Who? Rounded out by singers and multi-instrumentalists Gareth and Aleksandra, violinist Harriet, guitarists Neil and Tom, and drummer Olly, Los Campesinos! got their start in early 2006, playing their first gig at the Cardiff University student union (conveniently booked by bassist Ellen). Earlier this spring, Canadian imprint Arts & Crafts signed the seven-piece outfit — who are making their U.S. performance debut at Lollapalooza this August — with plans to release an EP, Sticking Fingers Into Sockets, July 3.
What’s the Deal? With fun, quirky songs that sound a lot like their heroes (and labelmates) Broken Social Scene, Los Campesinos! blend British witticism and humor with good old American indie pop. Aleksandra does her best to give Rilo Kiley’s Jenny Lewis a run for her money on “Don’t Tell Me to Do the Math,” Gareth takes his cues from Stephen Malkmus on “Frontwards,” and the two trade verses seamlessly on the incandescent “It Started With a Mixx.”
Fun Fact: Neither Welsh nor Hispanic, Los Campesinos!, which translates roughly to “The Peasants,” got their moniker from Neil, who used to speak Spanish. More importantly, they thought, even if it would never be realized, the name offered them the opportunity to wear costumes and use props on-stage. MARISA BROWN
Now Hear This: Los Campesinos! – “We Throw Parties, You Throw Knives” DOWNLOAD MP3>