by Mely Duong
Armed with some sass, talent and youth makes The Districts a very potent but endearing force to be reckoned with. It is hard to imagine that such young members could have produced such an evolved and engaging sound as conveyed in their album Telephone, which was released on June 29, 2012. The band started a little while back when they reconnected, having known each other from odd situations about their town when they were younger. From there, their passion, hard work, commitment, luck and just general love for creative music has allowed them to endure the extremely tough music industry, and they have thrived since then.
One may be tempted to define this band by a specific genre but will find it rather difficult because of their wide ranged influences including Bob Dylan, Howlin’ Wolf, The War on Drugs and The Beatles, just to name a few. Rather than emanating any of their respected role model musicians, they have incorporated a style of their own and have found it liberating in that they can write more originally. For example, interestingly enough their album hints at some eccentric themes derived from their small hometown of Lititz, PA and revolve around symbolism for the Amish and cows. This makes it most definitely intriguing for listeners out there, but it’s rather quaint and pleasant enough. There’s this inexplicable chilled out mellow sound emanated by the instrumentals in the background, layered on top by lead singer Rob Grote’s haunting voice. The tone is rather unique and the voice is spot on whether he’s singing softly or loudly reaching for the notes. The emotion with which he sings during his songs and the emotion exuded from all the instruments bespeaks of not only talent but is in itself a story. They are, to a concise point, at a mature level beyond their years. A personal favorite of theirs is “Long Distance”, which they find to be the best song to play live.
In September, the band played the Beta Hi-fi Emerging Music Festival and walked away with first place. There, John Vettese who runs The Key, took notice of the talented band and from there, it instigated the recording process for WXPN’s The Key website. They have continued to evolve their sound and have become more comfortable with the recording process, so expect their new Christmas song (coming out soon) to be even better. In terms of what to expect in the long run, the band aims to move to the city soon in order to capitalize on the opportunities there, as well as to write more music and play more shows- just doing what they love. It’s quite clear from the music they’ve produced so far that indeed music is their passion and as Grote states, “The fact that we enjoy it so much makes commitment require less effort.” Very aptly worded. So any people out their looking to have their heart and mind wrenched by a singular voice and some haunting instrumentals from the get go? Look no further.