Arbor Day began in 1999 when three freshmen at New York University became engaged in a very serious conversation regarding various bootleg versions of the Beach Boys' "SMiLE". This conversation led to a close friendship, which led to a semester of musical experimentation. But it wasn’t until that Christmas break when singer/songwriter Dileepan Ganesan recorded a batch of songs and then played them for his friends Andrew Levine (trombone, Theremin) and Joseph Hasan (bass) upon his return to classes, that Arbor Day took a more solid form. These songs provided the basis for the group's sound: a subtle blend of 60s pop, indie rock aesthetic, and plenty of catchy melodies.
The first EP by Arbor Day, the six song Radar Boy, was released in 2003 on the group's own …Or Best Offer Records. The release featured one of the songs from Ganesan's original home recordings, the jangly guitar driven "Vegetable". Radar Boy was well received by local press, garnering comparisons to the Smiths and the Beach Boys (the Village Voice) and Orange Juice (TimeOut NY). In 2006, the group recorded their follow-up EP, Braver Than Today, again releasing it on their own …Or Best Offer Records. A 7" single for the leadoff track "This Misery" was released by Awesometown Records in 2007.
On stage, the group now performs as a six piece rounded out by the talents of viola player Amy Cimini, pianist Gabrielle Fastman, and drummer Jon Gilmore. In the past, Arbor Day has shared bills with like minded acts such as of Montreal, Tilly & the Wall, The Hidden Cameras, and The Minders and has performed at such venerable venues as the Bowery Ballroom, the Mercury Lounge, and the Knitting Factory, just to name a few. Future plans include more recording, touring, and spreading their brand of infectious indie pop across the world.