Giant Rooks’ sophomore album lives up to the hype

German sensation Giant Rooks released their second album, “How Have You Been?” on Feb. 2. This album was highly anticipated by fans following the release of their debut album “ROOKERY” in August of 2020.

Leading up to the official release of the album, the band released several singles. The first of these was “Morning Blue” in 2022, followed by one of my personal favorites on the album “Bedroom Exile” in 2023. Since this summer, they have also released the singles “Somebody Like You,” “For You,” “Cold Wars,” “Fight Club” and finally “Pink Skies” just a few weeks before the album’s release in early 2024. 

I absolutely adore their first album “ROOKERY” — especially “Watershed,” “Heat Up” and “What I Know Is All Quicksand” — and I have enjoyed the singles for “How Have You Been?” these past few months immensely, so needless to say my expectations for the rest of the album were very high. Luckily for Giant Rooks, they did not fall into the “sophomore slump” of many artists’ second albums and did not disappoint. This album perfectly combines meaningful lyricism with catchy beats that get stuck in your head for days in a good way.

“Nobody Likes Hospitals” is a touching and emotional ballad speaking to the unfortunate reality in so many of our lives of hoping a loved one will get better soon. 

The addictive beat of “Bedroom Exile” somehow makes you forget the sadness buried within the lyrics: “All I, all that I know / My mind can’t take it no more / I’m going down in my bedroom exile / Haven’t seen myself for a while.” 

Giant Rooks’ lyrical talents are highlighted in “Flashlights,” another favorite of mine on this album. 

The vocal talents of frontman Fred Rabe, combined with the incredible instrumental work of the rest of the band — guitarist Finn Schwieters, bassist Luca Göttner, drummer Finn Thomas and keyboardist Jonathan Wischniowski — have landed Giant Rooks the coveted No. 1 spot on the Official German Charts. Before this album, the band was best known for their cover of “Tom’s Diner” with fellow German band AnnenMayKantereit, which gained significant attention on TikTok in 2019. 

I was first introduced to Giant Rooks this past summer when I saw them open for Louis Tomlinson on his “Faith in the Future World Tour” in Asbury Park. I did not know any of their music prior to the concert, and I immediately fell in love with their sound. Rabe’s voice is so unique, and their stage presence is absolutely electric. I was disappointed I only got to hear such a short set, and when they announced North American tour dates before the release of “How Have You Been?” I did not hesitate in the slightest to purchase my tickets. 

Giant Rooks was one of my favorite musical discoveries this past year, and I would highly recommend to anyone giving “How Have You Been?” and their other music a listen, especially those who like indie or pop music. They deserve all of the recognition they have gotten since touring with Tomlinson, and I can’t wait to see what comes next for the band!


5/5 stars


Featured photo courtesy of @giantrooksmusic, Instagram