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Dear Nora

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The power pop/punk "cuddle-core" trio Dear Nora is comprised of Katy Davidson (vocals/guitar), Ryan Wise (bass), and Marianna Ritchey (drums). All three bandmembers had gone to college together at Lewis & Clark College in Portland, OR, where they had each played in various bands, including the Navins, Ring of Seventeen, and Junction City. Wise, Ritchey, and local Portland musician Jake Longstreth were also previously members of a group called Wolf Colonel, and Ritchey and Davidson were freshman-year roommates. They came together via a mutual love of short, guitar-driven songs and sweet girl group-inspired harmonies, as well as an appreciation for all types of '60s pop music. Group leader Davidson had started playing guitar in high school in her hometown in Arizona and began writing songs and singing by 1996. A few years later, in the summer of 1999, she formed Dear Nora, named after a college music professor who served as an inspiration to the group. The group initially recorded a few self-released cassettes before they issued a self-titled 7" single on the fine Portland indie pop label Magic Marker Records. This release was followed by another Magic Marker release, an eight-song all-acoustic single, "Dreaming Out Loud," which featured songs written and performed by Davidson during a 24-hour time period. In 2001, Dear Nora finally issued a debut album, We'll Have a Time, which was produced by the Aislers Set's Amy Linton (actually, it was recorded in Linton's basement). The album features their friend Longstreth on guitar (he also painted the album's cover art). We'll Have a Time was subsequently released in 2002 in Japan on WAH! Records and features all the songs from the Dreaming Out Loud EP as bonus tracks. Davidson eventually relocated to San Francisco, where she performs at solo shows. An EP, entitled "The New Year," is set to be released in 2002 after the group's first tour of Japan. Drummer Ritchey has also founded the Badger King, which has signed with Coming in Second Records. The band, which features members of Dear Nora and Wolf Colonel, have reportedly written a rock opera that combines "beautiful pop music with a post-apocalyptic tale of love, insanity, and octopi." ~ Bryan Thomas

Years Active:

'90s, '00s