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Walking a tightrope between post-punk and indie pop, Connections are a band from Ohio whose music is lean, scrappy, and full of energy, with plentiful guitars along with abundant melodic hooks. Connections were founded in 2010 by vocalist Kevin Elliott and guitarist and principal songwriter Andy Hempel. Elliott and Hempel were high-school friends who began writing and recording songs together in their mid-teens, growing up in the suburbs of Dayton, Ohio. Elliott and Hempel were founding members of the band 84 Nash, who won a valuable ally in fellow Dayton resident Robert Pollard, who released two of their albums (1997's Kings of Yeah and 1999's Band for Hire) on his Rockathon Records label and hired them as an opening act for his band Guided by Voices.
After the breakup of 84 Nash, Elliott and Hempel continued to make music together after relocating to Columbus, Ohio, and they originally intended to form a duo called Gold Circle. It didn't take long for them to realize that their songs worked best with a full band, and they soon recruited three additional members. Drummer Adam Elliott was a veteran of noisy indie rock combo Times New Viking, and was also Kevin's brother. Bassist Phillip Kim had previously collaborated with Kevin and worked with the band Andrew Graham & Swarming Branch. And guitarist Dave Capaldi was an alumnus of expressive noisemakers El Jesus de Magico.
In May 2012, Connections went into the recording studio, and in a single day recorded their debut EP, Private Airplane, which was released the following December by the independent Anyway Records label. A full-length album, Body Language, followed in October 2013; a pair of singles, "Cindy, Jeni and Johnny" and "Tough City," were issued during the interim, and following the release of Body Language, Connections dropped a digital single, "Body Language," which was recorded for the album but didn't make the cut. (Connections would later reissue their 2013 releases on a digital compilation, Year One.) A second full-length album, Into Sixes, arrived in August 2014, and Connections closed out the year with a pair of EPs, 5 Imaginary Boys and Missed, both issued in the last half of December 2014.
Connections had a quiet year in 2015, in large part due to the departure of drummer Adam Elliott, who started a new band, Long Odds. But in 2016, Connections were back in business, with drummer Mike OShaughnessy (who previously kept time with Ipps, Nick Tolford & Company, and Natural Sway) taking over for Elliott. That year, Connections released the album Midnight Run, and they jumped from Anyway Records to the well-respected indie Trouble in Mind for the release of their 2018 full-length, Foreign Affairs. ~ Mark Deming
- Columbus, OH
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