Ballard VOX Album Review + Interview: Racoma

This Front Room Album Review + Interview with Racoma

Brittne Lunniss for Ballard VOX

Seattle-based Indie Alternative band, Racoma, is no stranger to producing simple, introspective, and emotionally engaging music. When the band came out with their first full-length album, This Front Room in May of this year, it seemed like the world was at a stand-still. Four months later, and, really, it still is. To release an album amidst the whirlwind of 2020 is no easy feat. While some bands may approach this by diving into a fountain of self-promotion, Racoma does it differently. The group has demonstrated a notable ability to use their platform for the common good. This Front Room is an indie-folk garden-rock soundtrack, and while we’ll certainly get into their impressive ability to write genuinely relatable music, it is important to first note the character of this band. A rare move in today’s music scene, Racoma is socially-conscious, community-oriented, and all around, a group of guys young musicians should look up to.

All photos by Collene McCarter

This Front Room is an album you’ll want to play while drinking a cup of coffee, reading the morning paper, or while staring out your window, contemplating life’s complexities. It is gentle, yet forceful in the sense that Racoma doesn’t shy away from the hard topics. The album’s first track, “Find Me,” is a dreamy thirty-four second whisper of a teaser -- almost as if to say, we have something special to share. Seamlessly transitioning into “Dog Bones,” listeners are introduced to Glenn Haider’s organically tender vocals, which are blanketed by a grazing touch of soft southern-twang. 

The album’s third song, “The Kicker,” is a gut-wrenchingly sincere track, which speaks to the loneliness of moving on. “A wall was built between us / I framed and hung the picture / This room is filled with stuff now / Of someone I never met.” In what is an all-too-familiar sentiment for anyone who has loved and lost, “The Kicker” will have listeners reminiscing on the heartbreaking, yet unavoidable experience of lovers turning to strangers, pictures turning to dust, memories turning to what-could-have-beens. Racoma will leave you asking, is it better to have loved and lost, than never to have loved at all? 

As listeners traverse This Front Room, they will grow to wonder if the band has always been there, with them, through their most intimate of times. This is because Racoma possesses the unique ability to communicate real sincerity through their art. The group isn’t faking it. They’re not putting on a show of forged emotion to swindle new fans. The reality of Racoma’s candor is something listeners must hear to really understand, but when you do, you’ll realize -- that throughout your experiences of heartache, frustration, loneliness, and fatigue -- you were not, and will never be, truly alone. Racoma just gets it, and This Front Room is their testimony.

Racoma took the time to answer a few interview questions over email. The below answers are a combination of words from Glenn Haider (lyrics, vocals, guitar), Sean Collopy (lead guitar, vocals), and Spencer Templeman (bass guitar).

1. Racoma has been incredibly involved in community advocacy. Your “Dream Stream” Instagram livestream series has served as a platform for the band to make a lasting impact in our community. What inspired the group to champion this project?
Well, we first started doing the livestream after we realized that in-person shows were no longer a viable option. We wanted to create a stream where we could not only play for people, but we could meet up with bands / artists and learn about their process in writing and performing. Shortly after that, the death of Geroge Floyd happened and it put into perspective what we should be doing with the stream. We didn’t want to play anymore, instead we wanted to highlight black artists who we respected and loved. It became a vessel for us to learn and grow. Honestly, the Dream Stream was a really profound chapter for us because it wasn’t about us anymore it was about silencing our privilege and learning.

2. Racoma was recently featured on the Work From Home Seattle Livestream. Livestreaming certainly seems to be the new normal in today’s music scene. How does this experience compare to playing a venue show?
They’re very different experiences. Livestreaming has shown us that the community is still active and thriving while shows aren’t happening in venues. Though I am thankful that livestreaming does allow us to continue performing, the crowd interaction from playing at a venue is gone. We definitely miss the feeling of physically being out in the music community, because we feed off of the audience’s energy. Especially after releasing our first LP in May, it’s been strange trying to figure out the best way to engage with our audience.

3. Your most recent album, This Front Room, begins with a dreamy thirty-four second intro entitled, “Find Me.” What was the inspiration behind beginning the album with this track?
We came across an old demo of “Find Me” during the pre-production of the album, and we all responded to the symbolism of the lyrics in context of the overall lyrical themes of This Front Room. We immediately thought it would be effective as an introduction to the album. To us, This Front Room feels like two sides of music, where each side is cohesive on its own, and the sides contrast one another. We realized that “Find Me” could work to seamlessly tie the two sides together. As an intro, it opens the album with group vocals captured at our home, a fitting lyrical statement, and a sense of tension or suspension. When you hear the end of the album flow back into “Find Me,” the song feels like more of a grounded release. There are many ways to interpret its meaning, and I do like the idea of allowing the listener to discover their own understanding of its intention on the album.

4. Can you tell us about how Racoma formed, as well as how the band has evolved over the years?
Racoma began back in 2016 when Glenn and Sean moved to Seattle from opposite sides of the country, and met through work with a mutual desire to form a band. We began playing music together on Vashon Island, which includes a neighborhood and a beach named Racoma. Our early lineup included our friends Anthony Hagen on bass, and Eric Wilkins on drums. As we began performing around Seattle, we met Eliot Stone and Spencer Templeman. Eliot played drums, and Spencer played bass for the making of This Front Room.

5. Has the band been working on new music during quarantine? If so, what can listeners expect to hear from Racoma in the future?
As soon as we released “This Front Room,” we immediately started writing again. We have tons of material we’re working on and excited about, but we don’t quite know what the plan for release will be. All we can say is, it’ll be worth it.

All photos by Collene McCarter

You can listen to In This Room on all major streaming platforms. Check out the group’s website at Give Racoma a follow on Instagram @racomamusic, and Facebook at Racoma.

Brittne Lunniss


Brittne is a PNW-native, sociologist, and musician. Her passion for writing began at a young age when a family friend gifted her Beth Joselow’s Writing Without the Muse. While she typically authors pieces for academic publications, Brittne particularly enjoys writing about Arts and Culture.

You can follow her on Instagram at _brittne_ann_

Collene McCarter


Collene is a 24 year old University of Washington graduate with a degree in political science and a dog obsession. She got her first camera at the age of 11 (after her mom got tired of hers always going missing) and hasn’t been without one since.

IG: @collenemccarterphoto

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