The Rooks
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The Rooks

New York City, New York, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2011 | SELF

New York City, New York, United States | SELF
Established on Jan, 2011
Band R&B Soul


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The Rooks @ Postcrypt Coffeehouse

New York, New York, United States

New York, New York, United States

The Rooks @ Rockwood Music Hall

New York, New York, United States

New York, New York, United States

The Rooks @ Minglewood Tavern

Gloucester, Massachusetts, United States

Gloucester, Massachusetts, United States

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



"NY Bands You Oughta Know: The Rooks (5/29)"

Do you like perfect harmonies, intimate lyrics, sexy guitar riffs, clean keyboard lines, beautiful saxophone solos and vocals that will melt your heart? Well look no further then the New York City-based six piece R&B/Indie Soul band, The Rooks. The band formed in 2011 at Wesleyan University and has been playing consistently for two years all over the northeast.

While gradually gaining the media's attention after the release of a couple studio singles in 2012, in June of 2013, they released their first EP, the funky, feel-good "Something You Can Take". The band delivers rich melodies, romantic lyrics and musicians that could have sung back up for Otis Redding. "Lefty" has you hooked from the first chords. With its soft beats, warm and comforting vocals, perfect keyboard placement and beautiful harmonies; you'll quickly be bobbing your head to this soulful ballad. The funky guitar intro on the groovy and upbeat "You're the one", with its sax-heavy chorus and on point percussion arrangement, makes it hard not to fall in love with this band. They consciously incorporate their influences of Stevie Wonder, Dirty Projectors and J Dilla, while keeping an R&B/hip-hop beat and a Jackson 5 tone in every track.

So get your dancing shoes out, mark your calenders and go check out The Rooks May 29th, at The Brooklyn Bowl. They are the next big soul band to come out of New York City! -

"The Rooks: January 23, 2014"

I guess I shouldn’t say I was shocked at the size and age of the crowd that was out for The Rooks‘ third of four Piano’s Thursday night residencies. If you watch the Grammys or read most music blogs, you could be forgiven for expecting fans to only be interested in bands defined more by their haircuts or who their “producer” credits go to than the music they are making. The Rooks are a complete breath of fresh air in that respect. Their value proposition is simple: Well-executed, well-crafted classic R&B and soul delivered with maximum enthusiasm and minimum attitude. Think the Jackson 5, Stevie Wonder, The Spinners.

Recent grads of Wesleyan University (a school famous for birthing less-conventional bands like MGMT and Das Racist), this young sextet has honed their craft to a tee, playing music that honors its history and lives up to its standards. That their cover songs, like the Fugees version of “Killing Me Softly” or Destiny’s Child’s “Bills, Bills, Bills” stand up as well as they do next to the band’s originals like their single “Twister” or the uptempo “Fall For You” is a testament to just how good they are at what they do. But the best compliment to them of all comes from the crowd they bring out — they bring bodies in the door, and once they’re there, get them moving. I had no doubt that this residency will launch this band to bigger stages — and it already has. The last night of the residency this Thursday, January 30 at Pianos, is sold out, but the band will be at the Gramercy Theatre on February 27. - NYC Taper

"Grand Cousin and The Rooks Play Pianos Jan 16th"

Thurs., Jan. 16, Grand Cousin opened for Pianos’ January house band, the Rooks.

The charged crowd gathered together at the Lower East Side venue. The audience included friends and family members of the two college bands, professional camera men, and of course the regulars of the Lower East Side music scene.

By the end of the Rooks’ set, the crowd was glued to the platform stage and yelling for an encore performance.

The good vibes first began, however, with Grand Cousin. The three-piece band inserted elements of ska, hard rock-driven guitar and funky rhythms into their alternative and indie rock tunes. Grand Cousin’s crowd favorites—the sly, playful “Take Me Out” and the brooding “Let Me Know”—rested on the band’s performance, which mixed ease with genuine frustration...

After wrapping up the set, the band hopped off stage and joined their friends on the floor. The Rooks then picked up on the Grand Cousin’s momentum.

Lead vocalist Garth Taylor incited the crowd’s sounds before the band opened with “You’re the One.” The Rooks, like Grand Cousin, crafted different layers with a solid, soul-funk foundation.

The six-piece band explored different genres. They used Graham Richman’s excellent instinct on guitar to venture into traditional rock and roll; the group also delved into pop R&B with a cover of Destiny Child’s “Bills, Bills, Bills.” The powerful rhythm section—structured by drummer Nate Mondschein and bassist Louis Russo—extended by the additional support of keyboardist Gabe Gordon and saxophonist Spencer Hattendorf.

The best moments of the band’s Thursday night performance were improvisatory. At one moment, Taylor and Hattendorf created a dialogue with voice and saxophone; Gordon created suspense when he played a riff on his keyboard without the backing band. The Rooks also teased the audience with a new single, “Twister,” and closed the show with their 2012 funk-soul single, “Nothing Wrong.” - Pancakes and Whiskey

"First Look Friday: The Rooks Deliver Organic Notes w/ “Secrets” + Exclusive Q&A"

The Rooks are a Connecticut-bred six-piece, currently residing in NYC with their eyes set on taking the city’s immense left-of-center community captive. Not in the swash-buckling sense, but in their marauding for the ears to the city’s heart. Fortunately for us, we’ve been given an early peek at the lush batch of sunny soul they’ve been cooking up for their forthcoming Wires EP with the premiere of their latest single “Secrets.”

Within the very first moments of their slow-burning ballad (lead by the powerful vox of frontman Garth Taylor) there’s an immediate recall, channelling the organic r&b chops of the greats (i.e. Sly and Stevie) but never keeping their influences too close to the cuff. The result is a fresh spin on distilled funk, equally appropriate for your post-work cool-out or your bedtime follies. One thing is clear, the six-man troupe of devoted funkateers has been hard at work on the follow-up to their Something You Can Take EP and it’s already starting to sizzle.

We had the opportunity to catch up with the fellas, delving into the jam, how it plays into their writing, where exactly their influences lay and what we can expect on the new record. Turn the lights down low, set the mood right and get with The Rooks’ latest cut “Secrets” below. NYC locals can catch the soul-strutting sextet when they hit Mercury Lounge tomorrow night. Grab your tickets by hitting the link and check back for preorder info in the weeks to come.

—>>>Purchase Tickets To The Rooks At Mercury Lounge

Q: I feel the presence of some serious soul influences here. Could you speak to the roots of The Rooks?

A: Well first of all, thank you for starting this off by using the words “The Roots” and “The Rooks” so closely together in a sentence. We’ve been secretly hoping for the day when a casual misreading of our name lands us the Tonight Show gig, or at the very least, invites to the listening sessions for the new D’angelo record.

In all seriousness…when we first started performing together back in college (shout out to Wesleyan University), we spent a pretty significant amount of time listening to/covering/geeking-out over all different kinds of soul, r&b and hip hop, but especially artists like Erykah Badu, Prince, J Dilla, and of course those two musical giants we mentioned earlier.

Q: What are you listening to these days?

A: That’s always a tough question to answer since the six of us usually have pretty eclectic listening tastes. But right now it’s safe to say we’re collectively listening to Beyoncé (obviously), Hiatus Kaiyote, Little Dragon, Chance the Rapper, Kendrick Lamar, Lake Street Dive, Taylor McFerrin, Bear Hands & Frank Ocean to name a few.

Q: How does the upcoming record differ from the last? Is there something else that you’re trying to get across with this one?

A: Right out the gate, one of our biggest goals was to take advantage of our time in the studio to create a richer, harder-hitting, and more emotionally complex record that we had been able to in the past. Looking back at our first EP, “Something You Can Take”—our focus was primarily on capturing the energy of our live performances, almost a kind of song-documentation, rather than a fleshed out artistic statement of it own.

This time, we really paced ourselves, putting in the hours on both the compositional side of things (you could cover our apartment walls with scrapped lyric drafts) and in the studio itself to put together a product that not only had strong live-show energy, but also brought new textures and layers into the fold…messing around with all kinds of new approaches to recording, and producing, and “studio magic” to allow the emotion and inspiration behind the song to fully translate.

Q: What’s the writing process like for you guys? I’m always interested to hear how the jam plays into it, if it all. What are those moments like for y’all?

A: It’s pretty mixed. Sometimes one person will bring in a sketch or form for a tune and then we’ll jam on it until something happens. Other times songs are more through-composed and then the group works out the arrangement. This EP represents the whole spectrum of our creative process. The single we’re releasing, “Secrets” was fairly fleshed-out compositionally before it came into the group, whereas some of the other tunes like “Bury Me Deep” and “Better This Way” took a lot of drafts and revisions before they were finished ideas. The former actually touched almost everybody’s hands individually before we finished writing it. - Okayplayer

"OKP Premiere: The Rooks Unveil Another Soulful Cut w/ “Intermission (Wires)”"

First Look alum The Rooks got us hooked to their smooth and soulful sonics back in September when they graced us with the lead-off cut from their forthcoming Wires EP. Today we have the pleasure of premiering yet another offering from the soon-to-be project with the six-piece ensemble’s latest single “Intermission (Wires)” off the EP. It’s bright, choppy and heavily instrumental soul stuff that’ll either make you wanna move or hit the couch and commence the evening’s air blessing, but that’s a win-win as far as I’m concerned. While there’s no date on the new album as of right now, the fellas will be at Arlene’s Grocery in NYC tonight for the second installment of their residency, no doubt the perfect ground to test out some new joints. So go peep the live show if you’re a local and spin their latest joint “Intermission (Wires)” below. Keep it locked for all thinks Rooks and check out their Bandcamp for some more funk. - Okayplayer


Today we're premiering the new EP from NYC based R&B/IndieSoul sextet The Rooks - 'Wires'. The group, known for their "feel-good-down-in-your-gut soul" music, draw influences from the likes of Stevie Wonder to J Dilla and formed during their time at Wesleyan University - starting off as house party perfomers, covering Motown songs. Regrarding the new EP, the sextet tell us: "At its core, 'Wires' is an album about the weight of distance, and all of the ways we throw our bodies against it. As a result, it’s a conflicted group of songs, at any given moment presenting both the sentiments of defiance and joy and danceability alongside a darker edge, a dissonance, at times a deliberate jitter or lack of clarity. In an effort to achieve this, we found ourselves pulling from cornerstones of all our favorite genres, from soul to hip-hop to r&b to indie. The result, we hope, is a record that can sneak into all different parts of your day: the thing you’re just as likely to break down to at the party as you are to blast on the car ride home. And we’re so excited to finally share it with you." Stream below and download here. - Afropunk

"The Rooks Will Put Some Groove In Your Soul With 'Wires'"

Whetting the appetite of their ever growing fan base with recent singles, New York indie-soul sextet The Rooks have just delivered up the smooth-grooving polish of their new EP, 'Wires'. Looking forward to their tour of the East Coast, with 'Wires' the Wesleyan University spawned band have conjured up a cohesive collection of soulful indie-r'n'b songs that will move the listener's emotions just as easily as it will their feet. Effortlessly channeling the boundless energy of their renowned live show - we have had the pleasure of hosting them several times in New York - The Rooks adroitly draw on influences from soul, r'n'b, hip-hop and rock to invest infectious bassline grooves, lush keys and expressive, funky guitars with a genre-defying charm all their own. Singer Garth Taylor's ability to go from contemplative murmur to soaring exhortation at a moments notice packs an emotional punch, movingly informing the EP's lyrical ruminations on the emotional and psychological ambiguities and complexities that come with the vicissitudes of life and love.

A fantastic slice of sophisticated, 'make-you-wanna-move' indie-soul, 'Wires' is the the band's most accomplished release to date. The staccato, swirling synth, jazzy guitar and soaring vocal motif of 'Intermission' (Wires) tale of a missed connection. The creeping bassline swagger, shimmering guitar and defiant emotional spiral of 'Doubt'. The lush keys and and musing guitar of the unresolved feelings and bruised, push-and-pull emotion of 'Secrets'. From the promise that was so evident to us back in 2013, 'Wires' represents a moment of potent realization for The Rooks - a coming of age for a band that deserves to be on the playlist of every music lover. - Next2Shine

"Nightlife: The Rooks"

This indie-soul sextet, formed at Wesleyan University a few years ago, is young and in a hurry, but not in the conventional way: it often opts for patient, seductive grooves. The act has been playing to packed crowds at small venues like Pianos and Arlene’s Grocery, and on March 21 it hits Mercury Lounge with material from its forthcoming second EP, “Wires.” To judge from the single that the group released, “Secrets,” it promises more slow-burning, funky jams that hit all the right spots. (217 E. Houston St. 212-260-4700. March 21.) - The New Yorker


Wires (EP) 2015

-Wires premiered on Afropunk

Twister (Single) - 2014

-Twister premiered on DeliMagazineNYC

Something Your Can Take (EP) - 2013
-Single "Lefty" has received streaming airplay on KCRW Radio, BaseFM Radio, and Rhythm and Soul Radio.
-Single "You're The One" has received streaming airplay on The Wonderful World Of Carmenelitta
-Single "Come Closer" has received streaming airplay on East Village Radio.
-Single "Rita" has received streaming airplay on BaseFM Radio

Studio Singles - 2012
-Single "Nothing Wrong" has received streaming airplay on Pregamming Radio.



A transplant from the Wesleyan University music scene, The Rooks have spent the last five years making noise across New York City and North America, gaining substantial recognition for their debut EP, Something You Can Take (2013), follow-up single, Twister (2014) and their second EP, Wires, which debuted on Afropunk in June 2015.

Hard-hitting performances at Irving Plaza, Mercury Lounge and Brooklyn Bowl, as well as highly successful residencies at Arlene's Grocery and Pianos NYC (second highest-grossing in venue history) have earned them further acclaim, including Deli Magazine's Artist of the Month award (2014), and winners of the 14th Annual Independent Music Awards in the R&B/Soul category.

Thanks to their generous, family, friend and fans, The Rooks are currently in the studio working on their first, full length album and preparing for their summer tour-- they would love for you to join the party!

Band Members