Rotary Downs

Artist / Band / Musician
Indie / Rock
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Watch a live semi-acoustic version of Sing Like the Sun performed in April on New Orleans PBS show "Greater New Orleans" on WLAE.

Check out Rotary Downs on CurrentTV!

"The rebirth of the New Orleans music scene has lifted the spirits of a city that has fallen on hard times. Leading the charge, bands like Rotary Downs have been touring to packed houses in Louisiana and around the country. Their sound is a good mix of soulful NOLA jazz rhythms, modern guitar and inspired lyrics*" - CurrentTV!0D

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Check out the Rotary Downs music video for "B/W"!

Some recent press clippings about Rotary Downs:

"Taking a page from pre-millennial, post-modern poppers like Beck and Soul Coughing, Rotary Downs reels freely between quizzical and intellectual. Chained to the Chariot, the New Orleans quartet's third full-length, pivots pedal steel, trumpet and organ on top of grandly unpredictable arrangements; the fun is watching which way these songs fall. Singer James Marler sounds like has been taking double shots of thesaurus, unraveling densely packed rhymes in his abstracted lyrics. Too lo-fi to be baroque, too catchy to be experimental, songs like "G-7 Hit!" and "A Feast in Squalor" swerve into woozy grooves but don't stay for long."

- Jonathan Zwickel,

".it was hard to imagine that I’d see a more adventurous and accessible performance than Rotary Downs (and I didn’t). The band’s melodic indie rock was tested with a dissonant guitar at times, energized by changing textures throughout, and defined by song structures that constantly surprised. a far more interesting, more human tension between cool and passion, between clarity and privacy, and between contact and distance. The set suggested New Orleans really ought to be paying a lot more attention to Rotary Downs."

- Alex Rawls, Offbeat Magazine

“Local space-rockers Rotary Downs have been together since 1999, and as one of the driving stalwarts in the under-praised genre of experimental New Orleans indie-pop. After three wildly eclectic self-released offerings, they’ve emerged from their Katrina experience with a new 14-song opus, Chained to the Chariot, that’s pretty much aces. The addition of more drums, more assertive basslines and especially the presence of Matt Aguiluz boards and trumpet, gives their formerly soft fuzz-guitar and pedal-steel-driven sound an extra dose of texture; the rich layers of sound also make it great with the headphones. “g-7 hit!” is a sunny, sloppy, psychedelic march that’s the gold-star track for the album. Marler’s laconic vocals and Smith’s upbeat drumming on “A Feast in Squalor” evoke Brendan Benson’s warm power-pop. The stormy Western ballad “Body of an Outlaw” is a black cosmic gunfight with a dash of creepy circus music. It’s a diverse album that ricochets from roots-tinged psychedelia to edgier synth-pop to excursions along the spaceways, but with a sure hand on the wheel.”

- Alison Fensterstock, Gambit Weekly

"There is a new sound emerging from the rebirth of New Orleans. There's an element of that classic NOLA brass in this new sound, but these ain't no jazzy brass bands. Rotary Downs began with a two hour set that lit the bar on fire. RD played several new songs and just about every track from their incredible 2006 release Chained To The Chariot. If Pavement and Beck had some sort of love baby and raised him in New Orleans after Katrina, this is what it would sound like. There's a massive buzz building behind Rotary Downs, and if their shows Saturday at the Fairgrounds and Saturday night at The Saturn Bar are any indication, the world will soon find out what the new New Orleans sounds like."

- Kayceman,

"Can a rock ‘n roll band save a sunken city? Hurricane Katrina and her aftermath seized many souls from the beloved city of New Orleans. We all know how powerful music can be in its ability to affect social change and expedite healing. The history of New Orleans is so deeply rooted in its music that it only makes sense the rebuilding would start with the artists. But it’s not only the sound of brass and blues that are bubbling back up in this aftermath. An unlikely sound from the Crescent City is emerging to do its part to revitalize the city’s music scene — indie rock. Rotary Downs is a band that is rising to this challenge."

- Superdee, GlideMagazine

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