“Roman” by The Phone Booth is the first full-length release by the band, realized by Michael Easbey (vocals, guitar, primary songwriter), Josh Blumenthal (bass), Ben Pecorari (drums) and Tony Pennington (guitar).
The band is a generation-straddling group of old and new friends assembled with the uncommon care and attention such a personal project required. Roman was recorded at The Earth Capital in Los Angeles by Alex Estrada (Joyce Manor, Touché Amoré).
We’re today introducing you guys to “Swim in Oceans”, one of two songs released from their upcoming album, “Roman.” The album was mixed by the band, intentionally muddling the sonic palette with layers of distortion and fuzz.
Although not a concept album in the strict sense, one of Roman’s defining qualities are the signposts and segues provided by voice mail recordings of Steven Roman Gonzales, Phone Booth principal Michael Easbey’s best friend and the album’s namesake. Gonzales passed away from cancer two years ago and Roman is a tribute to his enduring artistic influence: Gonzales is a collaborator and inspiration for the record, his voice providing scaffolding and counterpoint to the compositions.
One of the most heart-rending moments arrives during “healthcare,” when Gonzales frankly assesses Michael’s commitment to music, followed by one of the strongest tracks on the record, The existence of Roman is a direct rebuttal to Gonzales’ skepticism from years before – a meticulous, candid and tender exultation.