VoxtrotNew band to watch

Are you looking for a band that will keep you from playing in the street and drinking bleach? Well, Voxtrot can’t necessarily guarantee that, but its bouncy and upbeat sound could cheer you up a little more than the average band. Coming from Austin, Texas (though you would never have guessed it from their heavily British-inspired style), this band came together in 2003 and is made up of five members: Jared Van Fleet (guitar/keyboard; no relation to junior Sam Van Fleet), Matt Simon (drums), Mitch Calvert (guitar), Jason Chronis (bass), and Ramesh Srivastava (vocals), who fronts the band. Their sound can be described as indie-pop and with songs like “Whiskey” and “Raised by Wolves” highlighting Srivastava’s whimsical vocals, the band is often compared to better known pop bands like Belle & Sebastian. Voxtrot also has an uncanny ability to continuously produce songs with an upbeat feeling, despite less than positive lyrics. For example, in the song “Your Biggest Fan,” Srivastava sings, “I used to be your biggest fan, and now I know that you could never love someone like me,” without allowing the song to drop it’s cheery sound for even a moment. This talent gives the band a way to avoid releasing any sort of overly mopey or depressing songs, which contributes greatly to the band’s overall recognizable and fun sound. If you’re looking for a song that best sums up the band’s released music to date, “Raised By Wolves” is your best bet. Its catchy beat and sixties-vibe vocals are a great representation of the overall feel you’ll get from Voxtrot’s music. If you’re looking for a mellower, more low-key song by the band, look for the song “The Warmest Part of the Winter” off of the compilation Little Darla Has A Treat For You, v.24, Endless Summer Edition (2006). This song’s contrast from Voxtrot’s other releases makes it definitely worth listening to. Finally, if you’re looking for an overall standout single, “Mothers, Sisters, Daughters And Wives” says it all when Srivastava sings that he’s, “come to rock this boat.” Voxtrot’s discography includes the EPs (CDs that contain more than one single, but aren’t quite long enough to be considered full albums) Raised by Wolves (2005) and Mothers, Sisters, Daughters & Wives (2006), both of which were released on the band’s own label, Cult Hero. Now signed with Playlouder (an extension of UK based label The Beggars Group), Voxtrot has released the EP Your Biggest Fan and is expected to release an LP (long playing) early this year. The band’s success has come mostly through word of mouth (and blog), and they have even performed with The Shins and will be performing at this year’s South by Southwest festival. At this rate, it’s easy to see that Voxtrot is a band to watch, especially with their up and coming album.Unfortunately, they don’t have any scheduled stops in Iowa, but if you find yourself head over heels for the band, can survive a bit of a wait, and are willing to make the trek, they are playing an all ages show in Minnesota June 5 at the Triple Rock.