On a recent drive to Seattle from my new hometown of Mount Vernon, I picked up my iPod Touch and changed the song to Royal City’s “Bad Luck”, putting it on a one-song repeat. The song clocks 3:04 and is only the palest shade less impressive than album opener “Here Comes Success”. Both songs are absolutely stunning, blending a gritty folk-rock with freak-folk and noise.
1999-2004 encompasses the years Royal City spent together, packing within its unique cover casing twelve songs. Being a rather new fan of Royal City is a bittersweet experience; it’s exciting to hear and discover such great tunes but unfortunate I will never have the chance to see the group in a live setting. From the mind-blowing noise-infused folk in the previously mentioned tracks to the minimal folk of “Can’t You Hear Me Calling” and “A Belly Was Made For Wine”, Royal City is truly a must-hear band.
The packaging for this release is unique, with thick front and back covers and a strong but thin black binding. It works well with the minimalist approach, featuring only the barest of exterior labeling in a beautifully scripted font. Add the great music within, and 1999-2004 is perfect for fans of the physical release.
1999-2004 by Royal City is out now on Asthmatic Kitty.
Royal City: A Belly Was Made For Wine [mp3]
[audio:100126-royal-city-belly-made-for-wine.mp3|titles=A Belly Was Made For Wine|artists=Royal City]
Royal City: Can’t You Hear Me Calling [mp3]
[audio:100126-royal-city-cant-you-hear-me-calling.mp3|titles=Can’t You Hear Me Calling|artists=Royal City]