Roommate is a band from Chicago. Like a beloved version of their namesake, Roommate's music hangs heavy over any room it inhabits. Their deconstructed pop fables carry a weight that forces the listener in, and almost belies the light, intricate, electronic textures that fill out their songs.
Begun as a solo project of singer/songwriter Kent Lambert, Roommate's first murmurings were heard in Lambert's Brooklyn apartment circa 2000. Fleshing out his bedroom pop, Lambert relocated to Chicago and self-released the Celebs EP. Steady shows and a revolving cast of characters moved in and out of Roommate's development, with 2005's full-length Songs the Animals Taught Us solidifying the group's growing synthesis into something more than the sum of its parts. A wide release on the Plug Research label followed in the spring of 2006 and was supported with a European tour and a limited run around the United States. Production on the New Steam EP began in late 2006 and the band recorded steadily through the completion of its second full-length album. We Were Enchanted was released in April 2008 on Plug Research and Shrug Records, supported with shows in the Netherlands and the American Midwest, and heralded as "a living, breathing work, one that develops and grows with the passage of time and with the listener." (All Music)
Consistently attracting new believers to their particular gospel, Roommate is now gearing up for its most complete and forceful musical document yet. The band's third full-length Guilty Rainbow will be released in limited-edition LP form in March 2011 on the upstart Chicago imprint, ANTEPHONIC INC, the sister-label to Contraphonic Inc. The band has settled into a quartet with Lambert at the lead, supported by Gillian Lisee (Fruit Bats, Califone), Luther Rochester (Low Skies), and Seth Vanek (Love Raid). The instrumentation on Guilty Rainbow is at its most expressive and diverse as ever for Roommate- there are touches of vibraphone, autoharp, banjo, violin, Buchla Music Easel, (even a Game Boy gets a workout here), as well as programmed synths and traditional rock instruments- but at its core, Roommate is able to collect all of their parts and translate them into something spectacularly their own. And now, yours too.
Look for the band to tour extensively following the limited edition March release of Guilty Rainbow, and into 2011.
Press on Guilty Rainbow
Masterminded by UI grad Kent Lambert, Roommate began life a decade ago as a one-man studio project but since has grown into a magical, hypnotic full band that delivers the kind of dreamy art-pop (especially on 2008's "We Were Enchanted" and this year's "Guilty Rainbow") by which the likes of Scott Walker and Peter Gabriel redecorated countless brain-pans. IOWA CITY PRESS CITIZEN
Guilty Rainbow is a culminating step forward for Chicago's Roommate...the new release finds Lambert cultivating his strengths -- a no-frills delivery and fluid, organic verses that roll into one another with an easy inevitability. POPMATTERS
Guilty Rainbow is a fantastic achievement from a band that's always had one in them... there is little else more gratifying in being a fan of music than watching a musician, with every successive album, build upon his or her potential in such an exquisite, dedicated way that everything about their music is now a magnificent improvement over what came before. Roommate's third album is all that. COKEMACHINEGLOW
On their third album, Roommate continue in their semi-blissed out, semi-art-pop way...a careful tension exists throughout the album, something where everything seems on the verge of fraying, from structure to sentiment; there's a genteel, suffused sonic air that makes everything seem sunny, but the sentiments and sounds are often anything but -- guitars as nervous scrapes, deep-voiced murmurs and moans, lyrics that betray confusion and unsureness, even as everything grooves along. ALL MUSIC GUIDE
Cool, innovative, expressive, thrilling, and flat-out groovy... INNOCENT WORDS