given.

Their music reminds me a lot of another couple making music together, Tennis. In Rooms has a bit more international flair, but their aim seems to be the same more often than not. On “Wilderness” Nick sings above a sixties garage beat that takes a great leap when a horn section joins in. I would have never expected this song to follow the much more quiet and solemn opener, and it’s that kind of unpredictability that I find endearing about The Night Has Come.

Something for everyone can be found in the songs here, whether you love the Celtic vibe on “Dove” or the straight-ahead Shondells sound on “Water Fish,” The Leo’s have done a great job of mixing it up and keeping it fresh from track to track. The one place I think they make a misstep is on the final song, “The Silence.” It opens with Heather singing sweetly to herself about the complications that come along with a relationship. Then Nick comes in for the second verse, and it just feels a bit off. His singing is fine, and I like his voice on other songs, so I’m not sure what the issue is. Take a listen and judge for yourself. Maybe I’m just crazy."
-Josh Terzino, Music. Defined. - Music. Defined.


Still working on that hot first release.



In Rooms is an exotic-pop band out of Des Moines, IA. The goal of the band's songwriting is to create pop songs that utilize many sounds and rhythms from Latin American music, primarily Brazilian MPB and samba and Colombian cumbia.

The band was formed in 2011 with Nick and Heather Leo experimenting with tape recordings in their home. It was not much later that more members were added as to add a wider range of instrumentation and more diverse sound.

In Rooms released their album "The Night Has Come" in August 2013. The title track from this album was featured on an online music compilation by Almost Musique out of Paris, France. The blog "One Heap Wonder" out of Guadalajara, Mexico said that when listening to In Rooms "no sabes si bailar de manera cadenciosa o simplemente escuchar" ["you don't know whether to dance rhythmically or simply listen"].

As 2014 begins In Rooms is working to expand and play throughout the country. A short tour through the south in January, increased midwest touring in the spring, and a national tour in the the fall.

Band Members