Chester FrenchView in iTunes
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Named for Lincoln Memorial sculptor Daniel Chester French, the L.A. via Boston duo Chester French -- consisting of vocalist/songwriter D.A. Wallach and multi-instrumentalist/songwriter Maxwell Drummey -- mix classic songcraft and power pop hooks with arrangements and beats that nod to synth pop and rap. Originally from Boston, Drummey began music lessons when he was three, moving from classical piano to jazz guitar to jazz and classical composition when he was in high school; however, Wallach, a Milwaukee, WI, native, dabbled in comedy, politics, magic, and drumming before settling on singing in his teens. The pair met in 2003 as freshmen at Harvard and began playing in a five-piece version of Chester French at local bars. After winning a battle of the bands, the group recorded its debut EP, Chester French's First Love, in two days at Harvard's on-campus recording studio, Quad Sound Studios. Wallach and Drummey were so intrigued by the recording process that they became engineers at Quad Sound, and as they worked on their degrees and their first album, they paid for their recording by engineering sessions for other artists. Drummey and Wallach completed the album Love the Future in spring 2007, when they also graduated from Harvard. Their recordings attracted attention from Kanye West and Jimmy Iovine, among others, but the Neptunes' Pharrell ended up signing Chester French to his Star Trak imprint, which released the She Loves Everybody EP late in 2008. ~ Heather Phares