Cold War Kids
Fullerton, CA's Cold War Kids make music with roots that go deep and wide, embracing influences as diverse as Bob Dylan, Billie Holiday, Jeff Buckley, and the Velvet Underground. Matt Aveiro, Matt Maust, Jonnie Russell, and Nathan Willett began crafting their soulful, blues-inflected take on indie rock as Cold War Kids in 2004, recording demos in Los Angeles soon after they formed. After signing to Monarchy Music, Cold War Kids released their debut EP, Mulberry Street, in spring 2005. The band's unique sound and impassioned live act generated a buzz -- particularly from bloggers -- that grew with each tour and release. Maust's clean but eye-catching designs for EPs like With Our Wallets Full and Up in Rags and the group's website also added to Cold War Kids' mystique. They spent much of 2006 on the road with Tapes 'n Tapes, Figurines, Sound Team, and Editors and appeared at that year's Lollapalooza. That summer, they signed to Downtown Records, also home to Art Brut and Gnarls Barkley. The band's full-length debut, Robbers & Cowards, arrived that fall. Loyalty to Loyalty, which moved in a slower, bluesier direction, was released in 2008. On Behave Yourself, an EP that had a digital release late in 2009 and was issued on CD early in 2010, Cold War Kids emphasized their soulful ballads. In 2010 the band went into the studio with Grammy-winning producer Jacquire King (Tom Waits, Kings of Leon). Their third album, Mine Is Yours, arrived in early 2011. ~ Heather Phares, Rovi
Originally from Chicago, Houses is Dexter Tortoriello and Megan Messina. They formed in 2010 after a 3 month stint in Papaikou Hawaii living off the land . With no modern conveniences the couple worked for meals during the day cultivating indigenous microorganisms and learning the basics of sustainable living. They drank, showered and cooked with rain water applying the basics of grassroots, cultivated reality known to few. This was the inspiration behind their first album All Night put out on Lesfe Records. In the time since the couple have moved to Los Angeles, signed to Downtown Records (Major Lazer, White Denim, Cold War Kids, Miike Snow, Santigold) and written their sophomore album A Quiet Darkness with an equally if not more beautiful process. Recorded over the course of 2012 splitting time between their new home and Sonic Ranch, A Quiet Darkness's narrative tells the story of a husband and wife separated in the midst of a nuclear disaster and their attempt to reunite with one another along the Highway 10 in California before their inevitable deaths, each song taking place in different abandoned houses along the way. Tortoriello and Messina made the same trek a couple of times themselves to record sound and video at these abandoned houses that are featured in the album. The album's celestial ambiance and wanderlust concepts are conveyed throughout the recording with techniques employed by Tortoriello's production and the stark contrast between the minimal electronic pulses, found sounds and meandering and melancholy harmonies. The ethereal sound on which Houses was built is woven through A Quiet Darkness, the 2013 release shows a deep and pensive side to a band who clearly encompass a darker side of bliss; a bold new bravado that will resonate with anyone who has ever experienced love and loss.