Subway Rat’s Debut: A Musical Birth of an Amateur Indie Artist

Born and bred in the heart of New York, Subway Rat dropped his album “Stand Clear of the Closing Doors” back in August 2023. This musical ride, steered by the single “Rendezvous,” captures his fiery and funky vibes, channeling influences from rock champs like The Strokes and LCD Soundsystem. This feels like hopping on the subway—exciting, unpredictable, and occasionally, a little bit ratty.

Our man Subway Rat, a.k.a. David Polanco, may roam across New York, but he’s always got a soft spot for the Mets. Why “Subway Rat”? Well, because of how big a part of his life the subway has been and the underground critters have a special place in his heart—humble, strong, and surprisingly brave, just like his music persona. In a recent chat with The Deli, Rat shared, “There’s something resilient about those subway rats.”


Now, let’s fast-forward to the present. Rat’s been busy as he dropped his latest album, ‘Captain of the Football Team‘ last December 31, 2023. But hold the train! We’re taking a detour back to celebrate his debut masterpiece, ‘Stand Clear Of The Closing Doors’. “Rendezvous” is the standout song that holds everything together in Subway Rat’s music mix. He cleverly mixes different styles of music, breaking the rules of genres. Subway Rat creates a blend that feels both familiar and new. The album ‘Stand Clear of the Closing Doors’ came out in summer 2023 and is quickly getting close to 2 million listens, showing how much people like it.

Let’s dig deeper into the album’s narrative—it’s a story of a young man navigating the trials of a broken heart in the big city, yet still yearning for his unrequited love. Across these 12 tracks, Subway Rat takes the listener on a danceable alt-rock journey, drenched in the nostalgic vibes of mid-00’s Lower East Side, while sprinkling in experimental elements—think hip-hop drums, progressive echoes, and indie-pop synths with a splash of Queens flair. It’s a high-octane, emotional ride, amplified by raw and vulnerable lyrics, making it a standout debut in the indie alternative scene.


Now, let’s zoom in on “Rendezvous.” Close your eyes and imagine a delightful picnic with your beloved or that fluttery excitement when your crush swings by to whisk you away—it’s that level of adorableness. Subway Rat infuses his very essence into this track, channeling a timeless yearning and skillfully embedding it within the musical notes, capturing a sense of longing that stands the test of time.

Here’s the kicker: Subway Rat had penned 40 songs before hitting the recording studio, blazing through each track in a single take. With the help of multi-platinum, Grammy-nominated engineer, Dan The Man, 12 final mixes were whipped up in just three jam-packed sessions. Then, off they went to the brilliant Grammy-winning head engineer, Blue, for mastering—a quick, efficient, and downright fun process. It’s almost like a day at a startup, teaching Subway Rat a thing or two about the art of products and marketing.

Let’s appreciate how Subway Rat’s first-ever album sets the stage for a new indie artist. This album is like Subway Rat’s baby steps into the music world. It’s where he shares his real feelings and starts to find his musical style. In these songs, you can feel his emotions and see how he’s learning to express himself.

Connect with Subway Rat

Published in partnership with SubmitHub