“sparse but compelling... conjuring big landscapes and vast stretches of time.” Craig Schüftan Kulture Klub.
"..vocals and songwriting are somewhere between Townes Van Zandt and M Ward." beat.com.au
"rich melodies and emotive lyrics that could cure about any sadness known to man." thedwarf.com.au
Roller One is a collaboration between Fergus McAlpin on lead vocals and guitar and Adam Afiff on double bass. Their songs cross the alt-country, Americana and folk music genres, are influenced by the rich Melbourne music scene, and a desire to create work that is both full of tradition and something original.
The duo are currently based between Berlin, Germany and Melbourne, Australia. They record and often tour with guest performers. Their sound is intentionally naked, yet expansive. It breathes and exhales, is reflective and feels intense emotions.
McAlpin's song writing is potent. His tenor evokes Johnny Cash's sultry crooning, Nick Drake's fragility and Townes Van Zandt's country-folk poetics. Roller One conjure soundscapes for McAlpin's restrained stories of the human condition. Where romance meets loss, hope meets time, and the voices of their instruments engage to sustain a tension like that before a summer storm. There is a perceptive compassion in McAlpin's phrasing, akin to the visceral ingenuity of Cormac McCarthy's 'All The Pretty Horses'. Afiff’s bass playing bends and strains like a man short of emotional breath. Each note a vital communication with McAlpin's words and the voice of his guitar.
Years of musical trust and understanding between McAlpin and Afiff brings a focused respect and elegance to their live performances.
Both Roller One Albums - Motorsports (2010) and Beautiful Fountain (2012) were recorded at An Empty Room music studio in Nagambie, country Victoria, Australia. Both Albums are released by Melbourne boutique label / recording house, Torn and Frayed (The Dirty Three, Conway Savage, James McCann, Jacky Winter, Spencer P Jones).
After the release of Beautiful Fountain, Roller One toured through Europe in 2014 playing over 80 shows between Spain, France, Germany, Switzerland, Belgium and The Netherlands, winning hearts with their virtuoso musicality and stripped back presentation.
Andrew McGee recorded Roller One's original album, Motorsports, at his An Empty Room Studio. The duo lay down twenty tracks in quick succession, in a wave of creativity. McGee's message to Roller One was: "It’s perfect! It’s ‘Roller' music. I left everything fast out, and left all the nuances and imperfections in."
McAlpin and Afiff were original members of Melbourne based band Silver City Highway. The two now thrive in the creative simplicity that is Roller One, creating exquisite songs full of complicated innocence, searching for a pure music that speaks directly to the heart and soul.