February 4, 2015

Premiere: Romantic States - "Nettles"

Listen to a new track from Baltimore's Romantic States.

I feel like I talk about my college radio days way too much on THE LE SIGH. But bear with me just one more time, okay? Back in 2012, I was beginning both my last year as a DJ and my first year as Live Music Director at my radio station. The responsibilities of Live Music Director included booking Third Rail, which was a historic live radio show that happened every Sunday night at the station. There were big shoes to fill and I remember being a little nervous for the first show I booked as I ran through everything that could possibly go wrong in my head (the bands wouldn't show up, no one would listen, etc). The line up for the show was DEW, Smoke Bellow, and Romantic States. I'm happy to say the show went off without a hitch, but my favorite part was seeing Romantic States for the first time. Their set was intimate, a little experimental, and subtly beautiful. I quietly watched the pair in awe and bought my first cassette that night, which I would play throughout the semester on my old house's stereo system.

Romantic States is made up of Baltimore-based duo Ilenia Madelaire and Jim Triplett. Outside of the band, Ilenia is an artist (who was in THE LE SIGH Vol. II!) and Jim was half of the Wham City band Videohippos. As Romantic States, they make "skeletal, sincere, and lo-fi rock songs" that are highly underrated — I strongly suggest checking out their old releases that date as far back as 2010. "Nettles" is the first song from their new tape, which will be released by D.C.-based label DZ Tapes later this week. "Nettles" features Ilenia on vocals and not much else besides guitar and a slow-burning drum beat. The track is delicately sparse and gets a little unsettling when Ilenia repeats "Oh my goodness" over and over again. Needless to say, I can't wait to add another tape to my growing Romantic States collection. You can listen to "Nettles" below and pre-order the cassette here.


Listen to Romantic States on bandcamp.

Written by Emily Thompson