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Dappled Cities

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Australian quintet Dappled Cities (known as Dappled Cities Fly on their first album) blend the playful grandiosity of the Flaming Lips and Grandaddy with the chillier sonic explorations of Sigur Rós, for a sound that at times recalls the mixture of pop song smarts and progressive pomp that both Genesis and their former leader Peter Gabriel perfected around the turn of the '80s. The band's roots are in the suburbs of Sydney, Australia, where teenage school friends Tim Derricourt (guitar and vocals), Dave Rennick (keyboards, guitar, and vocals), Alex Moore (bass), and Hugh Boyce (drums) formed a quartet called Periwinkle that played neighborhood all-ages shows and school functions. Once the bandmembers were all of legal age in 2001, the group moved into Sydney's competitive club circuit, changing its name to the deliberately silly and pretentious Dappled Cities Fly. Several years of local and regional gigs, coupled with a handful of singles and EPs, led to the release of Dappled Cities Fly's debut album, A Smile, in the fall of 2004. Following that album, several changes took place within the band: adjunct touring keyboardist Ned Cooke was promoted to a full member of the band, the group signed to the Australian label Speak and Spell Records, and the bandmembers shortened their name to the somewhat less affected Dappled Cities. Their first release under the new name, Granddance, was released in November 2006 in Australia; Speak and Spell reissued A Smile on the same day. A U.S. release of Granddance was planned for March 2007. ~ Stewart Mason