Rooftop Runners are a Canadian singer-songwriter brother duo Benedikt and Tobias MacIsaac. An internationally accomplished choreographer and dancer respectively, the brothers are no strangers to performing-arts success, having toured and performed extensively with world class troupes in Europe.
RTR pulsate with dark, moody and claustrophobic lyrics, vocal orchestrations and musical arrangements, better known as Trip-pop. They weave a mix of electronic beats, spooky synthersizers and dissonant guitar riffs which serve as a perpetual backdrop for impassioned vocal excursions abundantly sprinkled with falsetto interludes.
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From the disturbing, opening electro lament, “Streets”, you immediately sense the bare brooding atmosphere and crepuscular ambience set on this EP. The instrumentation is sparse, haunting and hypnotic, similar in vein to the 80’s Ultravox classic, “Vienna”. While the vocals impressively search and soar amidst the realm of space and time, so delicately left vacant by the musical arrangement.
“Energize” maintains the menacing musical tones with it’s incessant repetitive bass lines and phrases, as they sing “Crippled in my youth and I’m trying breathe…”
“Bang Bang” is arguably the best track on the EP. It opens with an almost cinematic intro, featuring a string-picking acoustic guitar riff, coupled with a tuneful and harmonic vocal delivery. Then in steps a big drum beat and a mean, grunting synth undertone, to thow a spanner in the works, supporting the introduction of some devilish counter vocals, harmonies and adlibs.
“She Devil” breaks the spell, having a retro sounding and completely bass dominant monotone arrangement, with what sounds almost like a TR808 drum rhythm. All this is encouraged by an equally nostalgic vocal delivery, resulting in the track’s style and atmosphere differing, in comparison, to the rest of the EP. Therefore giving us a different view of the same angle, so to speak. Interesting…
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The Rooftop Runners‘ new 4 song EP “We Are Here” will be released April 3, 2012, and it’s meant as both an affirmation and a promise that “RTR has arrived and that they are here to stay.” With fervent response from local music media and a rapidly growing fan-base, a European Tour completed and an eagerly-anticipated full length debut album also due in 2012, the siblings seem set to drop their pioneer strand of Trip-Pop at us, from rooftops the world over, before long.
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