Tuesday, December 6, 2011


Recently, my good friend from Notre Dame told me about a band he had seen live on campus called Ratboy.  Thinking I'd be into them, he sent me a link where I could download their stuff.  I wasn't sure what to expect with a name like Ratboy, but upon listening I was (very) pleasantly surprised to have my headphones fill up with warm folk-inspired textures blanketed by Julia Steiner's stunning vocals.  Over the course of 5 songs, Ratboy's self-titled EP, Ratboy, delivers some exceptionally soothing acoustic tracks as well as the ukulele-based "Down the River", a lazy Sunday jam that draws parallels to Noah and the Whale.  Never boring or void of personality, the EP is a must listen.  It's very impressive, especially considering the duo of Julia Steiner and Dave Sagan (who met at Notre Dame) whipped everything up together on a whim.  You would never guess it; they're fantastic songwriters, which is exemplified in "The Stanza".  Steiner sings about having a history of loving the wrong guys, concedes to the fact that she's cursed with this problem, and uses people she studied in high school as a metaphor for her woes.  Stalin?  Yeah, love that guy.  Marx?  Yeah, he had pretty eyes.  In between each admittance, we're given a burst of heavy strumming and drum pounding, helping to build the tension until the chorus explodes into a wonderful harmony.  And at the end?  The narrator is now in college, and someone tells her she has pretty eyes.  It's a great anecdote, carried with the help of Steiner's magnificent voice.  You can have a listen to it below, and be sure to visit their Bandcamp for a free download of the Ratboy EP.  They also have a Facebook page.  Check it!

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