I’ve lived in the land of tulips for damn near two years now, tucked away comfortably in the Skagit Valley, hidden in the northern and western most part of the continental United States. Aside from the more known K Records artists that reside in the nearby Anacortes, I know very little truly local music, which is quite a shame. Enter Marc, a resident of this region and an old roommate from my Pullman grad school days. He recommended checking out Rooftops, a math-y rock band from the Bellingham. And that leads us to today.
“Raft Easily” is a powerful mostly instrumental tune that highlights the awkward angles familiar to math-rock. Employing the clever guitar finger-taps familiar to artists like Pele and Minus The Bear, Rooftops drop in obscure time signatures and highlight melodies that strike a harmonic calm — a rarity for math-rock. This is especially apparent in “Tear As I Fly”, a song that has the experimental instrumental nature of, oh, say Explosions In The Sky minus the plays on volume with epic fits of loud and soft.
In three songs, the only that has a truly experiential play on volume is “Era Falsity”. And Rooftops goes all-out; multiple vocalists shout in harmony (this vocal styling is also featured momentarily on “Raft Easily”). As the vocals fade out, and as the volume increases in all its math-y glory, I realize that Rooftops have a brand new fan — me.
Tomorrow they’ll play their final show in Bellingham before heading across the country on a tour that will take them to New York City and back. All three songs are off Rooftops’ album A Forest Of Polarity, out now on clickpop records.