I caught wind of the Raquels last October, when the band took part in Rumba Cafe's Halloween party.
The band played a set of songs by the Killers, and from the first familiar notes, the musicians were working the crowd like pros. Granted, the lyrics could be sung by almost anyone who turned on a radio in the 2000s. But the group's original music makes it seem like not too much of a stretch to say someday those crowds might know all the words to Raquels songs.LISTEN IN
The Raquels make the kind of music that is impossible to hate: indie-pop catchy enough to get the heaviest hip-hop fan or metalhead's toes tapping. The band's music is earnestly straightforward but can veer in unexpected directions.
The songs released thus far feature jangly guitars and synthesizers -- music that would fit in the ubiquitous montage scene of a 1980s teen movie.
The band's first single, "1982," dropped last spring, followed by "Just a Txt." Those two tracks will make up half of the EP coming in the near future.
The four-piece band -- which consists of Tyler Birch, Dave Butler, Gabe Ritz and Derrick Walter -- came together at Ohio State University, partially through a student organization, Musicians' Collective. That was in 2016, and it wasn't long before the band started making noise around town, playing shows and hitting the studio.
The group is gearing up for a summer tour, which will run from the end of July through Sep. 1. The first of 20 shows is scheduled July 25 in a Pittsburgh bowling alley and the last will be at the Trolley Stop in Dayton.
The tour might physically run through the Midwest, East Coast and South, but it has its origins in a surprising part of the globe: The band's booking agent, Christopher B, lives in Jakarta, Indonesia.
"He's from Columbus, Nebraska, a real Midwest sweetheart," said Ritz, a vocalist and guitarist for the band. "We've been talking to him (on Skype) every week, working out the tour and getting dates together."
Despite the work they've done together, Christopher remains a secretive presence. The band members don't know his last name and a Google search of "Christopher B Jakarta" turns up nothing.
There are far more questions than answers in relation to how this tour came about -- but the chops of the Raquels are not in question.
Catch the band May 19 at Land-Grant Brewing Co., 424 W. Town St. in Columbus.
Sam Kayuha is associate editor for In The Record Store. Each week, ThisWeek will publish a feature from the organization, which focuses on central Ohio music discovery and involvement.