Listening to Sydney band Rosa Maria feels like sipping cerveza on a secluded, sun-soaked beach. Reminiscent of Allah-Las, Dick Dale, and Ry Cooder, their layers of jangly, reverb-soaked guitar will be the soundtrack to your summer.
Comprised of Broc Townsend on guitar and vocals, Bobby Diamond and Patrick Thomas on guitar, Chris Sirote on drums, and Red Velvet on bass, Rosa Maria embrace the best of ’60s rock ‘n’ roll, psych, and blues to deliver a sound that is uniquely their own.
A jangling ode to rock ‘n’ roll’s bluesy roots, Rosa Maria feel as if they’ve jumped straight out of the 1960s and into Sydney’s pub circuit.
“I had started writing songs a couple of years ago when I first heard bands like Mystic Braves & The Growlers,” Townsend says, reflecting on the band’s inception.
“I showed the guys some songs last year, and to my surprise, they really enjoyed them and were keen to be a part of it. I had only intended to record an album at first, but after we rehearsed, it was clear that we all wanted to play the songs live.”
The band’s swing-infused grooves, alongside Townsend’s dusty howl, makes for a unique listening experience. Diamond credits the band’s distinctive sound to fluctuating tastes among the members.
“I think we all appreciate good rock ‘n’ roll and soul music, but there are definitely varying tastes in the band. Pat is a straight up bluesman, Red loves a bit of reggae, and I personally like ’60s garage.”
Since their first gig in February earlier this year, Rosa Maria have established themselves as one of Sydney’s most raucous live acts, playing alongside some of the country’s best including The Pinheads, Peter Bibby, and The Delta Riggs. Reflecting on these moments, Diamond says:
“Yeah we’ve definitely been pretty lucky. The third show we ever played was on the main stage of Oxford Art Factory supporting The Murlocs, which was unreal. They’re one of our favourite bands, so when they asked us to play we couldn’t believe it.”
Despite their recent beginnings, Rosa Maria have amassed a sturdy following through their consistently strong live shows plus a string of infectious singles including Girl in 507, The Crawl and La Honda.
“The reception to our music has been great,” Diamond says, “People seem to really dig it – especially live. I think the biggest validation has come from seeing bands like Los Tones and The Dandelion show up to our gigs. We’ve been going to see them for years, so it blows my mind that they’re now coming to see us.”
For their latest single Girl in 507, based on J.D Salinger’s short story A Perfect Day for Bananafish, Rosa Maria released a video which perfectly captured the vintage, laid-back vibe of the song.
“I wanted the film clip to match the sound the song has, and a ’60s variety show theme seemed a lot easier than everyone learning to surf,” Thomas says of video.
The track will feature as part of Rosa Maria’s debut full-length LP, Let It Be Known, to be released on December 1st through Oracle Records.
The LP has been recorded and mixed by Owen Penglis (Straight Arrows) and mastered by Mikey Young (Eddie Current Suppression Ring/Total Control), the same duo responsible for Crocodylus’ new EP Christian Syrups.
“When these reprobates barged into my studio on a Monday morning I never expected them to actually make a good album. I was pleasantly surprised,” Penglis says of the band.
Rosa Maria had only one gig under their belts before recording the album, and iterate that many of the songs “have definitely changed over time. We recorded it live to tape over two days at Owen’s studio in Potts Point. It’s a melting pot of all the things we love, and most importantly – you can dance to it,” Diamond says.
In December Rosa Maria will embark on a national tour in support of Let It Be Known. Diamond gave us a little taste of what’s to be expected at these undoubtedly energetic shows:
“The album launch will be our first proper tour so we’re psyched! We’re particularly excited about hitting the road with The Jim Mitchells for our Melbourne shows. You can expect a lot of really shit Instagram stories and most likely footage of Broc getting arrested.”
Check out all the details for Rosa Maria’s Let It Be Known Tour Below:
Thu 7th December – Moonshine, Manly
Fri 15th December – The Grace Darling, Melbourne with The Jim Mitchells, Planet Slayer & Moonlover
Sat 16th December – Off the Hip Records, Melbourne with The Jim Mitchells & The Baudelaires
Thu 21st December – Rad Bar, Wollongong with Velvet Elevator, Maple Moths & The Satanic Togas
Thu 28th December – The Lansdowne, Sydney with Viral Eyes, The Uplifting Bells Ends & Soy