Band to Play Shows in LA & New York This Week
“L.A.-based DWNTWN had us at hello with their 2012 indie hit “Look the Other Way,” and now the electronic pop act is back with the easy, breezy track, “Til Tomorrow.”
– People Magazine
“Shimmery, ethereal indie/electro-pop in excelsis.” – The Guardian
“We need all the sunshine we can get right now, and DWNTWN has it in spades.”
– USA Today’s Pop Candy
“Absolutely sublime.” – My Old Kentucky Blog
It’s been a busy couple of months for DWNTWN. Their first single, “Til Tomorrow”, debuted on USA Today’s Pop Candy in February, followed by the gorgeous lyric video, and feature video debut on Vevo (below). Both the track and a run of West Coast shows had press and fans alike clamoring for more. So the band obliged, dropping a slew of collaborations with Blackbird Blackbird, SomethingALaMode, Futurecop!, and Rainer + Grimm.
This week the band celebrates with shows in Los Angeles, and New York, as they celebrate the release of their infectious self-titled EP, out on Julian Records today. “We’ve been hard at work for the past year writing new songs and recording this latest EP,” notes the band. “Each and every song went through tons of alternate versions until we got them to sound exactly how we wanted. We’re really happy with the way the EP turned out and we’re even more thrilled that it’s available now!”
DWNTWN Shows This Week:
Tuesday, April 29 Los Angeles, CA @ Sayers Club
(Free, EP Release show)
Thursday, May 1 New York, NY @ Santos Party House
Friday May 2 Brooklyn, NY @ Glasslands Gallery
w/ New Young Pony Club
“Missing You is a lovely, 80s-referencing electro pop ballad with some added folksy guitar” – Deadly Music
“Prepare for a lot of sunshine and dreamy pop, flirting with guitars and live drums.” – The 405
“…devastatingly affecting indie-pop.” – Buzzbands LA
“We don’t know much about L.A. electro-pop duo DWNTWN besides the fact that we want to hear a lot more music from them.” – NYLON Magazine
“Easing tension with mellow and drawn-out soundscapes” – Earmilk
“Sun-soaked pop and dreamy synths merge together though breezy boy/girl vocals to create a sound that was made for driving through the Hollywood Hills with the windows down.” – TopShop
“Two years later, we are still getting weak in the knees for DWNTWN.” – KaNaNa
The world of pop music is littered with stories of awkward beginnings, but in the case of Los Angeles synth pop outfit DWNTWN, the meeting of founding members Jamie Leffler and Robert Cepeda takes uncomfortable beginnings to a whole new level. “I was dating Robert’s brother,” explains Leffler. “And then when he and I broke up I pretty much immediately started a band with Robert.” The band, which initially started as a heartbroken lark back in 2010, eventually became a full-time pursuit.
Over the course of four years Leffler and Cepeda went from recording twee folk experiments into their iPhones to making resplendent indie-pop that sounds as warm and intoxicating as the city they both call home. They first made waves after appearing on two different Kitsune compilations—“See My Eyes” appeared on Kistune America and “Move Me” (a collab with Giraffage and Jhameel) on Kitsune America 2. Both tracks subsequently charted at #2 on Hype Machine. Eventually expanding from a duo to playing live as a four-piece—releasing a handful of singles and two excellent EPs (Cowboys and The Red Room) in the process—the band have grown from shy bedroom recordists and reluctant performers into a formidable pop outfit (logging time on the road with the likes of Capital Cities and Gold Fields).
On the band’s new EP, the self-titled DWNTWN, their music comes into even sharper focus—heartfelt daydreams distilled into pitch-perfect 3-minute confections. The kind of music made for late-night makeouts, winsome self-reflection, or better yet—endless sun-filled drives with the top down.
The four songs on the DWNTWN EP—the follow up to 2012’s self-released The Red Room—represent a quantum leap forward for the band and present a lovely soft-focus statement of intent. The EP’s first single, “Til Tomorrow” (whose recently-premiered video features the band playing songs, taking shots, and building literal houses of cards in what a appears to be an empty LA bar) is the sort of jangly, pop gem that wouldn’t sound out of place on an old Phoenix or St. Etienne record. Breezy but far from slight, the tracks on DWNTWN manage to weave music a much broader sonic palette. “Missing You,”—a song that addresses the passing of Leffler’s grandfather–is one of the only songs in recent memory to make the marriage of synths, handclaps, and a banjo sound like the most natural thing in the world. Elsewhere, tracks like “Skins” and “Blankets” employ the kind of seamless production and breathless vocals (not to mention heavenly synth-scapes that could have drifted off of a long-long Tangerine Dream single) that make DWNTWN a truly sanguine listening experience—feather light electro-pop melodies with just the right amount of emotional kick.