Philadelphia, PA’s Rosu Lup meld orchestral instrumentation, electronic, ethereal and folk sounds into their own special sonic concoction. The two-piece consists of musicians Jonathan Stewart and Josh Marsh who met in late 2013 and eventually formed Rosu Lup, a moniker which means “red wolf” in Romanian and was inspired by a lyric from Sufjan Stevens’ song “The Sleeping Red Wolves.”

The band released its sophomore full-length album, The Ranger, on November 8, 2019, via Majestic Creature Records, and nine-track collection which was recorded between Philadelphia (Miner Street Recordings, Headroom Recordings) and Los Angeles (home studios). Hear it now via Spotify, Apple Music, and Amazon. To enrich the album’s final product, the duo enlisted the collaborative help of drummer and producer James McAlister (Sufjan Stevens, The National) who performed drums, keys, and synth. Lyrically, The Ranger touches on various difficult phases of life, but with an underlying message of hope.

As for live performances, well the guys will play Boot & Saddle in Philadelphia on November 14th, and Burlington, VT’s Nightshade Kitchen on November 16th. With that being said, we were inspired by the album, its content, and these musicians to dig deeper, so we connected with both Stewart and Marsh for a special feature in which they each list the five (for a total of ten) must-have reads when they’re on the road, porting their subdued sonics to crowds everywhere.


01. Between Here and the Yellow Sea by Nic Pizzolatto

Jonathan: “It’s a collection of fictional short stories. Pizzolatto is well-known for creating the hit HBO series “True Detective.” which I have really enjoyed. This book was published back in 2005, and I discovered it after “True Detective.” It’s a great companion while touring because you can finish a story in-between cities while traveling. Pizzolatto is a great storyteller.”

02. Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman

Jonathan: “For fans of Harry Potter and “Stranger Things.” A few years ago a friend recommended Gaiman to me and after taking their advice, I wish I had read his works sooner. It was clear to me that the Duffer’s had to have read “Neverwhere” and found inspiration. Love reading fiction and the world and characters in this book that Gaiman has created are brilliant. Couldn’t put this one down!”

03. Wilderness Essays by John Muir

Jonathan: “Nature, the woods especially, is where I feel like I find myself best. I’ve always been drawn to the west coast since I was a kid. After hiking in Mt. Rainier National Park I came across the writings of John Muir. Muir emphasized the natural world being the place for some of our most euphoric experiences.”

Artwork of ‘The Ranger’ by Rosu Lup

04. The Complete Tales and Poems of Edgar Allan Poe

Jonathan: “Obviously there are well-known works penned by Poe. But as a big fan of detective stories, see above, Poe is considered to be the founder. Where would Sherlock Holmes and perhaps Bruce Wayne be without Poe?”

05. The Child Finder by Rene Denfeld

Jonathan: “Extremely suspenseful read — dark, and a bit unsettling. Takes place in the Pacific Northwest, and follows a private investigator (Naomi) who searches for lost children. Another read that I simply couldn’t put down. It’s a pretty easy read, once you get past some of the content you’re engaging with.”

06. Rum Diary by Hunter S Thompson

Josh: “Set in the 1950s Puerto Rico, Rum Dairy is a story of love, American greed, and an insatiable lust for alcohol. Begs the question be answered: Is unbridled western progress a good thing? Does it damage cultures more than it benefits them? Sure to start some great conversation in those long drives between shows.”

07. Call Me by Your Name by Andre Aciman

Josh: “A love story set in 1980s Italy about a 17-year-old who falls in love with a 20-something-year-old scholar who comes to visit for the summer. When you’re away from home you often miss the ones you love. A love story is just what you need sometimes.”


08. Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail by Cheryl Strayed

Josh: “A memoir about self-discovery on the Pacific Crest Trail. When I travel, I feel like I always discover something new about myself. Sometimes that can be a really jarring and scary experience because what I discover often isn’t guaranteed to be something I particularly like about myself. Reading stories about people who have had similar journeys, coming face-to-face with theirselves, helps to bring peace and excitement to the process.”

09. Be Here Now by Ram Das

Josh: “Written in 1971, it’s a book about the beauty and pain of spiritual transformation. Sometimes the writing process has the tendency to get lost in ideals rather than in grounded-ness. Touring can have the same tendencies. It’s very easy to focus on the big picture: are the shows going well, are we on time, how are merch sales, where are we staying tonight etc. “Be Here Now” brilliantly reminds me to stay grounded in the moment, and to soak up the beauty that’s available right at my fingertips.”

10. The Hero with a Thousand Faces by Joseph Campbell

Josh: “Published in 1949, it’s a book that explores the common mythological structures that thread themselves through every religion, culture, and time period. I love driving through the night while talking about weird heady stuff. “The Hero With a Thousand Faces” is the sort of book I want to think about at 2 a.m. driving across the Midwest. It works out well ‘cause I can talk about it for hours without the need for any of my bandmates to contribute to the conversation. It keeps me awake and puts them to sleep. Win-win.”

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