Hailing from Lititz, a small town in Philadelphia, The Districts are a four-piece group formed in 2009 as a high school band that played rock covers. Consisting of Rob Grote (vocals and guitar), Connor Jacobus (Bass), Braden Lawrence (drums) and Mark Larson (guitar), these guys started out playing small gigs in venues like their local burrito shop, and selling show tickets for $10.
They’ve come a long way since playing at the burrito joint, and The Districts show no sign of ramping down on the grunge inspired A Flourish and Spoil.
Fast forward to 2013, their debut album Telephone was released, and they had progressed to performing in venues outside their home town of Lititz, to Lancaster County and Philadelphia. Telephone introduced us to The Districts’ unique sound, a combination of classic rock n roll and indie folk teamed with a fresh youthfulness. This album boasts such a wide range of sounds, with the single Telephone being super folky and upbeat, to the song Sleepy Song pt. 2 that is much more dark and sombre, with a real garage rock vibe.
It was the single Funeral Beds that gained the guys a lot of attention, resulting in the band being signed up for a national tour, and eventually signed with record label Fat Possum Records in 2014. The Districts also gained a new guitarist, Pat Cassidy, who joined the other lads in 2014 when Larson decided to move away for college, so 2014 proved to be a big year for the up and coming band.
The Districts are now set to release their second album A Flourish and Spoil on February 10th, 2015. To be honest, I had not heard much of their music before, but after listening to “A Flourish and Spoil” I think I’m fan-girling a tiny bit. With such a raw and grainy sound, this album is definitely not one to be missed. It is really 19 year old Grote’s scratchy falsetto that makes this album stand out so much, especially in tracks like 6 am and Peaches, his vocals almost outshine the screeching guitar and heavy drum beat. The album has a real beachy feel, and I reckon there could be a couple of summer anthems in here. There are absolutely no mechanical or manufactured sounds here, just natural and genuine rock n roll.
This album seems to have moved away from the folk sound and more towards a rock n roll, grunge sound, which has totally worked for them. Out of the ten tracks, my favourite has to be 4th and Roebling. The opening bass line sucks you in straight away, and from there the song just gets better and better. It is pretty chilled up until the one minute mark, when everything jolts into gear, the beat and tempo step up a few levels and come at you full force. It’s just such an energetic song that makes you want to hear more from the album.
The Districts are kicking off their North American and European tour on March 10th that at this stage will see them to June 14th , but there is still a possibility more shows will be added, fingers crossed they might make their way to Australia so I can (in a totally non-creepy way) really work on my fan-girling!
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