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Devon Copley and Alex Wong comprise the songwriting and performing essence of the power poppish indie band the Animators. Wong, a Bay Area native, briefly drummed in a Los Angeles band called the Din Pedals, which released one Radiohead-influenced album on Epic in the late '90s before disbanding in 1999. Copley was raised outside Buffalo and moved to New York City in the late '90s, where for a brief time he was in a band called the Pasties with Sam Endicott, later of the Bravery. The two formed the Animators in the Williamsburg neighborhood of Brooklyn in 2002, beginning as a duo with a rotating cast of touring musicians to fill out their live sound. Citing as influences the songwriting and arrangements of Simon & Garfunkel and the Postal Service while writing catchy power pop melodies in the vein of the Rosenbergs, they swiftly became favorites in the New York live scene, performing in a wide range of residencies and showcases. Their debut album, Home By Now, was issued on the indie Angelhouse imprint in 2003. Two of their touring musicians became full-fledged bandmembers over the next year, bassist Phil Galitzine in fall 2003 and drummer Kevin Rice in fall 2004. The Animators then issued two limited-edition releases: 2004's The Chamber Sessions, an acoustic EP featuring cello and French horn accompaniment, and a live CD/DVD, Live at Pianos, in 2005. The foursome continued touring in 2005 and recorded a series of heavier tracks slated for release later in the year. ~ Joseph McCombs