The name Rosa Maria conjures up images of a latina ‘chica’ or even an older ‘nonna’ or ‘abuela’ grandmother figure, but it could also be the name of an alternative planet.
On this planet the soundtrack is a mixture of retro surf guitar drenched in reverb, driving garage rock and blues, while the population includes a mind reading sorceress with imagery inspired by the Mexican Day of the Dead, full of skulls and skeletons while the Devil runs rampant.
In reality, of course, Rosa Maria is the name of one of Sydney’s most exciting and original live bands which has just released its landmark second album ‘Here She Comes’ on the Third Eye Stimuli label.
If you are reading this in time, you can even make the album launch at the Oxford Art Factory on Friday September 27.
Band founder, vocalist, songwriter and guitarist Broc Townsend is having a great time riding the Rosa Maria wave, but says the whole thing was more happy accident than design.
“It started about two years ago and I had some things I wanted to record for an album,” he says.
“I’d never really played live before or really wanted to, but it turned out that we had more fun playing live than recording, and that was the beginning of it.”
While the first album was based around Townsend’s more fully developed and written songs, the second album is more of a collaboration between band members which melds their different influences.
“Everyone brings something different to the table, and we have been friends for ages so it all happens really naturally now,” he says.
The result is a fresh and contemporary sound which, while paying its dues to the 1960s, is very much a sound for now, and totally a sound to groove to.
“We are trying to keep it fresh, and not just do what’s already been done,” says Townsend.
For Rosa Maria, happiness is seeing people dance at gigs, and the opportunity to be creative with close friends.
The result is infectious and fun, but also impressive for its musicianship and the way it confidently pegs out and defines its very own sound.
Rosa Maria are out playing their new album now and promoting it with some great clips, all produced locally with local creative types.
Check out the video above, directed by Madeleine Wilson and produced by Harpoon.
Here’s a link to the full album.