The Mowgli’s follow the tradition of bands that start out by building a strong grassroots audience organically through touring and word-of-mouth, ultimately leading to broader mainstream success (think The Lumineers, Mumford & Sons or Dave Matthews Band). With an irresistible blend of Indie Rock, hyper-melodic Pop, hippie-tinged Folk and occasional splashes of Reggae and Hip Hop, The Mowgli’s sprinkle their infectious soundtrack with a potent message of positivity and hope. At their most exuberant, The Mowgli’s pound out fist-pumping anthems that preach love and its philosophical cousins (optimism, tolerance, brotherhood), but even at their most introspective, the California septet still firmly maintains a optimistic perspective. This viewpoint is not a trendy bumper-sticker aphorism, but a concrete mission statement — the band’s “Be a Mowgli” website and Instagram account encourage followers to spread goodwill and kindness.
The Mowgli’s assembled in 2009 when five high school acquaintances in California (and one who was in elementary school) started playing music together, taking its band name from one member’s dog (who was named after the character in Rudyard Kipling’s The Jungle Book). Founding guitarist/vocalist Michael Vincze had met guitarist/vocalist Colin Dieden, a Kansas City, Kan. transplant, at a party, and the pair began writing songs together immediately. Within a year, The Mowgli’s were posting free download demos online.
Through 2011, The Mowgli’s played hundreds of regional shows, sometimes performing up to five distinct gigs a day. In 2012, the band recorded its debut, Sound the Drum, which was self-released later that year and did marginally well on college radio.
The band’s debut for indie label Photo Finish (an imprint of Island/Def Jam), Waiting for the Dawn, was released in 2013. Last year, founding member Vincze left the band for a solo career on the eve of an extensive headlining tour. Last summer, The Mowgli’s began recording their third album, Kids in Love, which was released last February to ecstatic fan reception and enthusiastic critical acclaim.