James and the Drifters
1116 Prospect St.
Indianapolis, IN, 46203
Doors 8:00 PM / Show 9:00 PM
This event is 21 and over
Watch & Listen
The first track on Lo Moon's self-titled album is ever so gentle in its clarion call. Starting
softly with light beats, '80s synths and the controlled vocals of lead singer Matt Lowell, it
eventually erupts in a stadium-ready chorus cry of “This is it! This is it now!” For Lowell
and his two main bandmates Crisanta Baker (guitar, bass, keys) and Sam Stewart
(guitar), Lo Moon is it: the moment they've each individually been working towards their
entire musical lives.
Music is the universal language for a group of people who all come from vastly different
corners of the earth. Lowell is from Long Island, Baker from Denver, Stewart from
London; Los Angeles was their eventual meeting place. It was Lowell who instigated Lo
Moon before it even had a name. His mantra – if you like – for all the material was their
first release “Loveless,” a track he had been working on for five years. After its release,
the media were wagging their tongues on this new “mysterious” band who emerged with
a My Bloody Valentine-referencing, epic sprawl of a tune. Lowell and co., however, insist
that their intention was never to be opaque. They just didn't have anything else to say at
the time. “We thought, 'Let's lead with the music and see what happens',” he explains.“It
ended up going really far and everyone wanting to know more about the band, but we
weren't keeping any information, we were just figuring out what we were gonna do next.
We were starting from nothing.”
From nothing has come something astounding. Their self-titled debut album - a dark,
luscious collection of songs full of crescendo rock and sparkling electronics - spans the
breadth of human highs and lows, mostly inspired by the dissolution of Lowell's
relationship in New York and his subsequent move to the west coast. The record was
made in Seattle and Los Angeles and was produced by Chris Walla (former member of
Death Cab For Cutie and full-time producer) and Francois Tetaz (known for his work with
Gotye). Matt had met each of them separately a few years before, and felt strongly that
they'd both bring something important to the project despite having never met. He
decided to introduce them to one another, eventually encouraging them to co-produce
the record. The result takes the best of both producer’s worlds and melds them into
something as dynamic as its creators. Joining the band for parts of the recording
process were Adam Granduciel and Charlie Hall of The War On Drugs, along with
touring drummer Sterling Laws and The Blue Nile’s P.J. Moore.
Kicking off with instant anthem “This Is It,” Lo Moon mirrors the type of seductive
electronic energy of bands such as the xx, immediately engulfing you in a cool, thought-
provoking, meditative atmosphere. Moving into “Loveless,” the band’s calling card, the
album veers towards hopeful, uplifting, and wanting. On the heart-rendering tip, “Thorns”
tells a narrative of a love that's gone but not forgotten. It's bittersweet, sad, and
nevertheless alive with catharsis. “Real Love” – another highlight – begins with an
almost gothic synth line, moving from minimalism into a noirish despair. “When it's real
love, you try to fix it but it's never enough,” go the lyrics, drastically and crushingly
It's no surprise that Lo Moon have thus far toured with the likes of London Grammar and
Ride. Their music almost bridges a gap between those two generations of soft
experimental rock and near atmospheric electronic pop. The record could sit happily
among the likes of Talk Talk, Roxy Music, early Coldplay, and the cinematic scope of
Sigur Ros. Admitting themselves that they don't keep too abreast of current bands, the
trio find their musical Venn diagram tends to crossover in the '80s, '90s and always
classics: Depeche Mode, The Cure, Peter Gabriel, and so forth. They're very
unconcerned with chasing the zeitgeist, or trying to stay current, an attitude that takes Lo
Moon squarely out of the now and places them in a future perfect place of their
brilliantly-devised own making.
The band has made itself at home on the road in 2017 - opening for Phoenix, London
Grammar, The War On Drugs, Temples, Ride, and more - and the forthcoming year
sees them rapidly becoming one of the best new live bands to emerge over the last few
years, complementing their interest in their everlasting search to connect with as many
new listeners as possible. “We're just trying to take it day by day,” says Lowell, sensibly.
“We want people to believe in what we're doing and where we're going.” Of course,
Stewart is there to keep their egos in check. “In terms of our ambitions for this record I
was actually thinking more – private jet,” he laughs. If the music stays this good, the sky
will be the limit.
James and the Drifters
This is a story about James & the Drifters formed in 2010 when three friends, Kyle Jackson, Tyler Gault, and Brent Chamberlin, decided to combine efforts and record their original folk songs as one group.
There are several stories on how the name James & the Drifters came about:
Version 1: While the group was in a very transitional period, living together in the 509 community house, they encountered several wanderers in need of shelter for their travels. Coincidentally each one was named James. One specific gentleman was walking from Florida to Washington state in search of employment as a fisherman. The BP oil spill had rendered him jobless but he had family in Washington willing to give him work. So happens he was walking through Huntington when he found himself connected to the 509. After staying the night the group took up a collection, got James a bus ticket, and sent him on his way out west.
Version 2: On a rainy summer's evening. Tyler and Kyle were driving home from the downtown Market St Bar where karaoke was hoppin. While driving home, the friends spot a hitch-hiker. They pick him up. The young man says his name is James and that he lives in-town. They ask where he's headed? He says to just drive. The car starts and Kyle's cd begins to play in the speakers. "Is this Dave Matthews?" James asks… The friends explain that it's Kyle's solo album. They begin to drive away, past one-house, then a second house, when James hastily says, "Well, this is me." Jumpin out of the car James asks, "You boys into the Avett Brothers?" Still confused by the short distance of travel James needed to go, they reply, "Yea man, we're into the Avett Brothers." "Cool," he replies.
James & the Drifters have always kept two goals in mind for every performance, to give positivity and play from the heart. The aphorism has served them well as the band is one of the most talked about and loved groups in Fort Wayne's underground music scene. Their sound is the transfiguration of modern pop folk into the likeness of the golden-era of rock.
Formed in the small town of Huntington in 2010, James & the Drifters was the collective idea of three folk artists pulling resources. Less than a month after sharing material Brent Chamberlin, Kyle Jackson, and Tyler Gault hit the studio and in 8 hours the three men recorded over 20 songs featuring a wide-range of folk instruments: the banjo, lap-steel, accordion, drums, guitar, and rich three-part harmonies. "There was never a lack of songs and creative input," Chamberlin says. And never have truer words been spoken. Over the course of the band's four-year existence they have recorded three albums (about to release the fourth) and perform just about every weekend of the year.
Immediately after forming James & the Drifters began booking shows and playing anyplace that would host them; playing weddings, art galleries, graduation parties, birthday parties, car shows, and of course the local Ft. Wayne dive bars and restaurants. More recently the band has begun touring regionally, including stops in Chicago, Columbus, Indianapolis, Grand Rapids, and Nashville. Another aspect of the band's mission to give positivity is performing charity events and putting on concerts for the incarcerated.
Stylistically the band has shaken off their dusty-folk/Americana-boots for the tough thick-skinned sound of rock and blues. Melodic guitar riffs float sweetly about one another while coastal three-part harmonies, pure and strong, move along within the rock driven rhythm section. Putting a finger on the sound of James & the Drifters typically hearkens to bands such as My Morning Jacket, Band of Horses, or Lord Huron, yet James & the Drifters offers a fresh perspective which flows down a path of its own right.
The band continues to tour regionally and earn new fans. Their fourth album "All That Gold" released independently on August 5th 2014.