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Song You Need to Know: Royel Otis, ‘Sofa King’

The indie pop duo have followed Genesis Owusu, Baker Boy and more in being chosen for Spotify’s AU/NZ RADAR program

Royel Otis


Here are some of the artists that Spotify has hailed in its Australia and New Zealand RADAR program: Baker Boy; grentperez; CHAII; the all-conquering Genesis Owusu. Royel Otis can now be added to that list.

The RADAR program, evidently, has a creditable history of catching supremely talented artists before they explode into the general listener’s consciousness, and the Sydney indie pop duo will be hoping their music receives the same commercial bump.

Royel Otis were today named to the streaming platform’s global emerging artist platform, but, truthfully, it’s been a long time coming.

For while Royel Otis are a streamer success story – swooning anthems like “Oysters in My Pocket” really took off in the closed-off pandemic years – there’s the clear sense that their talent would have eventually been recognised anyway; the group produce sweetly yearning indie pop numbers that are primed for streaming playlists with insufferably earnest titles, but there’s plenty of sincerity and authenticity tucked inside these songs to balance it out.

The latest example is “Sofa King”, their new single that arrived at the same time as the RADAR announcement. Produced by Chris Collins alongside the group (Otis Pavlovic and Royel Maddell), and its melody is less melancholic than some previous Royel Otis offerings, a pleasing acoustic guitar keeping the song ticking along splendidly.

“You’re so fucking gorgeous,” they shout with wholehearted energy throughout, sounding like a less drug-addled MGMT. Or perhaps Good Morning, Melbourne’s purveyors of swirling psych-pop, would be a better comparison, albeit what Royel Otis make wants to be – and is – more polished and purposefully pristine. Even at this early stage, Pavlovic and Maddell have an impressive mutual understanding in their music.

Long may it continue, and, if Spotify RADAR’s track record in this country is anything to consider, it probably will. “Sofa King” is taken from Sofa Kings, the group’s upcoming third EP, a seven-track collection that contains previous well-received singles like “I Wanna Dance With You” and “Kool Aid”.

Royel Otis’ “Sofa King” is out now. Sofa Kings is out March 31st via OURNESS.