Officially formed in Brooklyn, New York in 2010, the foundations for Aye Nako were actually laid in faraway Oakland, California, where Mars Ganito (vocals, guitar) and Joe McCann (bass) had been two-thirds of Fleabag, who were confusingly, albeit briefly, known as Aye Nako before that.
But the move to Brooklyn would open the most doors for Ganito and McCann, who were joined by Jade Payne (guitar) and Angie Boylan (drums) to complete their lineup and perform with acts such as P.S. Eliot
and the Thermals
. Pop-punk songs fed through the sonic style of Brooklyn's D.I.Y. scene gave the band a sound that was compared with the likes of Superchunk
, while Aye Nako built a reputation for their LGBTQ-friendly outlook, even labeling themselves "homo-pop" and "queercore." In the lead-in to the arrival of their long-awaited self-released debut album, Unleash Yourself, in the summer of 2013, Ganito said, "One of the reasons I play music is to play the songs I wanted to hear as a queer teenager." The band signed to Don Giovanni
in 2015 for the release of the Blackest Eye EP. Returning to the studio in 2016, the group recorded its second full-length, Silver Haze. Released once again by Don Giovanni
, the album dropped in early 2017. ~ Daniel Clancy, Rovi