ROUÉ – Releases “Eastwest / Remote” Today! A Fusion of Post Hardcore Vibes and Raw Emotional Depths!

Grasp is a somewhat impenetrable song, musically as well as topically. Its cutting synthesizers, layers of percussions, and call & response guitars are reminiscent of early 2000’s Post Hardcore and create a pressing and complex soundscape. The sinister atmosphere is reflected in the frail vocals that relate to a situation in which the despair about the loss of worthwhile relationships leads to a constant alternation between isolation and the roaming for meaning. 

The band ROUÉ came to life during the Covid19 pandemic as a remote project of the multi-instrumentalists Schahryar Kananian and Steffen Andrae. In contradistinction to usual songwriting processes, Kananian and Andrae take on a compositional approach which is not based on physical co-presence but on a digitally shared project between their homes in Frankfurt am Main and Leipzig respectively. The band’s debut not only bears testimony to the experience of social isolation, but also reflects its overcoming through joint creative work. The EP’s title “Eastwest / Remote” also signals the geographical coordinates of the global part-time and cultural homes of the band members: Germany, the United States, and Iran.

“Eastwest / Remote” features six meticulously crafted songs which incorporate a wide variety of musical influences ranging from indie pop and electronic music to post-punk, dark jazz, and even oriental elements. On their first release, ROUÉ fathom the musical possibilities emerging with the meeting of Kananian’s musical work in the field of indie, psychedelic and electronic music and Andrae’s long term involvement with DIY post punk and his occasional excursions into the realm of Jazz. Heavily influenced by RadioheadROUÉ places the borrowings from their great role model within a new musical environment much more defined by electronic elements and post-punk references.

Lyrically, the songs of “Eastwest / Remote” are inward-looking. They deal with longings and imaginary worlds that became particularly present during the years of lockdown and were to remain unsatisfied. Kananian’s singing ranges from deeply melancholy passages over contemplation to falsettos reminiscent of Oriental scale progressions. Whereas the heavy use of synthesizers and spheric soundscapes articulate a rather ethereal, at times even exhilarated outlook, cutting guitars and distorted sounds evoke gloom and desolation. The intricate drumming––a deliberate combination of samples and analog sounds––suggests the feeling of artificial intimacy which was ubiquitous when ROUÉ started composing their songs.

For the refinement of the sound of “Eastwest / Remote” ROUÉ worked with the Hamburg based electronic producer Lukas Endhardt. The graphic design put together by Fabian Bremer (AUAVelcros) is based on a painting by the New York artist A.T. Gregor. As many of her works, Gregor’s painting “Pressed upon a Pane” addresses issues of isolation, confinement, and yearning, hence constituting a deep resonance with the guiding themes of “Eastwest / Remote”.

As with their other projects, the recording, production, and release of ROUÉ’s debut are completely DIY. “Eastwest / Remote” will be out digitally and on 12” vinyl on June 28th, 2024.