Neon Hymns found their beginnings in the summer of 2007 when four long time friends came together with an idea to create a sound that could reach out far beyond the garages and halls of their idyllic but small Australian beach side community.
Originating from the small seaside suburbs of Sydney's Northern Beaches, Aussie trio Josef Cruickshank (vocals), James Bowen (guitar) and Simon French (bass), made the move to Los Angeles along with drummer and UK native Rob Ellmore in tow. Since forming, they began recording demos, eventually crafting their sound as a soulful, folk-inflected take on indie rock.
After signing to Layer Cake Records, Neon Hymns entered NRG studios in Los Angeles with production team Daniel James and Leah Haywood (Melee, Automatic Loveletter) at the helm, along with Grammy award winning engineer Doug Boehm (Guided By Voices, The Vines) to record their first self-titled EP released June 2011.
The twenty-seven minute extended play is a sonic deluge wrapped tightly into six songs of bright, washed out guitars, driving rhythms and soaring melodies with a harrowingly heartfelt vocal presence. Josef's vocal delivers a sense of urgency and vulnerability that is refreshingly disarming.
"I think our influences come from the soundtrack of our youth. Growing up in folk driven households listening to Bob Dylan, Van Morrison..." says Josef..."the truth that comes with folk, and the force that comes with rock, I think, is all evolving in the sound that we've been searching for"
No strangers to the stage, the band is quickly carving themselves out to be a premiere live act. "I love playing live because something so personal, becomes so… impersonal," says Josef. Their show could be more reminiscent of local gathering at a mid century Irish pub, rather than just another run of the mill rock show.
Neon Hymns is not a band trying to find their signature, but rather a self-aware collective delivering definition and confidence that is a product of the member’s life-long friendship.
"We're still searching. It's not like we've discovered this great land of the sound we'll be for the rest of our lives, and I think that’s probably the search we'll forever be on..."