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Roger Roger – Fairweather – Album Review

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[bandcamp width=600 height=720 album=1643773970 size=large bgcol=333333 linkcol=e32c14 tracklist=false]

Sibling groups can deliver magic, especially harmony and synergy-wise, as seen recently in bands like Haim. This is certainly true of Winnipeg’s Roger Roger featuring the titular Roger siblings. Madeleine and Lucas Roger’s debut Fairweather mixes country, rock and some great folk on an album with great energy, even occasionally sounding like other sibling groups such as First Aid Kit.

13 Crows” opens the album on a bright note, with some velvety duets and snappy lyrics about the singer’s past. The song displays a great composition moment when it drops to only vocals before heading full force into the final chorus strong. The guitars get darker and grittier on “Mad Trapper” where a hazy mood penetrates the entire song. Organs float through the entire track, adding to every harmony between the Roger siblings.

The sound goes from dark to sunny and bouncy on “Think Of Me,” where Madeleine begs the listener to empathize with the harm they’ve done to her. The percussion and guitar are recorded sublimely on this track but it does suffer slightly from a lack of variety and edge in its writing. “Fairweather” brings things down for a more intimate track that pushes the emotional power of the Roger siblings to new heights. The slow inclusion of the strings later in the track hit the emotional notes right on time, unfortunately the aforementioned lack of variety holds this track back a little.

The band adds some great pop sensibility on “Another Girl’s Shoes” with an instant catchy feeling taking over the listener from the start and begging for a sing-a-long with the post-chorus vocables. “Dead Horse Creek” brings a back-to-nature feeling to the album in its lyrics and appreciates how big a small town can feel with the right perspective. The band starts playing with sections when they slip into a sombre bridge that leads powerfully into a calming final chorus.

Rain appropriately falls through the eerie and Vikings-sounding “O Rainy Day” which is soon overtaken by the powerful sounding guitars and dark vocals. The sibling’s harmonies are at their most striking here, and the track’s mix of folk and ominous sounds makes for a song that feels culturally imbued.” The band jumps back to country-rock on “You Came Around” where the duo throw some Luke Doucet-style guitars over their style. The bridge saves the track with its refreshing variety and the emotional weight it throws into the song.

The album ends on the sad and sparse piano-driven “Scott Free,” where Madeleine closes the effort on its heaviest emotional note. Her oo’s and the powerful chords behind the track emphasize the melancholy vocals and finish the album on one of its best tracks.

Roger Roger’s Fairweather is a strong debut from the sibling duo, with harmonies being their greatest strength, complimented by some great instrumentation throughout. Given some of the great emotional moments and well-composed recordings, the band is certainly poised to deliver an even stronger follow up after this.

The Scene