Hailing originally from Margaret River in Western Australia, and now based out of the musical metropolis that is Melbourne, Ro has only just released her debut single, Diary, yet we’re already quite excited about her sound. Describing her songwriting as, “love songs for people who don’t like love songs”, Ro’s sound fuses poppy melodies, rich production and some beautiful guitar work, recalling acts like Natalie Prass or Jenny Lewis.
Diary is an exploration of wanting to share the real you with the world, a confession that what lies within is not always as neat and measured as what is presented on a surface level. As Ro explains, “I don’t actually recommend giving your diary to your loved ones. It’s just, one can get exasperated when it’s hard to find the right words to say. The point is, you’re trying…wouldn’t it be awesome to just hand your diary over to someone and get the ‘this is me’ part over and done with?” Musically, it pairs an energetic drum beat with twangy, almost country guitars and Ro’s understated vocal style. It might just be a starting place, yet Diary marks Ro out as a songwriter with a very bright future.
FTR: For those who don’t know who is Ro?
I’m Ro. I do indie pop stuff, writing songs of the charismatic introvert. My style is very lyric driven, tending to romanticise relatable word play into an entire narrative in song form. I’m from Margaret River, where I grew up in a family band. I am now currently based in Melbourne’s inner north Bonsoy belt. In my spare time I take shitty polaroids and imitate bird calls. My favourite colour is orange. I’m doing music for now but I just hope one day I get into heaven with my fake ID.
FTR: What can you remember about your first show?
I was eight years old the first time I hit the stage. I was banging an egg shaker onto the ground angrily and in time with the music. There was this aroma of a hot dog stand near where we were playing and I was salivating, raging with hunger. My first solo show wasn’t too different. It was a decade later, I had a guitar, I was a bit taller. The aroma was most likely that of a pub meal.
FTR: Why do you make music? Why not another art form?
I scribble and snap pictures a bit, but I lack the eye and spatial awareness of a visual artist. It’s not like I close my eyes and stand really still when I play music. It’s just a completely different medium, it moves in a different way. It conjures images by using the right combination of words, or a certain way you sing/play the melody. Creating music is apparently for those who like being the centre of attention for a bit, but I don’t think it’s that simple. In music, the spotlight and the introspection have conflicting natures that are simultaneous. To play something that an audience will really relate to, you have to upturn a few rocks in your psyche. Inserting a hidden part of yourself into the music means you’re turning something quite private into a tune and a beat that’s accessible to an audience.
FTR: What can people expect from the Ro live show?
Aside from loving/hating the bad jokes, you’ll bop and sway in your seat a bit. I sing about love, but I’ll also duck in and out about stuff that everyone thinks about and assumes it’s just a lonely thought. A wry sense of humour, rich poetic lyricism, a custom guitar made by my father. Also a kick-ass backline.
FTR: What’s next for Ro?
I’ve just released my debut single Diary and I’m about to hit the studio to start recording the rest of the EP, which I’ll be trickling into the world one song at a time until early next year. I’ve got Big Sound coming up this year too, which is mega exciting! I’m just keen to travel and write and meet some talented folk.
They Listen To…
1. Big Thief – Paul
This track breaks me. I love the delicately morose delivery of the razor sharp lyrics.
2. Kate Bush – Running Up That Hill (Deal With God)
I don’t know of any other song that’s so catchy about wanting someone this much. I’d totally make a deal with the universe to swap bodies with my lover and experience what it feels like for them.
3.Aldous Harding – Imagining My Man
Super beautiful production, I love the references to PJ Harvey. Such raw heartfelt lyrics, but it’s also mysterious enough that I get something different out of it every time I hear it.
4.Maggie Rogers – Fallingwater
Definitely a good choice to walk home to after a ‘succstressful’ day. Her voice is stunning.
5. Joni Mitchell – Case of You
One of the greatest love songs ever written
Diary is out now. Click HERE for more information on Ro.