Sydney duo Royel Otis released their new EP, Bar & Grill, today, a beautiful collection of six melancholic slices of guitar-pop.
The group’s sweet sound recalls that wonderful era of indie in the late noughties, when bands like The Drums, Girls, and Beach Fossils forlornly captured the agony and ecstasy of having your youth slip through your fingers, before you’d even realised it was happening; the sound of those times when the air was filled with the smoke of too many half-finished cigarettes, the sky was just turning a hazy pink, and all you had to think about was meeting friends and making music.
To put it another way, it’s easy to imagine Royel Otis fitting expertly into the Captured Tracks roster in another time and place. Bar N Grill is filled with crisp guitar lines and enveloping melodies, always accompanied by welcomingly carefree vocals.
All six tracks on the EP are strong, but standouts include new single ‘Bull Breed’ and ‘Oysters In My Pocket’, which has racked up massive streaming figures on Spotify and was also remixed by fellow Sydney band The Lazy Eyes.
“Bar N Grill was having a ‘run with whatever feels good’ attitude in the studio. Whatever will be, will be and we be happy with the outcome. A nostalgic stream of consciousness from loose and invincible times of ignorance,” the band says about the EP.
If you want to catch these rising stars of Australian indie live, they’ll be supporting Teen Jesus and the Jean Teasers throughout August and September, before they head to Europe later this year (full dates here).
To celebrate the release of their new EP, we caught up with Royel Otis as part of our Get To Know series to find out more about their lives and music.
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Royel Otis’ Bar N Grill is out now via OURNESS and House Anxiety.
How did your artist name come about?
We just mashed our first names together.
How would you describe your music to your grandma?
In Morse code on her coffin.
Tell us about a few of your tracks; their titles and what they’re about?
‘Bull Breed’ is acting like you’re unstoppable and an over confident young fool due to extracurricular activities.
‘Oysters In My Pocket’ is pretending you’re classier than what you are.
‘Days In The Dark’ is the feeling the next morning.
What do you love about your hometown?
The beaches and the family that are still there.
Career highlight so far?
So far the highlight has been watching how people respond to the songs and hearing they’ve actually heard of us.
Fave non-music hobby?
Binging new food and films.
What’s on your dream rider?
Prawn dumplings, BBQ Pork Rice Noodles, Calamari, Sesame Prawn Rolls, Combination Dumplings, and Soy Sauce Pan Fried Noodles. All of the above doused in Soy Sauce with a dash of chilli.
Dream music collaboration?
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
In Tokyo smoking too many ciggies over a game of pool.
What’s your go-to karaoke song?
Anything from the Romeo And Juliet soundtrack.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
An old Texan man told me a few years ago that you gotta know when to hold ‘em, know when to fold ‘em, know when to walk away and know when to run.
What’s one obsession you have that no one would guess after listening to your music?
Anime, Korean BBQ, and horses.