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WBRU Dunkin’ Donuts Summer Concert Series Artist #4: The Neighbourhood

California-based band The Neighbourhood had a beginning as shadowy and mysterious as their dark music video (the band imposes a strict black and white rule on all their photography, footage, and even clothing). In early 2012 the quintet popped up on the internet with a track called “Female Robbery”, without any information on the band’s identity. As a second track “Sweater Weather” was put out with a stylish, retro, achromatic music video, fans and music critics alike scrambled to find out more about the group.

Although details on The Neighbourhood’s history have slowly come out, it is this sort of mystique that the band likes to cultivate. Drummer Bryan Sammis describes their sound as “pop music that isn’t all sunshine and butterflies,” and even in their more upbeat tracks you can hear distorted, shimmering guitar chords and harmonies that perpetuate a sense of haunted unease. Their combination of diverse sounds reflect their diverse musical tastes and backgrounds, from tripped-out ambient rock to driving kick drum beats.

Despite the musical complexity, when The Neighbourhood formed in 2011 not a member could legally buy a drink. Sammis is the oldest at 22, and lead singer Jesse Rutherford started out rapping over guitars, live drums, and a drum machine with his buddies Jeremy Freedman and Zach Abels in his mid teens. They made the rounds of the local punk scene in Thousand Oaks, CA until hooking up with Sammis and bassist Mikey Margott, They don’t let their age preclude them from being serious in their musical endeavors, and have been producing a constant stream of new music. After releasing “Sweater Weather” and “Female Robbery”, they put out two EPs in 2012: I’m Sorry… and Thank You. Their first full-length, I Love You., came out this April to critical acclaim; The Neighbourhood is now touring with BRU friends like The 1975 and Imagine Dragons, and their fanbase of “hoodlums” is growing rapidly.

For some California soul with a healthy dose of melancholy and a rocking beat, head on down to Waterplace Park at 7:00 this Friday. Beer garden, free swag, great music… come on, we’ve already had 3 awesome Friday night shows so you know the deal.

Check out the music video for “Sweater Weather” below:

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