Album Review

Roanoke's Remarkable Debut

Roanoke - Roanoke

Harmony can mean many things -- piece of mind, friendship, a feeling of contemplation. But when two voices are intertwined in perfect harmony, it’s truly sublime. With their self titled debut album, Joey Beesley and Taylor Dupuis, AKA Roanoke, have created a textbook example of how that harmony can be arranged in such a way as to soar in unison. Working in tandem with band members Zach Nowak (mandolin and vocals), Kyle Breese (drums, banjo, and harmonica), and Jo Cleary (violin), Roanoke creates a sound that’s both ageless and expressive, one that is so strikingly effusive it practically demands attention on the initial encounter. Their’s is a captivating delivery to be sure, with a wealth of wondrous, wonderful songs that puts an unmistakeable sense of substance into the mix. “Jordan,” “The Light,” "Make Up," and “Without You” jump out of the grooves to delight and entice, but so too, beautiful ballads like “Losing You,” "red and Gold" and “Heavy Goodbyes” strike an emotional connection that further ensure a deep embrace. How Roanoke (who are actually based in Nashville BTW) managed to create such a remarkable and revealing work their first time out remains a mystery, but the fact that they were able to produce this rich, riveting album is not only a credit to their abilities but also to the sense of purpose that drives them forward. It’s unusual to find an album that seems such a timeless treasure the first time out, but Roanoke has done exactly that. One can only eagerly anticipate what’s yet to come. Suffice it so say that for now, this is one of the great discoveries of the year.