With their instantly classic debut album, 2005’s “This is the New You,” Derby managed to sound “instantly familiar and yet 100 percent original.” But, as too many bands discover, the sparkling freshness of a new band can fade with the rigors of constant touring and the pressure to release a sophomore album that lives up to the hype. With their new upcoming record, “Posters Fade,” Derby has issued a declaration: don’t live in the past when the future is even brighter. Posters may fade, but Derby is as vibrant as ever.
The release of their self-produced debut, “This is the New You” (Roslyn Records, 2005), recorded in their home studio in Portland, OR, put Derby on top ten lists around the country. Their vocally-driven, vintage-tinged pop-rock received comparisons to the Shins, Sloan and Brendan Benson, and critical acclaim was instantaneous: Derby was labeled one of the Best New Bands in Portland by Portland alt-weekly Willamette Week, and their wildly frenetic live show led to successful touring up and down the West Coast and beyond. Derby regularly sold-out shows in their hometown, and played to capacity crowds at Spaceland in L.A. with the 88 and the Mercury Lounge in New York City with the Robbers on High Street. Their highly-acclaimed slots at South by Southwest, MusicFest NW and Bumbershoot Festival in Seattle, WA, were highlights of the festivals, fueled by rumors of lonely bartenders whose customers forgot about refills during Derby’s mesmerizing sets.
Over the first year and a half of Derby's life, these DIY darlings garnered critical acclaim—AbsolutePowerPop.com’s 2005 Album of the Year; countless top ten lists—and shared the stage with the Decemberists, Cake, Magic Numbers, British Sea Power, the Posies, the Minus Five, Robyn Hitchcock, Robbers on High Street, Youth Group, Stars of Track & Field, Violent Femmes, Imperial Teen, Badly Drawn Boy, and Rogue Wave, just to name a few. After non-stop performing and touring in support of "This is the New You," the band took a break from the stage to concentrate on the surplus of new material they had developed.
In early 2007, they buried themselves in their home studio once again. This time, with constant touring bringing the band even closer, they wrote an album that laid bare the intimacies of a creative force—harmonies that meld one band member into another, hand claps that emphasize their organic energy, driving guitars that propel the band into their energetic future. Self-proclaimed "studio nerds," Derby have found amidst structure and mechanical knobs a warmth and energy that is both accessible and enduring. That product is the yet-to-be-released, 14-song pop masterpiece, "Posters Fade."
Currently the band can be found back on stage, performing all new material in anticipation of the upcoming release of their new album "Posters Fade," which will come out sometime in early 2008. Derby has also just released a limited edition E.P. of all new music, sold exclusively at their live shows.
Derby can be heard in rotation on the influential radio station KEXP from Seattle, WA, as well as on KNRK in Portland, OR. Most recently the band has been receiving mass exposure from the placement of their music in the ABC TV shows What About Brian, Men in Trees, Eli Stone, and Notes from the Underbelly.
“Live, Derby are utterly transfixing. The sunny effects of New You are completely stripped away, presenting instead four dudes playing fuzzed-out songs free of pretensions. They create a wall of rock that's damn near hypnotic—not to mention Johnson is, like, 10 feet tall and looks like he stepped out of an American Apparel ad. The raw energy they throw down live has been rumored to have engaged one Portland audience so much that the bar was left empty during their entire set.” —The Stranger
“...they have the makings of a classic Posies/Sloan/Velvet Crush power-pop band. Excellent.” —The Big Takeover
“Derby's self-produced debut album is a hands-down success—an immaculately clean pop album overflowing with pristine hooks, melodies and harmonies.” —Splendid Magazine
“Derby is one of those rare groups with a sound that's instantly familiar and yet 100 percent original. Hummable melodies and thick, cascading harmonies conjure up remnants of a long-gone era, while clever lyrics and polished songwriting place Derby among today's great young bands. Live, Derby nails it. And that's what it's all about-a band who comes out of the studio full of energy and throws down on any stage, electric, acoustic or whatever.” —Willamette Week, Best New Bands 2005