Underneath a giant summer moon, The Roofer's Union sits precariously on a ledge staring out over Manhattan. Everything is melting around them, stars turning into planes and planes into stars, colors swirling together into a gooey technicolor soup, and they're all laughing, drinking beer, flling up their ashtrays, dreaming up illegal schemes to throw parties and arguing about a certain microphone's frequency response. Rooftops are their domain, the center of their universe, and their music seems to reverberate off them, psychedelic guitars zinging off the clouds, synths sparkling like crushed glass, vocals cutting through the smokey air like a jet airliner
By Degrees, comes from months spent between their basement-recording studio in Brooklyn and a forlorn barn house up in Brewster, NY. It was born from blurry nights performing in Brooklyn's small D.I.Y. venues, wrapped in feather boas and Christmas lights, pairing black Fenders with top hats and heart shaped glasses, to pizza-fulled nights in their self-built studio, fine tuning their sound with equal measures of expertise seemingly years ahead of them, and the carefree creativity that only comes from a band comprised of best friends.
Even in the haze of the album, their distinct personalities come through: Arthur Szerejko, the producer on bass, Jake Chapman, the dreamer on vocals and guitar, Vaughn Hunt, the handyman and engineer on synths, Kevin Walker, the record label businessman man on drums, and Travis Tyge, the physicist on keys and vocals. Together they built a homemade space shuttle to cross black holes, galaxies and hallucinations to reach that elusive moment where the music lifts them off the roof, thrusting them into the outer space.
'Smalls Change (Meditations Upon Ageing)' arrives in April.
The two awards have made for a great 72nd birthday present for the country music icon.