No Rome has released his second EP, Crying In The Prettiest Places, which is available now on Dirty Hit. With the striking video for 'Pink' also unveiled today – following acclaimed returning track, 'Cashmoney' – No Rome recently made his Coachella debut alongside the 1975 and will continue his huge run of global dates as below, including Australia this September.
Crying In The Prettiest Places confirms No Rome's early promise as pop's new polymath: a talent who innately connect the worlds of music, design, fashion and art, and a singer/producer able to move between genres with extraordinary ease. 'Pink', for instance, is a bittersweet slice of hip-hop that feels both lonely and libidinous; '5 Ways to Bleach Your Hair', meanwhile, is a screamo-pop anthem in total contrast to (yet also in complete cohesion with) the aspirational R&B of 'Cashmoney'. Across the six tracks of Crying In The Prettiest Places, No Rome showcases as much sonic playfulness as he does raw lyrical honesty with unique, affecting results.
A truly global young talent, No Rome's poignantly personal, genre-splicing approach to modern life is as embedded in his work as it is his kaleidoscopic shades of hair ("I'm an outsider of pop music, I kind of like it," he says today - his hair currently a Yorkie-bar blue). Born in a tough Manila neighbourhood, Rome grew up keeping one eye over his shoulder: the most densely populated city in the world – with mountains and the beach also in close proximity in either direction – here was a conservative, "concrete jungle" with little room for reinvention. As an emo kid who'd wear skinny jeans (from the 'petite' women's section of clothing stores) and tight T-shirts, Rome started learning self-defence to protect himself, before finding a better form outlet in producing beats aged 12. His early taste spanned Slipknot to 2Pac, and the New Order and David Bowie records that Rome found in his Dad's stacks of vinyl. By his mid-teens, Rome had moved on to shoegaze bands like My Bloody Valentine and Slowdive, eventually finding a niche in "shoegaze R&B" that he continues to explore. His early Soundcloud demos picked up attention from the likes of Ryan Hemsworth, members of Brockhampton, and – eventually – label-mate, collaborator and friend Matt Healy.
Just as No Rome's music is a bellwether for pops expansive new possibilities, his bold eye-popping aesthetic can help to open people's minds. He speaks thoughtfully candidly about the implications of his decision to live out loud, in full colour. "My videos are people who dress like me, who have hair colours like me," he says. "[Hopefully people] start to think, that's the future, it's going to be normal you know." With No Rome, the future seems in safe hands.
Crying In The Prettiest Places – Track Listing
1. '5 Ways to Bleach Your Hair'
2. 'Stoned In The Valley'
5. 'Rimbaud, Come and Sit For A While'
6. 'All Up In My Head'
No Rome – Live Dates
* = w/ The 1975
FRI 20 SEPT
MARGARET COURT ARENA * MELBOURNE SOLD-OUT SAT 21 SEPT
ICC * SYDNEY FINAL TICKETS SUN 22 SEPT
RIVERSTAGE * BRISBANE SELLING FAST WED 25 SEPT
AEC THEATRE * ADELAIDE SELLING FAST FRI 27 SEPT HBF STADIUM * PERTH SELLING FAST