Most of last year, I was a regular at Bardot’s weekly free-with-RSVP It’s a School Night showcase. I often went without knowing any of the bands that were playing and more often than not walked away with some new tunes to look up when I got home. Few nights fit that description better than when I saw indie rockers Riothorse Royale (known then simply as Riothorse) back on December 1.
Comprised of LA’s Madi Diaz and NYC’s Emily Greene (along with Tegan & Sara drummer Adam Christgau drumming), Riothorse Royale might have added the “Royale” part to avoid confusion with Swedish metal band Riothorse. I know when I got home from their Bardot set, I was disappointed to find metal music when I looked them up on Spotify. Diaz herself released an extremely poppy album Phantoms last fall, but what you’ll find from her band with Greene is something grounded more indie rock jam-band, with their vocal layering resembling something rather close to fellow LA indie darlings Warpaint.
On Twitter, you’ll find indie rock queen Liz Phair refer to this group as Joy Division meets The Raincoats.
The single “Rabbit Hole” was the first song that caught my attention during their brief set at Bardot and I’ve been trying to catch them ever since. They recently opened for Eternal Summers at The Echo last month as well as for Other Lives back in March at Club Bahia and at The Roxy opening for Waters a few months earlier, where we shot a couple photos of them.
The way these two trade lines in verses on the track “You’re Still Here” has a certain ’70s-feel to it — their vocals the focal point of a song with minimal instrumentation.
You can catch Riothorse Royale every Monday in September at The Satellite. I promise if you catch one of their sets early in the month, you’ll probably want to return for at least a second helping. They’re that good. Don’t believe me? Check out their EP The Guest House below:
Words: Mark E. Ortega