By Steve Graham
Sure Sure is a difficult band name to Google.
But it’s OK. All you need to know is that the Los Angeles quartet plays experimental indie pop that’s brighter than Hollywood lights, and the guys are bringing their jangly live show full of catchy melodies to Magic Rat on Thursday, Jan. 24.
“It’s a party and everyone’s invited,” said drummer Kevin Farzad in an email interview. “A Sure Sure show is a good time and it’s fun to say Sure Sure show. Try it.”
The band’s history is like a California travelogue. Guitarist Charlie Glick and keyboardist Chris Beachy met on the first day of their freshman year at Stanford University, and they started forming a band that week.
Farzad said he used to fly up from Los Angeles to San Francisco to jam with Glick and Beachy.
“I’d crash on their couch and we’d eat burritos and play games,” he said.
Eventually, the other two relocated to Los Angeles and moved in with producer Michael Coleman, solidifying the lineup and launching a more serious recording effort.
“With Mike’s technical prowess, stack of music gear, and overall kind demeanor, we realized we could make our own recordings in our own house,” Farzad said.
He jokes that the SoCal climate informs their sunny songs.
“I think our disposition is influenced by living in Los Angeles, where the weather is perfect and in 10 years we’ll run out of drinking water,” Farzad said.
The band has been performing and recording since 2014, but only released their first album last year.
“What was tricky for us when we started out as we didn’t have a fan base to put out an album for, so we started by putting out singles, and luckily some of those caught on,” Farzad said.
Those early singles racked up more than 7 million Spotify streams,and drew attention from members of Grizzly Bear and Vampire Weekend.
The first single off that full-length self-titled debut was the swirling and funky “Hands Up, Head Down,” which topped the Hype Machine pop chart and was named Top Indie Track of the year by Indie Shuffle.
The album shows variety and depth while steadfastly focusing on pop hooks and catchy melodies.
It opens with “Giants,” a bubbly call to action with overlapping voices that sounds somewhat like a Beach Boys-Beck mashup. Other highlights include “Koreatown,” a synth-heavy and chaotic paean to their multicultural hometown, and a self-confident and buoyant cover of the Talking Heads’ “This Must Be The Place.”
Farzad said the band accidentally recreated the song’s unmistakable signature bassline while messing around with a synth one day, so they decided to record a cover around that bass loop. As a result, a group of guys that weren’t alive when David Byrne and company were making their genre-blending musical magic manage to create their own take on a signature Talking Heads track while paying faithful and loving homage to the group.
Check out all the Sure Sure tracks during the free show Thursday at Magic Rat. Doors open at 7, and the show starts at 8 p.m. Click here for more details.