By Lesley Macdonald

Naked Roommate is a side-project that grew legs, a relaxed, inexpensive, creative diversion that was the 2018 brainchild of Amber Sermeńo and Andy Jordan, previously of Oakland post-punk dance outfit The World. They released a six-track self-titled digital mini album in September 2018, which was also available on a cassette tape, which was limited to one hundred copies of course. Ah the nostalgia. Later joined by Alejandra Alcala (Blues Lawyer/Preening) and Michael Zamora (bAd bAd/Exit Group), the fully formed Naked Roommate gained a decent live reputation and produced the 33-minute, ten-track debut album ‘Do The Duvet’. This time we get red or black vinyl and a red-case cassette option! 

First up on ‘Do The Duvet’ is ‘Mad Love’, the first single. My attention is focussed right away on the water drop sound effect used to set a rhythm on top of the bass, immediately you feel like moving. The track is a contradiction, a complex knit of beats and retro sound effects, with an overall laid back feel… That’s probably due to the tone of Sermeńo’s vocal delivery which is ice cool and to the point.

Recently released second single ‘Repeat’ is track number nine on the album and has ‘Roommates’ signature minimalist feel. The synth lead in, erm… repeats as if set to a metronome over electric beats. Yet with each cycle the track builds a layer of sound. Sermeńo’s vocal overlay: ‘Turn up, smell good, repeat’ drives home the point. The song, deliberately cyclical, is about the way people can get caught up in life, in the ‘daily grind’ and lose perspective and Sermeńo describes the track as something to help you get through the day. The band admit that they haven’t been thinking outside the box for this one but it is what it is, and also what it should be. They expect it to take off. Despite its theme, the track still has the ability to hold attention as new and subtle sounds are picked up with each listen.

In essence, ‘Repeat’ is a perfect example of what Naked Roommate are capable of: building an anthem from some cleverly placed beats and a few unusual audio samples. It’s certainly going to get stuck in your head and provide you with your daily soundtrack. Even on the most monotonous of days.

  • ‘Do The Duvet’ is released tomorrow (Friday 4 September). You can get your copy HERE.
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