Bodega folk rock band Robbing Johnny recently released their newest full-length album. It is a high-energy and unique record entitled Cold March.
The album functions as a whole, telling the story of an outsider moving to New York. Each song is a chapter in the story. The story companion is available in a series of posts on the band’s Facebook page.
Drawing from multiple influences, from hip-hop to Americana to folk rock, Robbing Johnny has a truly unique sound. Their songs intersperse raps between folky acoustic guitar riffs and vocals reminiscent of jazz, demonstrating their versatility and flair.
The album’s opening track, “Sylvia,” is about arriving in New York and finding a place to stay. Beginning with a folky and low-key acoustic guitar sound, the song builds in speed and energy as it progresses.
The energy flows seamlessly into the title track of the record, which combines rock-influenced instrumentation with rap in a catchy song about learning how to survive in a big city. The lyrics in “Cold March” are about the difficulties of creating meaningful relationships, though “it’s a cold cold March in New York/and the island seems so small.”
“Red Bird in the City” is a highlight of the record, with emotional vocals and entrancing melodic lines. Lead vocalist John Murrell croons about memories of a past love in a passionate song with piano accompaniment that starts out gentle and soothing and continuously builds to drive the song forward.
Robbing Johnny Finds Their Sweet Spot
The band finds their groove with the mellow but sentimental track “Grandfather’s Jacket.” The song is about the outsider walking around town, wearing his grandfather’s jacket and looking for the happiness he once found at home.
The song conveys the warmth and nostalgia one finds with wearing their grandfather’s jacket with a folk-influenced piano introduction and vocals charged with feeling.
Throughout the album, background vocals add harmonies in the most passionate moments that elevate the songs to a new level.
In Cold March, Robbing Johnny has found their voice. The album is an outlet for their energy, a medium of storytelling, and a source of beautiful music inspired by many different styles and genres.