Roman&Alaina
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Roman&Alaina

Sherman Oaks, California, United States

Sherman Oaks, California, United States
Folk Pop

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I have decided that Sundays are a good time to Review random things. Whether it is a great restaurant or a glamourous event, you want to know what I think of things, right? Haha, maybe. Today I am stepping off the beaten bath and reviewing music for you! I am going to review an album released in November of 2011 from Roman and Alaina called Last Forest in the City....................... - Miri In The Village


Indie folk/rock duo Roman & Alaina‘s new album “Last Forest In The City” will most likely far exceed any expectations or preconceptions you may have. First of all, both vocalists absolutely shine, seemingly without flaw. The production and musicianship sound far and away better than most major label releases. On top of this, even for those initially averse to “folk duos” or indie artists who venture into more joyful territory, the sincerity here is infectious and it can’t be denied. These are, without a doubt, true artists who rise above their style.

Personal highlights for me include the boot-stomper “Erika”, with it’s soaring harmonies and upbeat rhythm, and “Run”, which heads into more mysterious territory and could even be considered progressive rock. I would challenge any fan of intelligent music, eccentric, singer-songwriter or otherwise, to listen to “Run”, and try not to sink deep into it. “Hello Miss” is a heartfelt love letter that works because it’s performed with feeling, and this theme pervades the release. Every song showcases both the intention and the superb songwriting of Roman & Alaina. This is a highly recommended release for fans of Fleet Foxes, Iron & Wine, and Simon & Garfunkel.

- Independent Music Promotions


With a new record in tow, a Los Angeles-based couple bring their inspired folk sound to Jerusalem.

Bluesy folk duo Roman and Alaina Wood released their second album Last Forest in the City last month, unintentionally, from a bomb shelter in Israel. The married, adventurous couple of three years was backpacking through the country for seven weeks and during their first week was staying in a friend’s spare room/shelter. They were eager to put their hard work online.

“It’s a family values kind of thing,” explains 25-year-old singer/songwriter Alaina, of the album, which they recorded in Los Angeles, California, their most recent home, with friend and producer Drew Allsbrook.

With Roman, 31, on guitar, harmonica and vocals with his wife, Last Forest in the City offers subtle harmonies and poetic lyrics that draw on their personal experiences of growing up in broken homes, the struggles to keep a marriage and family together, and looking to their more recent past, the joys of falling in love.

“Two people become one and everything changes,” he says.

Most of all, Roman, a native of Seattle, Washington, says, listeners from troubled backgrounds should feel they’re not alone in their painful situation. “Let it be a stepping stone,” Alaina says, rather than an insurmountable barrier to the future.

The second album’s moral and religious themes, and more mainstream tone, build on the more overtly religious feel on Sounds of Prayer (2009), they say, their first album, which features the words from Jewish prayers like “Modeh Ani,” ultra-catchy “Hashem Open My Lips,” and “Oseh Shalom,” and original lyrics on “Birth of the King.” If the first album showcased the Messianic Jewish couple inside the synagogue, Roman says Last Forest is them living outside.

“This is us in the marketplace,” he says.

“We live normal human being lives, we have normal human being struggles and at the same time we want to see the world [become] a better place.”

Religion inspires their music, and is a core value in their lives. In addition, many of their fans are Messianic Jews, but Roman and Alaina, who came to their faith together, don’t want to be pigeonholed.

“People will quickly put you into a box and associate you with evangelicals or something like that, and it’s not like that; it’s Judaism. People keep Shabbat, guys put on tefillin in the morning,” Roman says, adding that followers of Messianic Judaism maintain a range of Jewish practice. “It’s a very complicated movement yet at the same time it’s lots of sincere hearts.”

The couple met in a recording studio in Nashville, Tennessee, while Alaina was studying music at Belmont University, and Roman was being mentored at a recording studio in town. Alaina came in to record some tracks, and Roman’s mentor thought his pupil’s voice would sound great beside Alaina’s. They sang together almost every day, and have since traveled the US, and now Israel, with their heartfelt sound.

Roman and Alaina performed at Off the Wall and Mike’s Place in Jerusalem, and even “busted out” on Ben Yehuda Street.

They plan to promote the album through performances at upcoming folk festivals in the US.

Alaina, a laid-back blonde who exudes warmth, says she grew up singing in choir and dancing, and always dreamed of moving to Nashville, the country music capital of the world. Roman, curly-haired and with an easy smile, says he only started playing guitar around age 21, but says pretty much everyone in his family is a musician.

Until about six years ago, he played guitar and sang in the messianic, retro acoustic duo Meha Shamayim with Leonardo Bella. Before folk, Roman had a passion for hip hop, and grew up involved in Seattle’s vibrant hip hop scene.

“It’s eventually gonna come out in some way,” he says, laughing, of his hop hop past mixing with his folky guitar.

While in Israel, the couple has traveled and hiked all around the country, and as self-proclaimed foodies, say they have fallen in love with the Mahane Yehuda shuk and the top-notch coffee (high praise from a Seattle native, a city famous for its coffee). On the spiritual side, Roman and Alaina have found solace and spirituality in the Shlomo Carlebach- style synagogues they have visited.

“We’re leaving with a lot inspiration,” Alaina says. - The Jerusalem Post


Discography

Still working on that hot first release.

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Bio

Booking:
roman.alaina@gmail.com

Roman&Alaina are an indie folk/pop duo whose catchy melodies and tight two-part harmonies makes them stand out in the crowd. You could try to put their sound in a box, but it’s just not possible – when you have a listen, you’ll know what I mean.

Perhaps this duo is hard to label because they each have such a diverse mix of musical influences ranging from jazz and funk, to country, acoustic folk, and most everything in between. Or perhaps it's because it's hard to label people that just don't stand still for long.

Roman grew up in Seattle and Alaina is from the musical epicenter Toronto, Ontario and when not touring through their two countries, they occasionally pick a city to call home. They recently decided that Los Angeles was under populated with musicians and decided to move to CA to record their new release, "Last Forest in the City” (2011) produced by Drew Allsbrook.

Peppy melodies that include a beautiful blend of instruments leave you hanging at the end of every song to hear what comes next. The lyrics are real, and discuss the beauty in the ups and downs of life.

Roman&Alaina’s vocal blend suggest a singing/songwriting duo that actually likes each other, and indeed, after flirting around some fancy microphones in Nashville, TN the two instantly started writing and recording together and soon got married. They shamelessly sang their own songs at their wedding, and shortly after the honeymoon they released their debut album, "Sounds of Prayer," (2008), produced by recording veteran Leonardo Bella.

Roman&Alaina released “Last Forest in the City” in November 2011 while backpacking in Israel, It’s a groovy roller coaster folk/pop record and the theme is primarily about growing pains, pleasures, and of course insights into what others call their “cute and quirky marriage”. The couple is now back in L.A promoting this new release and writing for their next project.