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Formed in 2008 by singer/songwriter/guitarist Tim Bruns and mandolin player Michael Morter, Denver, Colorado-based indie folk-rock outfit Churchill expanded to a sextet by the time of the group's 2009 live debut, fleshing out Bruns' rustic, Americana-tinged tales of love, life, and loss with cello, piano, bass, and drums. Churchill turned heads with their debut EP, which helped make them local favorites as well as emerging national talents, landing a prime slot at South by Southwest and garnering positive reviews both at home and at large that drew favorable comparisons to bands like the Avett Brothers and Band of Horses. The band's full-length studio debut, Happy Sad, arrived in 2011. ~ James Christopher Monger