A lush, melody-driven, and versatile indie rock outfit based out of Tyler, Texas, this family band operated under a number of different monikers (Towheads, MossEisley, Neverland, and Sinclair) before settling on Eisley in 2003. Founded by siblings Sherri, Chauntelle, Stacy, and Weston DuPree -- the band eventually expanded via the addition of cousin Garron DuPree -- Eisley's unique pairing of imaginative songcraft and powerful female vocals, along with their ability to adapt to multiple modern rock subgenres, made them one of the more compelling groups to emerge from the pop-punk/alt-rock/emo scene of the mid-2000s. Beginning with the quirky pop stylings of 2005's Room Noises, the band evolved into a more rock-oriented act (with occasional deviations into country and dream pop) via career standouts like The Valley (2011) and I'm Only Dreaming (2017), the latter of which saw Sherri DuPree-Bemis and Garron DuPree assuming the core roles in the group.
The band formed in 1997 when the DuPree siblings -- singer/guitarist Sherri, guitarist Chauntelle, singer/keyboardist Stacy, and drummer Weston -- began playing their whimsical songs with bassist Jon Wilson. Originally called the Towheads, they began playing local coffeehouse gigs in their hometown of Tyler, Texas, when Stacy was just eight years old. Over the next five years, the group wrote and played, expanding their touring area to the Dallas-Fort Worth region and ultimately winning a 2003 Best New Act Award from the Dallas Observer. A few months later, Eisley released their debut EP, Laughing City, on the indie imprint Record Collection, and toured that spring and summer with Coldplay and Ron Sexsmith. The Marvelous Things EP arrived later in 2003, followed in early 2005 by their major-label debut, Room Noises.
Jon Wilson left the band that summer, and the DuPree siblings enlisted their younger cousin, Garron DuPree, to fill the vacant position. Garron made his studio debut on 2007's Combinations, which featured a slightly darker, more rock-oriented sound. A five-track EP, Like the Actors, followed later that year, marking the band's final release for Warner Bros. and paving the way for a new contract with Equal Vision Records. Eisley's debut album for the label, 2011's The Valley, touched on the group's relationship issues: Chauntelle dealt with a broken engagement to Taking Back Sunday's Adam Lazzara, while Sherri divorced her first husband, Chad Gilbert of New Found Glory -- she would eventually marry Max Bemis of Say Anything. Currents, the band's fourth long-player, arrived in 2013 and was mirrored by a Kickstarter campaign to raise $100,000 to tour in support of the release. In 2015, Eisley announced that Chauntelle and Stacy were leaving to pursue their own projects, while Weston would no longer tour with the group (Remington DuPree took over live drumming duties). However, Weston did play drums on the band's fifth album, 2017's I'm Only Dreaming. Produced by Will Yip, it was built largely around Dupree-Bemis and Garron Dupree, but also featured contributions from touring guitarist Elle Puckett and younger DuPree siblings Christie and Collin of the group Merriment. The following year saw the group issue I’m Only Dreaming…Of Days Long Past, a completely acoustic rendering of their 2017 studio LP. ~ Heather Phares
- Tyler, TX