It Was Romance is a Brooklyn-based rock quartet that mixes in elements of dance pop, kind of like if Fiona Apple made a record with Chvrches. The band began as the solo project of Lane Moore, using found and collected instruments, including an electric ukulele with a distortion pedal that she plays like an electric guitar, and her own voice.
Their self-titled debut album It Was Romance was released on May 5, 2015. Pitchfork named the self-titled debut album one of the records to watch this summer. BUST Magazine called them The Best Band of 2015. Village Voice premiered the first single, “Philadelphia,” calling the song “mysterious but undeniably attractive. It evokes feelings of loneliness with a danceable beat, not unlike a somber nighttime walk home on wet roads, with colorful, joyous city lights reflecting like a black mirror” and praising the album for its “glittering instrumental aspect and Moore’s velvety vocal delivery make the rest of “It Was Romance” saunter around like the life of the party, occasionally winking just to make sure you’re hooked.” Paste Magazine described the band as “Hearkening back to a Dig Me Out era Sleater Kinney, Moore’s expansive sound covers love and all its mishaps with a catchy, blast loud and sing proud thoughtfulness. Blending garage rock with soul and experimental undertones, It Was Romance, formed in 2009 by Moore, walks multiple genres with a deft grace to mirror Moore’s bubbly wit and eye-catching presence.” The Advocate called the band “one to watch,” calling their first music video for “Philadelphia” “awesomely creative.” BuzzFeed named their first single Philadelphia on their “Songs You Need In Your Life This Month” list.
The Laugh Button praised Moore’s voice, saying, “[Moore’s] incredible voice, smoky and edgy and closely resembling the kind of stuff soulful grunge bands aspired to back in the 90s.”
The music video for “Hooking Up With Girls” was released in late 2016 on the front page of Nylon. The video is a shot-for-shot remake of Fiona Apple‘s “Criminal” music video, which Moore starred in and directed. Nylon praised Moore for going “above and beyond to recreate the iconic video, searching for similar houses and costumes. Spoiler alert: She even added ’90s MTV title cards.”
The video was quickly picked up by numerous media outlets, including Vogue, Entertainment Weekly, Billboard, VICE, The Huffington Post, The Guardian, VICE, BUST Magazine, Refinery 29, and The Onion‘s AV Club, who said of the video “when [Moore] sings directly to the camera, it seems like an overly intimate confession.” Vogue Magazine called Moore a “jack of all trades,” adding that her music videos, “give me life.” New York Magazine praised Moore for the video, adding, “It’s that weirdness that makes Moore so charming, and maybe the best homage to “Criminal” is one where the artist is unapologetically herself.” The New York Observer said, “The classic shots are all there: Lane and Fiona both writhe in satin camisoles, looking up at the camera with bright, tear-red eyes; cowering in a closet with hair in twin braids, singing from a bathtub between a partner’s legs; and in that iconic opening, pointing a camera at the audience: the voyeur becoming the viewed. [And] goddammit this song is catchy.”
In 2017, Moore created a music series at Arlene’s Grocery called ’90s Albums Live, with the first album being the Empire Records soundtrack performed by the band. Also in 2017, Billboard named them one of 16 Female-Fronted Bands You Should Know.
photo by: Maegan Gindi
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