Being one who is typically not on the cutting edge of most technological trends, I was relatively late to the Spotify bandwagon. In fact I was well invested and sufficiently pleased with my Pandora account and had no reason to fix something that wasn’t broken—or so I thought. With great hesitancy I relinquished what little virtual privacy I once held to Spotify, but in return I would gain a doorway to a world of musical discover. But instead of yammering on about the majestic musical database, I would rather discuss Atlas Genius, an Australian based indie-pop band whose new album When it Was Now was released last month and whose popularity have gone from 0 to 60 in half a quarter beat—for those of you who can’t add fractions well, that’s really fast.
Taking an atypical approach to music, the foursome focused on building a studio that would facilitate creativity and songwriting years before they ever performed live as Atlas Genius. Brothers Michael and Keith Jeffries carefully designed their workspace exactly the way they wanted not really knowing where it would lead them. After two years of building and playing at local pubs to finance their dream studio, their musical mecca was finally in place where they would write and produce their EP Through the Glass and eventually their full-length debut When it Was Now.
Unsuspecting and unaware of what was to come, when their featured song “Trojans” came up on Spotify, I was hooked like a fat kid in an all-you-can-eat doughnut shop. Their aptly named hit song permeated my psyche much like the Trojan horse did the once thriving Spartan fortress. Hours later I couldn’t help but unconsciously hum the melody, which was quite frustrating considering I didn’t know but a few lyrics. The relatively simplistic song elements were powerful enough to get my toe tapping and my soul dancing. Like a Quaker in a strip club, I was enamored with this new discovery and I wanted more.
Much to the surprise of the guys from down under, “Trojans” was an instant hit. Soon after sharing their catchy tune on sites such as Triple J Unearthed, Sound Cloud and iTunes, the song began attracting attention from labels, publishers, and a barrage of others in the music industry. However, the guys were so wrapped up in their college studies they didn’t bother to check the band email. Fortunately, once they had, Atlas Genius was more focused on music than they ever had been—paving the way to two major tours, a major label contract and a full-length album.
Although When it was Now, which released mid February, is a fun album to listen to, it is anything but revolutionary. Their overall approach to the album falls a bit on the formulaic side and may not speak to the music snob continually boasting about “the band that’s gonna change it all.” That being said, for the guy/gal who loves music that simply sounds good (I know, totally subjective) and is well written (how egocentric is this guy?), Atlas Genius will always be the band that may not be at the top of the list, but will certainly bring the fun.
Their full length album When it Was Now is available now on iTunes and other music retailers.
View Photos of Atlas Genius, live at The House of Blues San Diego on March 18th. Photos by Christian Rodas, Soul Venture Productions.
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