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The Roccos Ease Listeners with “Oil & Clay”

Courtesy of Michael Rocco
“Oil & Clay” is the duo’s fourth album, but their first under the name “The Roccos” | Courtesy of Michael Rocco

Behind most of today’s popular music, there are great acts hidden from the masses. Take “The Roccos” for example. Chances are, unless you follow New York’s local music scene, you have not heard of them. They are not new either; Kristina and Michael Rocco of Long Island, NY, have been making music since 2006.

The duo was originally known as “Trail of Stones” and their first album was titled “11:11.” Since then, they have steadily released music. After their third studio album, “Bird on the Line,” they changed their name to “The Roccos” and have built up to their latest release, “Oil & Clay.”

On “Oil & Clay,” Kristina plays the piano and provides the vocals for most of the tracks, while Michael plays the guitar, synthesizers, and also sings on a few tracks alongside Kristina. The album provides a relaxing sound that comes from the heart and soothes the soul through atmospheric melodies.

A lot of the music contains an earthy sound that gives a sense of ambience. “Eighteen,” the fourth track, has an ambient guitar melody that complements the lyrics which talk about aging and nostalgia. First, it sets the scene of an ocean, eventually arriving at a melodic depiction of a wintery landscape. The song has a quaint strain that fits the sections throughout, making it one of the more relaxing tracks, even without the lyrics. It can easily be said that the instrumentals for most tracks stand out enough on their own without the lyrics, though one must not under-credit Kristina’s beautiful vocals.

Kristina’s voice sounds immaculate and complements the music perfectly. There is not one track where she does not sound excellent. The only track where her voice is absent is the thirteenth track, “Balanced,” in which Michael takes over singing. Michael sings with a quiet and eerie tone accompanied by angelic whistling and somber beats consisting of light ticks and a tambourine.

Occasionally, both Kristina and Michael sing such as in “Oil and Clay” and “Trail of Stones.” Together they have tremendous harmony and it would have been nice if the album featured more tracks with them singing together.

“Oil & Clay” is a pleasure from beginning to end. Many of its tracks have a quality that could be compared to a lullaby. If you are looking for an immersive album, “The Roccos” surely have it covered. You can listen to the full album and their other songs on www.theroccos.net