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Arizona’s Whisperlights formed in mid-2008, a loose collective of songwriters and multi-instrumentalists from bands around the Tempe and Phoenix music scene. Their sound is a combination of full-throated vocal harmonies, ringing distorted guitars and swooning looped violin atop a skeleton of bouncing Rhodes lines and intricately shambling percussion. The band became known early on for their epic and chaotic live show, often featuring multiple instrument exchanges and many broken guitar strings.

In the Fall of 2009 The ‘lights headed West toward the smoke plumes of a steadily burning Los Angeles to record an album with the enigmatic Chris Kasych, who, for a bottle of whiskey, agreed to track the band after-hours. After a grueling and sleepless three-night marathon, their seven song debut was born.

Said debut, the Wake Up Dead EP, is a lush and driving set of songs about change, death, and romantic fatalism writ large. Characters strive and toil, or live in blissful ignorance, only to be annihilated. Sleeping sailors are chewed alive. People turn into trees. Things get weird. And yet, for all the warbling macabre, these are pop songs: bright and summer-vacation-catchy. Lucid melodies fold into dense harmony, burn up and emerge again from the feedback.

The Whisperlights now divide their time between touring and finishing their upcoming full-length release, Surfaces.


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