I know that it has already been streamed before, countless times. But it’s time for me to admit that I began to have a liking for Group Rhoda, even though I’ve only heard “12th House“, so far. I found out about Mara Barenbaum through Max and Mara, the interesting co-operation between her and Max Brotman – that is due to come out this month on Dark Entries Records. Even though I’ve already written about Max and Mara, I wanted to take a listen to “12th House”, which is the latest album by Group Rhoda – a solo-project courtesy of Mara Barenbaum. It’s also her second album, as “Out Of Time – Out Of Touch” was the first release under this alterego, put out by the label Night School in 2012. These intriguing melodies that spring from what is a 8-tracked album became too overwhelming. Accompany that with a sullen voice, partaking in the melodic and more anthemic rhythms – made into a potpurri of genres. I must say that I’m more fond of the darker tones in the B-side of this album then anything, but I’m happily seduced by the subliminal rhythmic tantrum that is being sparked throughout these songs. By far, the song “Dust” have me entangled in a psychotic synthesized tango, which I recant for myself as I bob my head to the wonderful elements of the song. I’m not sure about you, but I feel like Group Rhoda is a more subliminally militant dose of synthesizer delight than I could’ve ever imagined. Some aspects of Group Rhoda actually remind me of Tredje Mannen, a synth-pop group that existed in Sweden from 1982-1988. A video can be found below.
The name itself, could mean everything from “a group of roses” – to a minor character in the New Testament, a biblical figure, a servant in the house of Mary. But I’m not the one to speculate, and frankly, I couldn’t give a toss about it. Or maybe I could, because I keep thinking to myself what it could mean. As I make up analogies in my head, as the music paint picturesque and overtly nostalgic images in my head. Anyway, I suggest that you take a listen to it, because it might be one of the greatest albums of this year. I’m not simply saying that because I have to, but because I became seduced once I listened to it. If I can find at least one, two or three favorite tracks on an album – it becomes a clear contender. I don’t want to like everything about it, I simply want to be seduced by something in it. By the way, the wonderful cover was created by Mary Elizabeth Yarbrough. Now you can stream it down below and make up your mind, or get a copy digitally, as well as physically – from Not Not Fun Records.