Mistle Thrush was formed in the Boston area in 1993 by Valerie Forgione (vocals, guitar, theremin), Scott Patalano (guitar), Todd Demma (drums), Ruben Layman (bass) and Brad Rigney (guitar). They named themselves after a bird that eats mistletoe berries, supposedly because of its combination of a sweet voice with a diet that would be poisonous to most animals.
Mistle Thrush released their fist EP Agus Amarach in 1994. This was followed a year later by the full-length Silt, with Brad Rigney replaced on guitar and bass by Matthew Kattman. Both albums were marked by dreamy, ethereal, yet melody-minded songwriting as well as Valerie Forgione's distinctive voice.
Mistle Thrush's second full-length album Super Refraction, released in 1997, was poppier and enjoyed relative success in the Boston area, including heavy airplay on local rock radio stations and awards for Best Indie Album and Best Female Vocalist at the Boston Music Awards. The band took on a vigorous tour schedule to support the album, gaining a reputation as one of Boston's best live acts, but losing two members in the process.
Mistle Thrush continued to tour, but took a five-year break from recording before releasing Drunk With You in 2002. The lineup for this album was Valerie Forgione, Todd Demma, Scott Patalano and Matthew Klain on bass. Their most pop-minded effort yet, Drunk With You received some strong initial reviews, but did not live up to the success of Super Refraction.
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