“I want to make soulful music from outer space,” singer Mike Deni of Geographer says. Backed by cellist Nathan Blaz and drummer Brian Ostreicher, both graduates of the Berklee School of Music in Boston, the band aptly navigates the songwriting process creating sounds and textures to support their otherworldly aspirations.
Their debut LP Innocent Ghosts captures these feelings of loss and loneliness, but also manages to bring out a sense of hope and exuberance. The marriage of Deni’s lush falsetto, Blaz’s romantically textured cello and Ostreicher’s pulsing rhythms exude a maturity of craft and cohesion often found in bands that have been playing together far longer. The self-released record immediately caught the attention of local and national critics, prompting SPIN Magazine to dub the trio “One of the Three Bands You Should Hear Now.”
In 2010, the band released the Animal Shapes EP along with a 7” single for the song Kites. The EP merges Geographer’s aptitude for crafting beautiful, haunting melodies with a knack for ethereal, layered sounds, marking an evolution of their distinct style. The EP garnered considerable praise, landing on several ‘Best Of’ lists including the SF Weekly’s ‘Best Local Version of Radiohead’ nod.
Amidst the flurry of live performances, the band took a break only to hit the studio to record the collection of songs that were to embody their next full-length album: Myth. The album proves that the band is taking their sonic exploration to new levels. Utilizing each member’s multi-instrumental backgrounds, the record finds Geographer creating distinctive sounds through varied instrumentation. Dynamic head-bobbers such as ‘The Myth of Youth’ and ‘Lover’s Game’ highlight the band’s ability to weave driving rock anthems with romantic nostalgia. “I wonder if I’m here for nothing. I wonder if I’m here at all. I wonder if I’ll ever love you for who you are,” Deni laments on Lover’s Game. Songs like ‘Kaleidoscope’ and ‘The Boulder’ showcase a darker, sexier approach to groove that brings a more intimate element to the record.
With Myth, Geographer continues to navigate new territory, leaving us in anticipation of what will be revealed next. With such a bold album and an electric live show that breathes even more intensity into the songs, the journey seems to have only just begun.
Geographer are: Nathan Blaz, Mike Deni, and Brian Ostreicher