Drug Store Romeos

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This English dream pop trio use retro electronics and an often-propulsive rhythm section to conjure a sound which occasionally nods to that of predecessors such as Galaxie 500 and Broadcast. Partially recorded at their home studio in Fleet — the same area of suburban Hampshire which inspired the early work of the Clientele — their aptly titled debut, The World Within Our Bedrooms, was issued on the Universal Music subsidiary Fiction in 2021.
When teenagers and longtime friends Jonny Gilbert and Charlie Henderson advertised for a bass player on their college’s notice board in Farnborough, it was Sarah Downie who responded. She’d never played the instrument and while her lack of proficiency on it became apparent during the audition, it also became clear that Downie was a more accomplished vocalist than Gilbert and Henderson. She was subsequently recruited on vocals and keyboards, while Gilbert played drums and Henderson moved over to bass. Early gigs in the local towns of Guildford and Aldershot failed to attract their intimate sound to the right audience, and they were soon playing midweek slots in London, at Brixton’s Windmill, to more likeminded souls. The band performed regularly enough to gain the attention of Fiction, which released their first single — the meditative “Now You’re Moving” — in October 2019. In early 2020, all three members moved to London and went on tour in support of the Heavenly label act the Orielles. The same year saw Drug Store Romeos issue three more singles, including “Quotations for Locations,” on which Downie employed William Burroughs’ cut-and-paste method to create its lyrics. The lushly produced single “What’s on Your Mind” became their first release of 2021 and was followed in May by “Secret Plan.” Both tracks appeared on The World Within Our Bedrooms when it was issued a couple of months later. ~ James Wilkinson