November 17th, 2021
The Roches - The Roches (1979)
Who in god's name are The Roches? They are three sisters from New Jersey, who started out singing the background vocals for Paul Simon. At first, only two sisters performed professionally, but were later joined by the third. But on their debut album, simply called "The Roches", their first as a trio, the title track "We" gets straight to the point and gives the answer.
We are Maggie and Terre and Suzzy Roche.
We don't give out our ages and we don't give out our phone numbers
Sometimes our voices give out
But not our ages and our phone numbers
There are so many great songs on this album, and it's impossible to pick favourites. Apart from the title track "We", I adore the harmonies on "Hammond Song" and "Runs in the family", or the first-world-problem lyrics of "The Troubles", a song where The Roches worry about an upcoming trip to Ireland, hoping their guitars will not be lost, or whether they have health food in Dublin. Or "Mr. Sellack", in which they ask an asshole employer to have a shitty job back.
Not only were they incredibly talented singers and instrumentalists, but their songs are so refreshingly quirky and tongue-in-cheek funny. "The Roches" was released in 1979, but it still sounds fresh in 2021. They were clearly way ahead of their time. When I first heard the album, I was blown away by the eclectic mix of style, the crafting of the songs, and the empowering courage to be themselves. The Roches will always have a special place in my heart.