ACL Artist Spotlight: The Growlers
Written by Yuliana Bourdin on October 5, 2017
The Growlers make you feel like you wandered into an ambient beach party bursting with psychedelic colors and surf rock. They’re a quintet band unlike many others and they are epitomized by Beach Goth.
The band formed in 2006 with a couple of friends who were simply into music and as the story goes: one picks up a guitar, another sings and with a decade of work, lyrics, sweat, and whiskey. Did I mention Bill Murray is a fan?
Originally called “The Heebie-Geebies,” the band soon decided that they needed a different name and the current one came from their slang term for taking a dump: taking a growler, which perfectly portrays their goofiness. Their performances are just as extraordinary. Colorful sets, patterned clothes, and their kooky wigs give off a theatrical vibe and the crowds, who dance like crazy and keep up with the costume-like looks, are just as part of the show as the band is.
Just as times have changed, so has their sound. Though sometimes described as a garage band, they are far from that. Vocalist Brooks Nielsen, guitarist Matt Taylor, and keyboard player/guitarist Kyle Starka are looking to make pretty music and with their five albums and three EPs, they have introduced the world to a sound that has now taken a life of its own.
Not gypsy, not goth, not surfer, not punk but at the same time all of the above, the only way to summarize The Growlers is Beach Goth. It is a term they coined in 2012 when they organized a festival by that name. The range of genres was amazing: from pop, rap, hip-hop to rock and heavy metal. With performers like Die Antwoord, Grimes, Gucci Mane, Mac DeMarco and Foxygen, this festival didn’t only develop the culture of beach goth, it allowed the band to exercise their creativity on a larger scale that has ultimately seeped into their own shows.
The Growlers’ musical endeavors have led them to tour with great acts like Black Keys, Devendra Banhart and Night Beats.
Their most recent album City Club (2016) was the debut of Cult Records – a label owned by Julian Casablancas, lead vocalist of The Strokes. With tracks like “I’ll Be Around”, “Dope on a Rope” and “Neverending Line” you can clear as day feel their passion for music and energy of wholeheartedly loving what they do. To them, writing, recording, performing is a place of absolute joy and it’s a sure fact that they will get back into the creative process asap, which at this point is their lifestyle.
This year they are wrapping up their City Club tour but before they do be sure to catch them performing on at ACL October 6-8 and 15-18. For tickets click here.