FOR YEARS BLUE
For Years Blue is growing up. After spending the last few years honing their songwriting and composition abilities, as well as getting comfortable with the current lineup, the progressive indie sextet feels primed to present its unique sound to the world. The timing couldn't be better. With a recent win at Seattle's Sound Off! Competition, which led to a slot at this September's Bumbershoot, as well as an industry consultation, the band has built up considerable buzz. Such accomplishments are impressive, especially since they're still in high school.
The band's mature and distinctive sound belies their age, as well. The six members seem as if they have been playing together for much longer than their formidable high school years. Their sound is one that blends the calm atmospheric embellishments of Sigur Ros with the rock prowess of Radiohead, and a dash of Death Cab For Cutie's passionate poignancy, a string-heavy sound that melds together impressively live. Last Friday at the Boulevard they presented songs with well-blended harmonies and an accelerating tempo that eventually burst into high-drive, filling the room with resonance. The crowd loved it. Still, despite this enthusiasm, the band kept their cool. "They're very poised and mature onstage," says Pat Dundas of KYRS. "It's impressive. It's a victory for them and a victory for Spokane."
In the upcoming months For Years Blue is prepared to represent their hometown when they pack up and move to Seattle. "Spokane music scene's really been treating us well," says lead singer and guitarist Erik White. "Especially the venues and the attendees. They're really supportive." Still, the band is realistic about being a smaller fish in a bigger pond. "When we move to Seattle it's gonna be tough 'cause we're gonna realize that it will be harder to get shows and play." Nonetheless, the group and their fans have an overall good attitude about the move.
"I think they will be embraced in Seattle," says friend and fellow musician, Spokane rapper Locke.
Despite all the hype, though, the band members still keep a humble attitude about their recent successes. "I'm really surprised we got voted one of Spokane's hottest bands," says White. "We weren't expecting it." Nonetheless, For Years Blue has plenty to be proud of. Winning the Seattle Sound Off! title has helped them gain confidence, encouragement and a strong work ethic. "We aren't the same band we were six months ago," says White. "I think we've really pushed ourselves."
Moreover, their industry consultation, as well as networking with other bands, puts them in an excellent position. "They're forming relationships already that could be crucial to their development," says Dundas, "And they could get adopted into that music scene, or at least get some looks." In the midst of their growing popularity and support, increasingly polished and mature sound, and poise both onstage and off, they're angling to get more than just looks.