“When She Comes Around” is the first track to be lifted from Guendoline Rome Viray Gomez AKA No Rome’s debut album It’s All Smiles, available December 3rd via Dirty Hit Records (Pale Waves, beabadoobee). Recorded in a small apartment in No Rome’s hometown of Manila after the pandemic prevented him returning to London, the album was co-produced by Rome with BJ Burton (Kanye West, Bon Iver, Charli XCX) and George Daniel (The 1975).
“It’s All Smiles finds No Rome returning to his roots, both in terms of location and influences. As is immediately obvious from “When She Comes Around,” the record is the most refined expression of Rome’s self-coined term “Shoegaze R&B.” Vocal lines are indebted to the intense emotions expressed in R&B and run across a textured production and instrumentation. Like Kevin Shields, the architect of My Bloody Valentine, No Rome paints with his production, taking straight-forward guitar playing and complicating it with the tools at his disposal.”
“When She Comes Around” arrives with a dark, atmospheric video, filmed in Manila and directed by Paco Raterta that provides the perfect visual accompaniment to the track. Speaking about the single, Rome says;
“I made this song after watching the Bjork live version of her album Vespertine and I wanted to make a song that was heavy on the strings but after days on working on it I eventually brought it to a more guitar driven song. I sent this song to BJ and he came back with something much more than I expected, with more textures and stronger bass sounds and just better structure really and we just went crazy on it”
No Rome hadn’t planned on moving back to Manila, where he’d been born and raised, but the pandemic changed things. A festival appearance evolved into an extended stay with his parents, and then Rome, 24, rented a two-bedroom apartment of his own when it became clear he wouldn’t be returning to London, where he’d been living for the last three years, anytime soon. In the extra room he put his drum machines, synthesizers, monitors, and laptop to create the improvised home studio where he recorded his debut album It’s All Smiles, under his moniker No Rome.
It was a fitting setting for a project that drew inspiration from the records that blew Rome’s mind when he was growing up. “It’s my musical statement,” Rome says. “It’s best to start a first album with one goal and mine was to make this specific sound.” When he first began uploading his music to the internet he would tag the tracks shoegaze R&B, and It’s All Smiles is the most refined expression of that idea. With assistance from co-producers BJ Burton (Kanye West, Bon Iver, Charli XCX) and George Daniel (The 1975), Rome achieves his goal: His vocal lines, indebted to the intense emotions expressed in R&B.
Rome’s childhood prepared him to embrace new ideas about what music could do. Both his parents dabbled in performance: his mother would sometimes sing in nightclubs and his dad would moonlight as a DJ when he wasn’t working his day job as a civil engineer. “Not everybody likes the music their parents play, but my dad had really good taste,” he says. “It’s funny, he wasn’t really into rock but he loved new wave and post-punk. He liked the fast tempo stuff, something you could cry and dance to.” New Order and Naked Eyes rang off in Rome’s childhood home, not too far from where he eventually rented the apartment where he’d record It’s All Smiles.
Order It’s All Smiles by No Rome HERE