Liverpool indie Mariachi group, Roja have released the single, ‘The Evil Stands High’, the followup to their singles ‘Company’ and their cover of Lady Gaga’s, ‘Bad Romance’.
The ensemble comprise six members: Simon Bradshaw on guitar and vocals; Chris Doherty on brass; Rachel Brewster on strings; Aron McGhee on drums, Claire Swift playing keys and cello; and Edwin Pink on bass.
The group rose from the ashes of alt-rock band Marlowe, and give frontman Simon Bradshaw a grander backing for his dry lyricism and distinctive vocal sounds. Roja is a great but very charming departure from their previous band, with ‘Company’ taking its cues from ‘The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly’, and conjuring up the spaghetti western soundtracks of Ennio Morricone.
The band’s take on the Lady Gaga classic, ‘Bad Romance’ is a perfect example of their “modern Mariachi” style, and shows just how fabulous the song actually is, and how easily it’s adapted to horns and guitars.
Roja were finalists on BBC TVs ‘UKs Best Part-Time Band’ in 2016 (see their performance here), and mentored by New Order/Joy Division’s Peter Hook. They also received radio support from BBC Introducing, Steve Lamacq, Gideon Coe, and the Late Junction.
‘The Evil Stands High’, with a video released earlier this year is less Mariachi and more of a rockier Bond-theme style sound, yet maintaining the strong brass and Bradshaw’s dusky vocals.