May 3, 2018
Roanoke Announces New Album ‘Where I Roam’
PopMatters Premieres First Single, “Tennessee Stone”
NASHVILLE, Tenn. — May 3, 2018 — Today, Nashville group Roanoke announce their highly anticipated sophomore album, Where I Roam, set for release on June 22, 2018. Recorded in East Nashville at Ten Four Recording Company, the band wrote the album while on an intimate songwriting retreat last summer at an isolated cabin in Harrison, Michigan. Where I Roam draws fresh lines and gives listeners a glimpse into the magic of the trip the band lovingly dubs, “the cabin sessions”. Along with the album announcement, today also marks the release of the first single, “Tennessee Stone”, premiering exclusively via PopMatters. Roanoke first made their mark in 2016 with their self-titled debut album, which showcased their polished harmonies and ability to capture fans across multiple genres. Known for their energetic, affecting live performance, the band will be touring heavily throughout the summer (dates below).
Meeting at a junction of Americana, indie rock, and folk, Roanoke formed and began their journey as a band in 2014. Taking on Nashville’s music scene like many before them, the core of Roanoke — consisting of Taylor Dupuis (Vocals, Guitar), Joey Beesley (Vocals, Lead Guitar), Zach Nowak (Mandolin, Vocals, Guitar), Kyle Breese (Percussion, Harmonica), and John Fiorentino (Guitar) — quickly grew into a close-knit musical collective after endless hours of rehearsal and countless miles on the road. In May 2016, the band released their debut, self-titled albumRoanoke , which won the hearts of fans and words of critics at outlets like HuffPost, The Boot, Bluegrass Today, and No Depression , who described their sound as, “both ageless and expressive.”
Having earned a reputation for spirited live performances, Roanoke has spent as much time as they can muster on tour. “I have fallen in love with being on the road, it’s been such a replenishing experience,” admits Taylor Dupuis. After the decision to embark on a new album, Roanoke took the time amidst a midwest run to get a little lost and see what they could find. The band ventured out to an isolated cabin in Harrison, Michigan, miles from the nearest paved road and cellphone reception, much less civilization. “A lot of my childhood was spent lost in the woods in Michigan, so spending a few days between the trees with my best friends/bandmates was an incredible experience that really helped us discover something new,” says Dupuis, who acts as one of the chief songwriters in addition to providing vocals. During their time in Michigan’s wilderness, the band spent their days collaboratively writing and demoing songs that would eventually become their forthcoming release Where I Roam .
Lovingly dubbing them “cabin sessions,” Roanoke’s members took an interesting approach when writing the album — first, they separated into pairs, or even embarked on the process alone. Mandolinist Zach Nowak recalls, “I walked down a path for a bit, and when I came back, I had a song. It felt like it was waiting there to be found.” After hours of writing and exploring new sounds in new landscapes, the band would reconvene to marry musical ideas and creative visions. “We arrived and had to get reacquainted with ourselves creatively,” said Beesley, “By the second day we were writing in a group setting. By the third day, we were full steam ahead and up until 3 a.m., bringing each other’s ideas to life.” As the days progressed, the members of Roanoke collaborated to create eight new songs. Beesley adds, “I would be lying if I told you that I knew we would come home with the amount of material that we did.”
“The writing process for this record was a different experience for everyone. We took all our distractions away,” says Breese, echoing that Dupuis’s escapism appears to have been crucial to Roanoke’s most recent creative burst. “It’s a very honest record because there was no end goal, we just wanted to see what we could come up with. Everyone contributed to lyrics, arrangements, melodies. Everything.”
Reinvigorated, not only did the band return with an expanded discography, but also gained perspective on writing and a distinct vision of their sophomore album. “Not all of the cabin songs made it on the record, but all of the songs we created at the cabin helped shape our new sound,” said Dupuis. Beesley adds, “I saw each one of us fall back in love with Roanoke by simultaneously understanding how crucial we as individuals are to the sound of this band.”
After returning back to their homes in East Nashville, Roanoke partnered with producers Jonathan Smalt and Jesse Thompson to record their highly-anticipated second album at Ten Four Recording Company. Where I Roam consists of five tracks that explore varied landscapes and sounds; from the front porch of folk into the smokey parlor of rock, the core of the album remains true to the spirit of Americana, encouraging listeners to discover their own new paths and highways. In addition to the member’s already diverse set of instruments, the band invited Jedidiah Lachmann, Carson Cody (Devon Gilfillian), John McNally, and producer Jesse Thompson to respectively add piano, violin, organ, pedal steel, lap steel, and 12-string guitar backing. Combined with Dupuis and Beesley’s fated harmonies, the record highlights Roanoke’s ability to be raw yet refined, sophisticated yet genuine.
With willful hearts full of wanderlust, Roanoke will return to the nomadic life that led to their forthcoming album with a packed summer full of tour dates. Where I Roam is more than a collection of songs — it’s an invitation to lose yourself and to keep searching — using those moments to remember where you once were, and to find home where you are.