Take a pinch of mountain gypsy, a dash of psych-folk and a combine it with an ocean of split-open-and-melt lyricism, intricately delivered by one of the most unique voices in music, and you have Lucy Michelle and the Velvet Lapelles. Since bursting onto the Twin Cities music scene in 2008, the fiery sextet have blossomed into one of the most celebrated and cherished young talents to emerge from Minnesota in recent history.
Lucy Michelle and The Velvet Lapelles incredibly polished, yet wholly organic, sound can be directly attributed to an interweaving familial-like chemistry that has created an airtight bond among the six players. The band formed in 2007 as a result of casual jam sessions that were led by Lucy with friends Geoff Freeman (drums), Ashley Boman (accordion, bells) and Jesse Schuster (bass), at Lucy and Geoffs University of Minnesota college flop house in NE Minneapolis. Loosely arranged social gatherings, where music was played, eventually turned into full-blown band practices and writing sessions with the additions of Eamonn Mclain (cello) and Chris Graham (guitar).
The band soon started gigging around Minneapolis-Saint Paul and quickly caught the eyes, ears and hearts of local music fans and critics alike being named City Pages Picked to Click Best New Band of 2008. In-studio performances on nationally recognized taste-maker 89.3 The Current followed with the station calling the group, One of the Twin Cities most talented and endearing bands.
With each member drawing inspiration from their own wildly eclectic musical palettes, they collaboratively create all of their songs with the Velvet Lapelles orchestrating complex, lush arrangements that dovetail with Lucys whimsically anecdotal and emotionally evocative story telling. In addition to releasing three critically acclaimed albums (Orange Peels & Rattlesnakes, Special Party Time for Everybody and Good of That) in three years, the band has had their songs tapped for the award winning Minnesota Beatle Project Vol. 1 (2009), a featured TED documentary (2010) and an international ad campaign for Macys (2011).
Lucy Michelle and the Velvet Lapelles have performed to sold-out audiences at legendary venues like First Avenue, Cedar Cultural Center and the Fitzgerald Theatre. Having the Twin Cities official stamp of approval firmly in hand, Lucy Michelle and company have toured the United States from coast-to-coast, performing alongside the likes of Thao & Mirah, Titus Andronicus, The Head and the Heart and Trampled by Turtles. At a recent stop in Minneapolis, The Head and the Heart front man Jonathan Russell proclaimed his love for the band after they opened the show asking the audience -Why didn't you guys tell me about Lucy Michelle and the Velvet Lapelles? They're great!"
Riding the ever-swelling wave of creative energy and recent success, the band has just finished work on a new album at Vacation Island Recording Studios in Brooklyn with acclaimed Producer Matt Boynton (MGMT, Beirut, Norah Jones). The new record will be comprised of all original material that will continue to build on the solid songwriting and tightly crafted arrangements that the band is known for, but will take on a more expansive, brazen sonic aesthetic as a whole. Look for the album to arrive in the spring of 2012.