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The Organ

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Attempting to separate themselves from the new millennium surge of post-punk bands, the ladies of the Organ came together in 2001 to design their own original modern sound. Katie Sketch (vocals), Deb Cohen (guitar), Jenny Smyth (organ), Shelby Stocks (drums), and Ashley Webber (bass) hail from Vancouver, and each has an appreciation for bands such as the Cure and the Smiths. In summer 2002, the Organ introduced their dark style with the release of the Sinking Hearts EP. The Canadian press and indie publications across America praised the Organ's dream pop-inflected presentation. By January, the Organ signed to Chad Kroeger's 604 imprint and Mint Records. Plans for a full-length album got on their way almost immediately, with the Organ asking producer/New Pornographers drummer Kurt Dahle to produce the CD. Unfortunately, those sessions proved difficult, forcing the Organ to scrap the material and start over. Producer Paul Forgues soon jumped on board to complete Grab That Gun, which arrived in spring 2004. Dates for an international tour quickly took shape, but shifts in personnel once again prevented the Organ from getting Grab That Gun off the ground. Bassist Ashley Webber left in December due to creative differences, only to be asked back shortly thereafter so that the band could fulfill previously scheduled European dates. Singles such as "Brother" and "Memorize the City" seemed to get things back on track; both were well-received in the press in mid-2005, while "Brother" appeared in an episode of The L Word during its second season. Webber eventually left the band for a second and final time while performing in Europe, and was later replaced by Sketch's young sister, Shmoo. With a revived lineup and a brand new distribution deal with Too Pure, the Organ continued their trek through the U.K., performing new songs on BBC 6 Music in November 2005. By the following summer, rumors of a split started to circulate after the Organ canceled the final dates of their U.K. tour, including appearances at the Reading and Leeds festivals, due to an illness within the band. But such rumors proved true come December 2006 when the Organ announced their breakup via their MySpace page and their official website. After the split, Sketch focused on her modeling career, appearing in the U.K. edition of Vogue, among other publications, while Cohen began work on another project, Lovers Love Haters. The Organ reunited briefly to put the finishing touches on the songs they'd written and recorded for what would have been the follow-up to Grab That Gun; the results were featured on the posthumous EP Thieves, which Mint Records released in 2008. ~ MacKenzie Wilson

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August, 2001 in Vancouver, British Columbia, Cana

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