The Pica Beats

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A Seattle-based indie pop outfit, the Pica Beats were formed in 2005 as a solo project for singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Ryan Barrett (2007's self-released All Mysteries Solve Themselves was primarily a one-man show). Looking to expand his sound, which by this time included everything from sitar to bassoon, Barrett teamed up with drummer Colin English and a small army of friends to begin work on what would become the newly expanded collective's Hardly Art debut. Beating Back the Claws of the Cold, which drew comparisons to everyone from the Decemberists to Neutral Milk Hotel, was released in the summer of 2008. ~ James Christopher Monger, Rovi

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