RFA keeps it simple. From their candid lyrics to their no fuss rock ‘n’ roll there’s an authenticity that they don’t tamper with. The Philly based band composed of Alec Powell (drums), Brendan McHale (bass), Christian Turzo (guitar), and Dan Cousart (guitar/keys), give it to you straight: all the confusion, all the emotions, all the really great parties, and the not so great mornings after. They possess a timeless charm in part due to their classic rock influences and their ability to construct a universally relatable narrative of being young and trying their best to navigate the world.

      Automatically you’re dropped into a scene of cigarettes smouldering in ashtrays, beer bottles littered across the floor, people passed out on couches as the sun starts to shine through the grimy city windows with “Lazy.” Languid and lounging worries start to melt in the morning light, introducing that youthful optimism laced throughout the album, as long as the cans get cleaned up nothing too serious could’ve happened the night before. Throwing you straight into the action with “Just Don’t Turn The Lights On,” there’s a sense of glowing excitement. Jumping and jiving, the only thing that matters is preserving the magic of the night, the whole universe seems to be contained in that party, everything else is too distant to matter. Avoidance comes easy with “Don’t Want To Think About It” and the lifestyle they’ve constructed of late nights getting lost in the music is contagious.

     Despite shrugging off worries, there’s a sense of nostalgia embedded in their retro rock and meditative lyrics. With its bouncy bright riffs, the revival of “Suzie Lee” has all the warmth of youthful memories, beginning with ‘remember me Suzie Lee when you have no place to run to and you’re out on your own.’ A little heavier “Down Your Street” comes with the ache of walking past a person or place you used to know and being completely taken aback by its existence. The inexplicable feeling of missing something to the point that it takes on an almost fictional status, appearing more like a mirage than reality. Wandering past all the places they used to frequent, “Walking My Way Back To You” with its bluesy influences and soft keys expresses the need for something more than just memories.

     Still an unwavering optimism persists. Loose and slightly unwound, “Porch Song” feels like sunlight and glows with hope. The album brings a sense of reassurance, despite all the complications and uncertainty everything will work out just fine. They serve as a light amidst the chaos and make even the worst losses sound as stunning as the greatest wins. Their sweet enthusiasm makes them fit the boys down the street trope perfectly, and convinces you that there's nothing RFA can’t shake off.


samantha sullivan