Band of the Day


Streets of Laredo

Unruly sing-along folk tunes for joyfully rambling through the backwoods
I lost my mind trying to pay my rent.
lyrics from Lonsdale Line

It's always hard to put your finger on the exact moment a band began, but it's safe to say that Streets of Laredo probably started in a beach-house on the wild Coromandel coast of New Zealand back in the summer of 2012. A handful of Gibsons (Dave, Dan & Sarah) started throwing some songs at some long-time musical collaborators (including Si Moore), an old-fashioned hoe-down ensued, someone shouted out a band name and it all became a fact before anyone could catch their breath. Inspired by the evangelical fervor of the 70's folk circuit that spawned modern day re-incarnations like Alex Ebert, Joshua Tilman and Arcade Fire, Streets of Laredo quickly gelled around the idea of a traveling family band playing unruly sing-along tunes with whatever instruments were at hand. Add in a few timely demos and the growing desire to take on a new challenge and before you know it the Streets family played one show in their home town and then packed up their New Zealand lives and transplanted themselves halfway round the world to Brooklyn, NY. "In the fall of 2012 we found ourselves a rehearsal space in an industrial building in Bushwick, just off the Morgan stop, and started playing one of our first songs, 'Girlfriend' over and over for hours on end. Just trying to figure out our sound, who we were, and how we were possibly gonna survive in this town. The only thing we knew was that we'd finally made it to New York and we sure as hell weren't about to leave." Pretty quickly the four-piece met some remarkable people from Bushwick's vibrant music scene and gathered around them a wider family of players who would eventually form a tight-knit seven-piece band that'd well and truly find their place in the local scene. A quick trip back to New Zealand in early 2013 saw the band track the bones of ten songs, which would turn into their debut release, the double EP 'Volume I & II'. Calling in years of friendships and owed favours, those sessions in an old converted Auckland theatre proved to be landmark in locking down that distinctive Streets of Laredo sound. "A bunch of blogs started calling Girlfriend 'Twisty Psychedelic Folk', which seemed fairly appropriate. We definitely all have a passion for rock solid songs and arrangements built around a bizarre sonic palette. Kinda like if Grizzly Bear's Chris Taylor produced Paul Simon's songs being sung by Sharon van Etten. Or something." However you describe it, the resulting songs and sound of 'Volume I & II' have had an instant effect on fans and critics alike, with widely hailed comparisons to Arcade Fire, Edward Sharpe and even 'The Lumineers on Acid' being mentioned. Add to that sound a mesmerizing stage show featuring multiple stand-up drummers, horn players, guitars in every corner of the stage, weird home-made instruments and five-part harmonies, and it's easy to see why Streets of Laredo won the AAA category of the world-wide Unsigned Artists competition and were feted as a must-see band at 2013's CMJ Music Marathon in NYC. Streets of Laredo are: Daniel Gibson, Dave Gibson, Sarah Gibson, Si Moore, Tom Darlow, Sean McMahon, and Andrew McGovern.