And the vibe is certainly right. There’s a depth, a vulnerability, to this new body of work that hasn’t necessarily been at the forefront of Roper’s previous offerings. With a richer infusion of vintage rhythm and blues as background, Roper’s unique, soulful vocals are given space to soar. The result brings to mind sun-baked, dusty roads and hot, sticky nights in crowded bars. Like contemporaries Nathaniel Rateliff and Jack White, Roper tells his story with heart. A gritty, bluesy 21st century reimagining of protest songs in the same vein of Phil Ochs or Bob Dylan, ‘Right Now’ speaks of the polarizing speech and actions south of the border, and the far reaching impact such division has.
2020 has been a turbulent year, with much bigger challenges still on the horizon. Yet amidst this confusion and unrest, there is still an outpouring of creativity, music and love. “The world's been crazy as far back as history can recount,” Roper says frankly, “I want to rock the fuck out, sing things into a microphone that I believe, and crush guitar riffs I love playing”.