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SHEI Magazine is a University of Michigan student-run fashion, art, and pop culture publication. Everything from the photography, writing, modeling, editing, and publicity of our bi-yearly print publications and monthly digital mini is created by students who attend the University of Michigan. Founded in 1999, SHEI Magazine continues to produce issues of professional quality, as well as provide real-world experience to students interested in journalism, publishing, and the fashion industries.

Roses and Revolutions: Behind the Next Face of Indie-Pop

Features

Roses and Revolutions: Behind the Next Face of Indie-Pop

Helen O'Leary

Looking for sweet vocals, catchy lyrics, and the drive-your-car-down-the-coast type of music? The duo of singer Alyssa Coco and guitarist Matt Merritt should be your next go to. Born and raised in Rochester, these New Yorkers are on the rise.

Coco has a smooth voice reminiscent of Sara Bareilles, which has not gone unnoticed; her career began in earnest by wowing judges on American Idol Season 7. After her time on the show, Merritt reached out about a possible collaboration and the two have been a pair since. In 2014, Roses and Revolutions (R&R) was born with the release of their first self-titled record.

Part of being a true musician is the ability to notice and appreciate work and styles other than yours. Roses and Revolutions draws inspiration from everywhere: from Lord Huron and Ryn Weaver, to modern cross-genre artists like The Weeknd. R&R even covered his song 2015 hit single “The Hills”. R&R seeks to incorporate everyone from Rihanna to The 1975, Ellie Golding to Coldplay, in their diverse, uniquely-modern style.

Since their inception, Roses and Revolutions has produced two EP’s, countless original singles, and even a few covers/remixes. Their most recent EP, Torch, is definitely a jam. Every song is easy to listen to and I cannot help from smiling and singing along when I listen. Don’t get me wrong: I love alternative, hip-hop, and rap as much as anyone could, but music can and should be purely easy. That’s not to say Torch lacks artistic quality. The EP’s name comes from recurring themes of flames as rebirth, namely within relationships. “Dear My Love”, the final song on Torch, definitely captures that bliss. Other tracks from Torch (namely, “Echo”) take more of a traditional alt rock route, featuring Merritt's guitar skills. These rhythm-heavy tracks will remind you of John Mayer’s album Continuum.

The best aspect of Torch is that Roses and Revolutions did not originally plan on making it. All five songs just sort of fell together under this "common thread", as Merritt referred to it. Their process was entirely organic, and it shows. The music is what they are all about, and less concerned with simply churning content to market. In an industry driven by image and branding, Torch is refreshing.

Marian Hill and R&R from show on 2/27/16

Marian Hill and R&R from show on 2/27/16

If they weren’t already, R&R should be on your radar. Helping blaze the trail of Indie-Pop, R&R has opened up for big names (Ingrid Michelson) and fellow upstarts (Marian Hill) alike. At their recent show opening for Marian Hill, an electronic/jazz duo from Philadelphia, the crowd was not disappointed. Even though the two groups represent the divergent sides of modern alternative, R&R had the crowd’s attention. They sought silence in slower, mellow tunes, then brought the energy on more upbeat songs like “Start Over”. 

From humble beginnings to a future looking bright, this personable and talented duo will do big things. Go check out Torch and their most recent single, “I Won't Go.” You’ll love their sound.