In 2009, upon the dissolution of their previous, well-received band This Machine Is Me, singer Jayna Doyle and guitarist Blake Arambula reached a common crossroads almost all artists come to at some point in life. When a band you’ve invested a lot of time in comes to a halt, it causes a bit of an identity crisis and can lead an artist to question whether it’s worth picking up the pieces and going through the entire process of putting a new group together all over again.
Some say, “Screw it,” and get on with “real life,” but, luckily for fans of hooky, perky ElectroRock, Doyle and Arambula decided that, yes, any and all hassle was worth it if they got to pursue their passion. The twosome added a few band members (guitarist Patrick Beardsley, bassist Patrick North and drummer Bryan Bass now make up the rest of the band) and launched Death of Paris with full force. The Columbia, S.C., quartet wrote and recorded demos in a storage shack in the chill of winter, then headed to the much warmer climes of Los Angeles to record what would become Death of Paris’ self-titled debut, which was unleashed on the public last fall.
The band lists among their favorite artists Emily Haines, MSTRKRFT and Hot Chip, but their fuzzy Electro tracks — fused with tight, dance-friendly rhythms and some strong guitar work — have much more accessibility than those artists thanks to the bubbly melodies Doyle comes up with and the enchanting, elastic voice with which she sings them. They have serious mainstream chart and radio potential — it’s not hard to imagine Death of Paris being handpicked for a tour with Garbage, Paramore and Gwen Stefani. They’d be a perfect fit.
But for now, instead of sitting in expensive nosebleed seats at some arena and being elbowed in the head all night by an excitable Paramore fan, you’ll have to settle for seeing Death of Paris for free at the small club Mayday in Northside. Take a few pics to remember the moment — with the strong album and this summer’s extensive U.S. tour, Death of Paris has a good chance of being a much more widely known entity this time next year. Anyone can say they knew them when; why not have some photos in case your friends demand proof?
DEATH OF PARIS plays Mayday Saturday, July 16 with guests FOUNDING FATHERS. Buy tickets, check out performance times and get venue details here.