Get those chill vibes ready – The Royal Architects are going make your ears dance with their irie blend of rocksteady reggae. There’s a lot of work and surprising elements that went into The Brooklyn Sessions – check it out!
The history of rocksteady dates back to the late 1960s, born from the Jamaican night life, and brought to an international stage by Bob Marley. Sandwiched shortly after ska hit the scene, rocksteady was a step in the evolution of the diverse and energetic genre. Released in February 2018, The Royal Architects The Brooklyn Sessions EP offers listeners a clear nod to its rocksteady roots, all while infusing it with their own North American style.
If you’re beckoned by London’s night life and find yourself in their audience, there’s no denying the Royal Architects’ presence. Composed of Tyler Cox (guitar, vocals), and Brendan Horne (drums), they offer a progressive energy that’s traditional, chill and keeps you dancing through the evening. As Daniel May of the Toronto Ska Festival describes them, “The Royal Architects bring the true energy of the ska revival and combine it with their own unique sound. The passion for the music that they play really comes through in their live performance. It’s something that must be witnessed and not described.”
The Brooklyn Sessions
For the release, The Royal Architects hooked up with some big cats to lay down some tracks in the Big Apple. The recording includes notable reggae instrumentalists from Easy Star All-Stars, The Slackers, and Crazy Baldhead. Together, they make some upbeat and catchy songs with solid hooks.
“Good Girl” highlights the fun, nostalgic feel of their sound, and “Tell Me Why” showcases Tyler’s smart rhymes and hooking lyrics. He is undoubtedly talented as a rhythm guitarist and the bright, clean timbre of his voice suits their sound, but I find myself wanting a bit more soul in the vocals vocals. “Night Howler” showcases their guest instrumentalists: Buford O’Sullivan (trombone) offers an engaging solo, Vic Ruggiero (organ) plays with a bright stride reminiscent of ragtime, and David Hillyard (saxophone) closes with soulful and jamming improvisation. Though at times I craved more variation in the horn lines, their contributions add a lovely earworm to their tracks. It’s a good listen and it’s easy to catch yourself humming their notes throughout the day.
The Brooklyn Sessions has a clean NYC vibe, with a harmonious balance between their vocals and their horn lines. The music on the EP is well-delivered and consistent. Just as well, it has chilled out rhythms and vibes that make you want to dance. You will love their cheeky lyrics as they create a perfect bubble effect between each of their instruments. Their bright sound sets an atmosphere that takes you away to 1960s island life. Oh, and if you’re already liking what you’ve heard, their live performances are a must-see! They’ll also be playing the Good Vibes Only Fest this April.