Hampshire trio Drug Store Romeos have shared their new single ‘Secret Plan’, the first taste of their upcoming debut album The World Within Our Bedrooms.
‘Secret Plan’ was written during the first lockdown when the only time I could write was between 2am-7am because I live with 12 very noisy people,” lead singer Sarah Downie explains. “I wanted to make a purple song so I turned off all lights apart from my colour changing bulb which I made a magenta purple. It was pitch black outside so I was totally immersed. The light guided me in the choice of tonality, and my situation and setting must have influenced the rhythm and notes. I think it turned out pretty purple.”
Anybody with synesthesia will surely understand. The rest of us can only imagine. I don’t really know about “purple”, so I’ll try and describe the song in other ways. The Casio-adjacent rinky-dink keyboard and bobbing bass at the jump make it sound like we’re in for another boring bedroom pop snoozer. But the band kick up the tempo and get moving pretty quickly, and once Downie’s dreamy vocals enter the mix, ‘Secret Plan’ starts taking shape as a driving rocker.
Then, right when you’re comfortable, the song changes again to a wavvy, disco-flavoured drawl in the chorus. Insistent rhythms give way to supremely chill hi-hat patterns and a surprisingly busy bass line.
As if that wasn’t enough, the song then goes into a bridge section that’s basically a cowboy shuffle. I’ll put it this way: I went into ‘Secret Plan’ thinking I knew what to expect. And every time I think I had it figured out, the band switched it up on me. That takes confidence, gall, and a certain trickster energy that I became more and more fond of as I kept listening and relistening. As a pop song, it’s maddeningly inconsistent, as if the band refuses to hand you an easy hook. But as an active listening experience, it was the most unique and enjoyable song I’ve heard all day. Probably all week.
If every song on The World Within Our Bedrooms is this challenging and interesting, then Drug Store Romeos are truly a band to keep your eye on. I’m not sure if I’m a converted fan, but I’m very intrigued and eager to hear what the band put out next.
Listen to ‘Secret Plan’ down below. The World Within Our Bedrooms is set for a June 25 release.