Rome Hero Foxes – I/O EP (Review)

One of our Depth family on Twitter (Hi Liliana!) shared that Rome Hero Foxes were a band we should have a listen to. We have since learned that Rome Hero Foxes are four guys from Houston, Texas. Specifically C.J. Burton on vocals and rhythm guitar, Michael Fox on lead guitar, Adrian Romero on drums and Andrew Hagan on keys and guitar. We’ve learned they sound great, as well as have an adorable music video featuring a smiling doggo, so we had to check them out.

Rome Hero Foxes most recently have released an EP I/O, with previous releases being For When You’re Falling Backwards, Hunters and Demons and a B-side Communication. We’ve decided to review I/O, released 27th January.

The first track on I/O is “Falling so in Love With You”. My first listen was in conjunction with its very sweet and innocent music video, featuring a dog that was held in a shelter and a story about it. Regardless of the dog, the song itself is sweetness and light, with a dusky romantic melody, rose-tinged percussion, and heartfelt vocals. The song feels like desperately seeking the love from another, and it not necessarily being forthcoming. A small glimmer of something from the girl in question explodes into a fantastical experience of love within them; the intensity of it being overwhelming. It is beautifully done and if you listen closely you can hear the tugging at your heart.

“Cause when she smiles, mine won’t go away
Leave me for days babe, forever it stays
When she meets my lips, it’s so hard to breathe
Don’t leave me alone, cause I’ll start to think”

 

“Airport” is second on the EP and has a similarly easy and light feel to it that was in the first track. The flowing of the vocals as well as keys, melodic accents, and cooed harmonies really amp up a sense of fantasy and dreaminess. “Airport” is an outpouring of heart angst, relating to separating from a lover, with no permanence being part of their world (yet). This flow of coming and going may just be how it is for these lovers for now, but it’s not easy on them.

“And now that you are gone this bed sits empty as a pocket
Bearing nothing more than old and useless change that is just waiting
To be spent on something more than just a ticket on some plane
That I’ll be back home before we know it
I’ll be back home before you know it”

I’m already enjoying floating away with Rome Hero Foxes, no matter the subject matter. We’re being let into heart-held confusions that have poured into song.

“It’s Only Bad If It Feels Right” is third in the EP, and before it begins, I’m already curious where I’m going to be taken to next on this I/O journey. Eclectic percussive effects add some depth to the sound, which feels similarly dreamy and melodic to the other two tracks on the EP, but also carries a sense of conflict and tension.

“Love never felt so cruel and freezing
I guess you thought it’d feel warmer if you leave
And let my little hope die starving
I knew you wouldn’t be different than my first time”

The meandering vocals as well as warmth in the combination of gentle guitar and harmonies builds a picture of being pulled in so many directions; hurt, concern, self-annoyance, grief. This heart is weary.

The next track,”To Be In Someone Else’s Arms” gave me goosebumps and made me a little teary very quickly into it. The chill of loneliness blankets the track and the pain is almost unbearable to certain deep-feeling music writers. This is such a beautifully real song, with vocals that are angelic, and also feel like they’re trying to fade away.

“And you won’t know
If you’re vulnerable
And oh no one knows
How it feels to show that in my eyes
You’ll find me sleepless all night long, alone, gone, oh”

Let that lump in your throat sit there while this track washes over you, nudging at all the parts within you that resonate with this sense of loss and isolation. As the song closes, there is a tiny sliver of hope that’s barely there.

The fifth track is “When We’re Older”. Its dreamy escapist melody is light from the beginning, but the introspection feels pointed more than flowing. Without so much as a breath we are lulled into this introspective tangledness as well; thinking so much, wondering if there is any possibility, dreaming of that possibility and trying to will it into creation at some point.

“Should I leave off with, “Maybe call me?”
Or is that too much to be asking?
I just feel so fucking stupid that we took it all for granted
Abandoned all the love we felt outside”

The last track on I/O is “Falling out of Love With You”; a very noticeable title-mate of the first track and also making the EP title make sense. (Duh) If you don’t ache already along this Rome Hero Foxes journey, maybe you will now.

“I should’ve seen this coming
I always feared the lonely road and where it’d take me
I’m always falling in love with what’s not meant to be”

There is a heaviness here, of unrequited dreams, of heart vibrations not matched up, but it feels like an acceptance too, at least a little.

We are so far from where we began with the sweet doggo and dreamy wistfulness, having wrestled with the weight of reality along the way, fighting for the heart to stay in one piece. This EP is such a tender trip. A heart presented on a platter, unapologetically: “Look at how I feel”, “Look at how I fall”, “Look at how I hurt”. It’s beautifully and honestly done and a sweet companion for lovers of love, and dreamers of love.

Let these songs wrap around you and touch your heart by streaming I/O EP via Spotify.

 

Kel Burch

Creator and caretaker of Depth Mag, Kel uses her superpowers of empathy, word-weaving, and feeling everything deeply, to immerse herself in music before returning to reality to write about her experience with it.

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