Who? The five members of indie rock group the Silent Years grew up together in suburban Detroit. Josh Epstein (lead vocals, guitar), Pat Michalak (bass), brothers Jonathan (guitar) and Jeremy (drums) Edwards, and Rosalind Christian (keyboards) spent a few post-high school years studying and traveling before reconnecting to pursue music. Their spirited performance at this year's South by Southwest festival earned them a slew of new fans, and they've just released their self-titled full-length debut on NoAlternative Records.
What's the Deal? The first thing you notice about The Silent Years is Epstein's voice: passionate and mellifluous, it's somewhat reminiscent of Jeff Buckley, an artist the band lists as an influence. "When we're naked we all see our secrets disappear," he sings on "No Secrets," the album's opener, which features chunky guitars and Radiohead-esque electronic flourishes. Ted Leo fans will be drawn to the brisk, anthemic "This Town." And the quirky "Devil Got My Woman" sounds like a languid horseback ride through a psychedelic desert.
Fun Fact: The Silent Years aren't strangers to sleeping in parking lots. "We lived in our van in a McDonald's lot for two days in Montreal," Epstein told SPIN.com. But the band didn't mind the impromptu sleeping arrangement. "One night we were craving milkshakes and ice cream after we had changed into our pajamas, so we drove the van around the drive thru in our undies and ordered McFlurries and shakes, which we consumed back in our parking space before sleeping." CHRISTINE RICHMOND
Now Hear This: The Silent Years - "Someone To Keep Us Warm" DOWNLOAD MP3
On SPIN.com: Silent Years' Vibrant New Video
Talk: Will you remain silent about this band? COMMENT
On the Web: thesilentyears.com