Someone Still Loves You Boris YeltsinView in iTunes
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The three original members of Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin -- lead guitarist Will Knauer, drummer Philip Dickey, and bassist Tom Hembree -- met in high school in Springfield, Missouri, and soon formed a pop band. It was Dickey who came up with the group's name while shopping with his mother one day in the local mall, and he also wrote most of their early material. Once in college, the trio added singer/guitarist John Robert Cardwell and bassist/recording engineer Jonathan James to the lineup, and the band set up a makeshift studio in Knauer's home to record Broom, which became their indie debut in 2005. Broom was only meant to be a local release. However, after the band uploaded some songs onto its website, the music press caught wind of the group's breezy pop music and helped spark a swell of online interest in the band. Along with a handful of other groups, Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin became the toast of the blogosphere in 2006. That same spring, their song "Oregon Girl" ended up on an episode of The O.C., a sign that their popularity wasn't confined to the internet. A contract with Polyvinyl Records followed, and a remastered version of Broom appeared before the end of 2006. By that time, though, both Hembree and James had left, thus turning SSLYBY back into a three-piece with a rotating cast of additional guest musicians. James eventually rejoined the band, climbing aboard just in time for the release of their second full-length, Pershing. Issued in 2008, the album featured production by the bandmates themselves. SSLYBY decided to enlist the help of producer Chris Walla on their next album, though, and the resulting Let It Sway appeared to warm reviews in 2010. The following year, Polyvinyl released a compilation of the band's unreleased B-sides and demos titled Tape Club. The 2013 Polyvinyl release Fly by Wire returned the band to a three-piece lineup of Knauer, Dickey, and James, reflecting a more mature approach as well as a back-to-basics recording style back at Knauer's home. Their fifth studio album, 2015's The High Country, was recorded in Chris Walla's Hall of Justice studio and found the band upping tempos and power for a still melodically sweet but electrified, feedback-peppered reunion of SSLYBY's original lineup with Hembree returning on bass. ~ Marisa Brown