The Stevens

Melbourne, Australia-based gritty indie pop quartet the Stevens were formed in 2009 by dual guitarists Travis MacDonald and Alex MacFarlane, who had both been working on bedroom recording projects for some time when they met. The two bonded over a shared obsession for the Flying Nun Records/New Zealand pop sound as well as post-punk art rock. The two principal songwriters enlisted the help of rhythm section players Tam Matalkowski and Callum Folley, settling on the name the Stevens and beginning to play out and release music publicly in 2011. The band released a self-titled EP in 2012, which cycled through release on CD-R and cassette before materializing as a 7". In late 2012, Matalkowski and Foley left the band, and bassist Gus Lord and drummer Matthew Harkin picked up in their stead. This new lineup of the Stevens played out often, even opening for the Wedding Present. They spent much of 2013 working on a debut full-length album with producer Mikey Young, best known for his work in Aussie punk acts Total Control and Eddy Current. The 24-track album A History of Hygiene arrived in late 2013. By this time, MacFarlane had joined fellow Flying Nun enthusiasts the Twerps as their drummer, playing on the Underlay EP. Lord became a Twerp in 2014, taking over the bass job. Despite there being less time for Stevens activities, the band did tour the U.S. and released the single "Thirsty Eye." Their next album was recorded in various bedrooms and practice spaces during 2016, with the results given a polish (as on A History of Hygiene) by longtime Flying Nun associate Tex Houston. The 18-song Good was released by Chapter Music in July of 2017. ~ Fred Thomas

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