Get to know the artists
Alternative-rock band Death Cab for Cutie has released seven studio albums and is rumored to be working on an eighth. Lead singer Ben Gibbard started the band in Bellingham, Washington in 1997. Joined by Chris Walla (guitar, keyboards), Nicholas Harmer (bass) and Jason McGerr (drums), the band became an indie-rock sensation. Famous for songs such as, “I Will Follow You into the Dark,” “Soul Meets Body,” “Transatlanticism” and “A Lack of Color,” the band has been nominated for seven Grammys, including Best Alternative Music Album and Best Rock Song. In addition to headlining KXT’s Summer Cut, Death Cab for Cutie will be preforming at festivals such as British Colombia’s Rifflandia, Austin’s Fun Fun Fun Fest and San Francisco’s Outside Lands.
Iron and Wine
Iron and Wine, the penname for artist and composer Sam Beam, is known for its homespun folk rock sound. The first Iron and Wine album, The Creek Drank the Cradle, was written and recorded in Beam’s home studio in 2002. Five album’s later, Beam has expanded his sound to include electric instruments and a touch of R&B. Iron and Wine, who has been compared to Nick Drake, Simon and Garfunkel, Neil Young, Elliot Smith and Ralph Stanley, is best known for songs such as “Flightless Bird, American Mouth,” “Boy With a Coin,” “Such Great Heights” and “Pagan Angel and a Borrowed Car.” Songs have appeared in movies and television shows such as In Good Company, Garden State, Twilight, Grey’s Anatomy and Friday Night Lights.
The Hold Steady is a critically acclaimed rock and roll band based in Brooklyn, New York. The songs on Teeth Dreams, their sixth studio album, came together over the past three years. The title refers to a common nighttime dream. Dreams about teeth are usually triggered by anxiety, which is a theme that shows up in a number of songs on the album. The Hold Steady played their first show in 2003 and have gone on to influence numerous rock acts, such as Japandroids, Titus Andronicus, Frank Turner and many others. You may have heard recent singles “Spinners” and “I Hope This Whole Thing Didn’t Frighten You” on KXT, but the band is also known for “Stuck Between Stations,” “Chips Ahoy!” “Your Little Hoodrat Friend” and “You Can Make Him Like You.” The Hold Steady will be on tour throughout Europe this fall.
Texas-based siblings Maggie and Tyler Heath form the self-produced band The Oh Hellos. The eclectic folk rock band is famous for songs like “Hello My Old Heart,” “Cold is the Night,” “I Have Made Mistakes” and “Like the Dawn.” The San Marcos duo has released two albums, “The Oh Hellos” and “Through the Deep, Dark Valley.” The band cites Mumford and Sons, The Lumineers, Los Campesinos! and Sufjan Stevens as influences.
The Wild Feathers
Instead of one lead vocalist, The Wild Feathers opts for a group of five strong, unique male leads. The Nashville-based rock and roll band incorporates country, blues and folk into their classic American sound. In 2013, they debuted their first album The Wild Feathers, which includes songs such as “Backwoods Company,” “The Ceiling,” “American” and “I Can Have You.”
Thao Nguyen drives the alternative folk rock music behind her San Francisco-based band Thao and the Get Down Stay Down. After releasing We Brave Bee Stings and All in 2008 and Know Better Learn Faster in 2009, Thao is focusing on her newest album, We the Common. In this critically revered album, Thao draws inspiration from her volunteer work at a women’s prison. Along with playing at KXT’s Summer Cut, Thao will be preforming at festivals like Minneapolis’ Skyline Music Festival and San Francisco’s Phono del Sol.
The Unlikely Candidates
Fort Worth-based indie rock band The Unlikely Candidates features Kyle Morris (vocals), Cole Male (guitar), Keven Goddard (drums), Brenton Carney (lead guitar) and Jared Hornbeek (bass.) Famous for their single “Follow My Feet,” the band cites The Strokes, Bob Dylan, The Black Keys and The Beatles as influences. The group just wrapped up their summer tour and will be performing at the Riot Fest in both Chicago and Colorado after KXT’s Summer Cut.
Music junkies and critics alike praised When We Were Wild, the first album from the Fort Worth-based band The Orbans. Four years later, the pop-rock band is back with their new record, Vedere. Frontman Peter Black believes this album is more interesting vocally and rhythmically. The band has been compared to groups such as Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, Big Star, Dr. Dog and Ryan Adams. Hit songs include “Like a Liar,” “New Dress” and “Before It’s Time.”
Alternative rock band, Valise, hails from our very own Dallas, Texas. The four members’ debut EP, Dreamcatcher, received critical acclaim and put them on the indie-music map. Valise, compared to bands like Circa Survive and PMtoday, is preparing to release a new album.