For awhile there it seemed like all of the great ‘60s
R&B and Soul albums had been smuggled out of this country and sent to England to
inspire a slew of great female musicians like Amy Winehouse, Duffy and Adele.
But apparently a crate of those old LPs were squirreled away in a garage in El Paso. How else do you
explain the brilliantly powerful songs that make up Lovers, the first proper
release from the Texas
five-piece The Royalty?
Fronted by the Nicole Boudreau, one of the most powerful
female voices to come out of speakers since Winehouse first emerged, the band
marries the vocals classic ‘60s and ‘70s
groups with a much more contemporary indie band sound. The result is a little
like The Ronnettes being backed by Vampire Weekend or Best Coast.
Songs like the dramatic slow burn record opener “Bartender” is complimented
perfectly by a more raucous number (raucous being a relative term) like the
energetic “Mr. Hyde.”
The term “dream pop” is employed way too frequently when
critics try to describe any modern indie band that doesn’t own a distortion
pedal, but fits perfectly on a group like The Royalty. The fact that Victory Records,
a label whose roster is crammed with much louder metal and punk bands, was able
to find and sign The Royalty goes to prove just how universal their appeal can
“Please Lie,” “Mr. Hyde” JOHN B. MOORE