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Our Brother the Native

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Akin to acts like Animal Collective and CocoRosie, experimental indie rock trio Our Brother the Native first emerged out of the partnership of two multi-instrumentalist high school friends, John-Michael Foss and Joshua Bertram. Based out of Michigan, the two met during Foss' senior year (and Bertram's sophomore) and soon began playing and recording together. Starting with a drum machine and banjo, the duo quickly branched out to include a wide array of sounds and textures in their music, including skewed vocals, children's toys, electronics, piano, guitar, and more. Upon finding the California indie Delude Records, which was run by 16-year-old multi-instrumentalist Chaz Knapp, Our Brother's first EP Cheer Up My Dear, The Sun Will Shine Again was issued in 2005. This business relationship ultimately led to a friendship between Bertram and Knapp, despite geographic obstacles. Delude also issued the minimal, banjo-based solo effort of Bertram, Pappa Bones and the Creature Children of the Forrest (released under the moniker JSP). It wasn't long before Knapp and Bertram began collaborating on music together -- under the name Moses Grandy -- but when they felt something missing, the decision was made that year for Knapp to simply join Our Brother the Native, even though he was still living in California. Their full-length debut thus developed online via email, each song shaped piece-by-piece. By the end of 2005, tracks on the group's MySpace page had caught the ears of U.K.-based FatCat Records and the young troupe was quickly signed (at the time, Knapp and Bertram were 16 and Foss only 18). The album was finished by early 2006, though the guys would not all meet face to face until their debut live show at Belgium's Open Circuit Festival that February. Tooth & Claw appeared in the U.K. and Europe in June, followed by a North American release the next month. ~ Corey Apar



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