Updated: Jul 18, 2018
Alyssa Coco and Matt Merritt have been playing music together for almost 10 years. But, it wasn’t until 2014 that the pair decided to turn their musical chemistry into a solo project. Without even releasing a full-length record, Roses & Revolutions has a social media following of over ten thousand.
Their indie-pop vibe has caught the
Photo via Facebook attention of national acts such as Kaleo, The Head and the Heart, Lucius and now, Run River North. They recently announced they’re joining the three-piece group on some Midwest dates.
Thankfully, the pair will be stopping at a familiar place while on tour. Coco and Merritt are natives of upstate New York and started playing together in the local scene in 2009.
“Our family in New York rarely gets to see us play so it’s nice that they’re going to come out,” she said. “Brooklyn will be really fun.”
The success of their latest single, “Get That Feeling,” has been turning heads. If you're skeptical about attending a live show, don't worry, because It’s not going to be just a singer-songwriter acoustic show. There are synths, a bunch of other electronic instruments we don’t know the names of, and drums in addition to Merritt’s shredding ability and Coco’s mesmerizing voice. Photo by Rock NYC Live and Recorded
“If you go to see a live show, it’s not just the two of us. We have a drummer, a lot of synths too,” said Merritt. “I think a lot of people hear our name or see a picture and think oh, it’s a singer-songwriter duo like The Civil Wars, and it’s not that at all. Alyssa is really working the crowd and jumping around and having fun. Plus, she’s the only singer in the show. So, if you go see a show, it’s definitely not guy and girl harmonies, singer-songwriter duo stuff. It’s her leading the way, and the band supporting her.”
Their latest single is a perfect example of this. “Get That Feeling” is the perfect song to run to, dance to, stare out a car window and pretend you’re in a music video, etc. You get the picture.
“We were kind of locking ourselves away and writing as much as we could and demoing out every idea we had,” said Merritt. “‘Get That Feeling’ started out as a voice memo on a phone with the opening line, and we just kept developing it from there. It’s really about experiencing the feelings again, nostalgic and being a kid again.” Although there are only a couple of recorded versions of their songs available on the web, they’ve been testing new songs at live shows, and apparently, the crowds have been reacting well to them.
“We have an EP in the works, and it’s just about done,” he said. “It should be out late spring, early summer release. It’s a lot of new songs and stuff that we’ve been playing live. We’re just really excited to get it out to our fans and followers.”
If you’ve listened to all of their released music, it’s a bit hard to describe because there are so many unique sounds involved but definitely somewhere in the dream-pop/electronic lane. By the way, check out their cover of The Weekend’s Photo by Kirt Upra “The Hills.” We aren’t saying it’s better than the original, but we’re saying it’s better than the original.
“We’ve always written real well together. Like for ‘Get That Feeling’ and ‘The Pines,’ I wrote most of the lyrics,” said Merritt. “Alyssa wrote the melodies. That’s how we’ve been working lately. Songs sometimes just starts with a guitar riff or a piano part or just a lyric idea. We are together 24/7, so whether we’re driving a car, we’re just always working on these. “
Coco agreed, “We do work a lot in the car. We will just turn off the radio, and I think that’s mainly because they’re no distractions, you know, but the driving part,” she joked. “Other than that, there are no distractions. You can’t get on your phone. You can’t get on TV. You literally just sit there and write melodies and lyrics; it’s very focused.”
Roses & Revolutions didn’t have an easy start. No one could deny their talent, but record labels weren’t sure of what to think with their eclectic sound. With the industry being so genre-driven, higher-ups weren’t sure where to place them.
“In our experience, we found that people who care the most about lanes are the people who are in the industry,” said Merrit.
“Whether it be the editorial people at streaming services, agents, and labels, they seem to dwell more on this is too pop or this is too alternative. But, when we do shows, like with Verite who is more electronic pop or Maniteek Commune who is complete EDM, it was a really cool show, and we went well together. Then we've done shows with Kaleo who does organic rock and just seeing the audience filled with people who just want to hear music and have a good time. They’re open to a live concert almost being a playlist. That’s just what we’ve experienced touring. They want to hear things they like. It doesn’t matter if the first band is a little more electronic.”
Throughout this experience, they’ve gotten stronger. Their careers kicked off when the duo independently released “The Pines,” and watched it skyrocket on Spotify, catching the attention of Nettwerk Records. To this day, Merrit said that song will always hold a special place in his heart.
“’The Pines’ we released just the two of us,” he said. “It was a time where a lot of people in the industry were talking to us, but nobody would commit. So it was a very frustrating time, but the two of us decided to put it out on our own, and then it caught the momentum, and that’s how we got signed to a label. It validated that we could do it on our own. So that’s a special song for me."
Coco added on, “When we would go to a label, they were like you should go more pop, more country, it was so random but people were very specific about genres. They really are getting blended these days. For example, Bishop Briggs, she’s got urban hip-hop elements, with alternative, with rock—it’s very interesting. Then some of her melodies are very pop. Even now, with being signed, it’s really important to us to stick to a lane, but we do like to experiment.”
We’re jealous we haven’t gotten to see this experimentation on stage yet, so if they’re coming to a city near you, you better check it out so we can live vicariously through you.
“When people come out, we want them to have a really good time,” Merritt said. “There are messages in some songs we try to get across, but overall, sometimes it’s a Monday or Tuesday night. Our goal is just for everyone to have a really great time.”
You can find Roses & Revolutions here!