♫♪  The Room Outside - The Room Outside

Many years ago, I played violin with the Room Outside’s Karrie Hopper at a few of her solo shows and on a track for one of her records. What struck me about Hopper’s music even then was how she managed to make extremely difficult harmonic progressions and melodies sound like the most natural things possible. I can remember realizing this when trying to figure out how to play some of her other songs and being blown away at how difficult they were, despite their seemingly simple sonics. Back then, Hopper’s work mostly consisted of classical guitar and vocal works that were occasionally adorned by minimal arrangements. I always wondered what her music would sound like if played by a band, which her new self-titled record as the Room Outside finally answers that question.

The Room Outside’s debut record is a lovely slice of minimal twee pop. Hopper’s songs are still as structurally strong as ever, and it’s amazing to hear how great they sound fleshed out with minimal power trio accompaniment. Luckily, the band still keeps things pretty stripped down on the record, which makes the additional instrumentation on tracks, like “Once Upon a Time” and “Heaven,” sound huge when compared to the minimalist production elsewhere. The Room Outside also taps into another trait I’ve always admired in Hopper’s work: the ability to make something new sound completely familiar. Throughout the record, I’m reminded of a million different pop bands, like the Bats and Ashley Eriksson, but despite these initial surface level similarities, the Room Outside sounds distinctly like their own band.

The Room Outside is out now on the group’s Bandcamp. Currently, The Room Outside are on tour and you can find a list of their remaining tour dates on their Bacebook page. You can stream the record in it’s entirety below:

• The Room Outside http://www.theroomoutside.bandcamp.com

Chocolate Grinder

CHOCOLATE GRINDER is our audio/visual section, with an emphasis on the lesser heard and lesser known. We aim to dig deep, but we’ll post any song or video we find interesting, big or small.

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