Dream of lazy summer days? The days when it’s so hot outside, and you just don’t want to go anywhere, so you just lay in bed? It sounds boring, but there is a nostalgic feeling about those days, and you wish you could go back. That’s where I envision myself when listening to Rooms‘ It Takes a Lot to Show Up, which came out on cassette January 11th through Pretzel Records. I remember the first time I heard this album, I was on my way to school on a typical cold and gloomy Seattle morning after a stretch of sunnier days. It Takes a Lot to Show Up caught me instantly, and when I finally got a chance to grab a pen and paper, I wrote down “Write about how it makes you wish it were sunny.”
It Takes a Lot to Show Up has a very calm, slow mood. The production sounds a little muffled, but it’s warm and cozy. The songs were written by vocalist/guitarist Beshéle Caron, and features members from Underpass, Bad Fate, Derek Wheeler, Haiku Charlie, SYTYCS, and many other local Vancouver bands. Her backing instrumentation is laid-back throughout most of the album, and features soft guitars, melodic bass-lines, and warm, driving drums. Caron’s voice is most prominent, sung softly and soothingly.
“It Followed Us Home” starts off the album at a mid-tempo groove, written about a canoe trip and getting to know her travelling friends, with a flowing chorus. “Night Games” is pure poetry about trust issues with fantastic harmonies, finger-picked guitar-work, and a slowed-down chorus. As the album comes to a close, the lead guitar rings in the night on “Let’s Play Getting Closer,” while “Arena” trudges the album to a stop, finishing with the line “You’re so scared of the isolation.”
On It Takes a Lot to Show Up, Caron tackles writing topics from intimate relationships to personal realizations, the Vancouver rent crisis to shitty landlords, and feeling misunderstood as a feminist. Her compositions are very intimate and delicately put together to create a very cohesive and intriguing album. It Takes a Lot to Show Up feels like it goes by a little too quickly, but it’s also a reminder about finding closure and pushing onward.
(For the price of 7 Canadian dollars, or around $5.50 in USD, It Takes a Lot to Show Up can be yours, either digitally or on limited edition cassette. Go to https://roooms.bandcamp.com/album/it-takes-a-lot-to-show-up for more information. You can stream the single “Buckets” below via Bandcamp.)