Doc Rhombus – ‘Retroactions’


The lushly melodic Retroactions is the new album from Doc Rhombus, a solo artist and multi-instrumentalist based in Minneapolis. Retroactions thematically pursues a relatable emotion — per the artist, telling “a contemporary story of pandemic malaise, frustration with self and society, and lack of control over past, present, and future.”

Retroactions, the second album release from Doc Rhombus, projects a late-night character with its serene guitar lines, hazy synth atmospherics, and understated vocal hooks. The initial synth shimmer on opener “All My Friends” builds amidst pit-pattering percussion, treading into a series of gentle guitar tones alongside the whispering synths. The sighing vocals, lamenting about escalating isolation, add poignantly to the yearning, memorable soundscape.

Atmosphere and melody are consistent points of impression throughout the album. The single “I’m Afraid” touts a more guitar-fronted energy, meshing into the “falling hard,” hook with a spacey, synth-friendly appeal. Doc Rhombus consistently presents a wholly memorable meshing of lo-fi rock with synth-inclined bedroom-pop, also highlighted on standouts like the dreamily engrossing “Better Days (Retroactions),” its vocals letting out “I just wanna know if better days are coming,” amidst melancholic guitar jangles. Retroactions is a wholly recommended album from Doc Rhombus.

Stream Retroactions:

“All My Friends” and other tracks featured this month can be streamed on the updating Obscure Sound’s ‘Best of September 2022’ Spotify playlist.

Mike Mineo

I'm the founder/editor of Obscure Sound, which was formed in 2006. Previously, I wrote for PopMatters and Stylus Magazine.

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