An unlikely but undeniably catchy mix of Factory Records-style indie and '50s-inspired melodies, the Drums have roots that can be traced to the childhood friendship of Jonathan Pierce and Jacob Graham.
After meeting at summer camp, the pair formed the electro-pop duo Goat Explosion while they were still in their teens. However, the band split and Pierce and Graham went on to other projects: Graham formed the indie pop group Horse Shoes, who released an EP on Shelflife in 2009. Meanwhile, Pierce and another friend, Adam Kessler, founded the new wave-inspired band Elkland, who were signed to Columbia Records and issued the album Golden in 2005. That year, Pierce left the band (which broke up in 2006) and took a hiatus from making music. In 2008, Graham and Pierce reconnected and began writing songs together, trading the electronic direction of their earlier collaboration for a guitar-based approach. Early the following year, Pierce and Graham moved from central Florida to New York City, where Kessler became their second guitarist. With the addition of drummer Connor Hanwick, formerly of Cape of No Hope, the Drums’ lineup was complete, and by that summer, the band’s shows were gaining buzz. Moshi Moshi released the Drums’ singles "Let’s Go Surfing" and "I Felt Stupid," and their debut EP, Summertime!, arrived late in 2009. The singles "Best Friend" and "Forever and Ever Amen" preceded the band's self-titled first album, which Moshi Moshi released in the U.K. in spring 2010; it arrived in the States that autumn. During their first U.S. tour, Kessler left the group; friend of the band Tom Haslow played guitar for the rest of those dates. The Drums commenced writing and recording as a trio, releasing their first single with this lineup, "The New World," in April 2011. Recruiting Violens' Chris Stein and Myles Matheny as members of their touring act, the band released the darker, keyboard-heavy Portamento that September. Hanwick, who had switched from drums to guitar, left the Drums during their 2012 tour. Pierce and Graham took time to regroup, each announcing solo projects. Pierce released the electro-pop solo single "I Didn't Realise" late in 2012, while Graham formed the dreamy synth outfit Cascading Slopes, which issued the Maple Trees single in 2013. That November, the duo announced another Drums album was on the way; recorded in a lakeside cabin in upstate New York, 2014's Encyclopedia ranged from Pixies-esque rock to folk-pop.~ Heather Phares, Rovi