Raleigh, NC’s The Rosebuds have been perfecting their dour pop songs since 2001 when the duo of Ivan Howard and Kelly Crisp got married. They met in college after Ivan broke both his arms, ending his basketball career. After nuturing their relationship with rock shows and literature, the couple married and set off to pursue music together. Their music is sown with their affection for each other and they infuse their melancholy tones with hopefulness.
2003’s debut The Rosebuds Make Out was lush and exciting at times with its nod to shaky 60s garage pop, but the record was unbalanced. This year, the band has struck with two releases that cement their pop sound as at once lovey-dovey and disaffected.
Unwind, a 6 song EP released earlier this year, hinted at a softer sound. Acoustic guitars took center stage and Ivan Howard’s voice settled into the quieter, brokenhearted mood with ease.
It is their new full-length, Birds Make Good Neighbors, that brings their sound together. Guitars are louder; keyboards nestle in the sound better and the drums are louder and more solid. And, as on Unwind, their voices lay comfortably in the mix. With the new album, they have created some perfect southern indie pop in the tradition of R.E.M., Archers of Loaf, and The Judybats.
[This piece appeared in All the Rage]