The Envy Corps
The Envy Corps’ indie quasi-anthems, filled with galvanizing arrangements and elasticized melodies have garnered the Des Moines band the affection of the attentive Midwest and fans internationally.
Fans have been anxiously awaiting a follow-up to The Envy Corps’ major label debut, Dwell (2008), and the Kid Gloves EP (2009). Now Luke Pettipoole (vocals, bass), Brandon Darner (guitar), Micah Natera (synthesizer, guitar) and Scott Yoshimura (drums) return with their sophomore full-length, It Culls You, released in fall 2011 on their own independent imprint, Tempo Club. The new album redefines their sound by taking the pop melodies of their early work and marrying them with a heightened rhythmic sense and a more stripped down, concise approach to instrumentation.
Pettipoole formed The Envy Corps in 2002 and shepherded a rotating cast of musicians. The band really started to take shape once Darner and Yoshimura came aboard in mid-2005, marking a change in sound and aspiration. The EP I Will Write You Love Letters If You Tell Me To was self-released in 2006 and afforded their first taste of national attention by charting well on the CMJ Top 200. Soon after, the band was asked to join The Killers’ U.S tour. Labels began to take notice and in 2006, a Vertigo/Universal A&R rep flew in from London to attend a hometown show and the band landed a record deal.
With recording coming to a close on their major label debut, Dwell, the band found themselves performing across Britain at every opportunity. They logged more than 200 shows in 2007 alongside bands like Editors, The Killers (again), Mute Math, Eisley, and even secured a slot at the famed Glastonbury festival. Near the end of the year, unexpected trauma threatened the band when Darner suffered a stroke on stage in London. He was rushed to the hospital and recovered quickly, even rejoining the band on the road the following week.
Despite growing buzz and a strong European fan base, Vertigo delayed the album and Dwell was finally released in April 2008 in the UK. Later that year, the band, anxious to focus on their career in the U.S., decided to part ways with Vertigo. Ready to take command, The Envy Corps released the Kid Gloves EP in April 2009 on their own Tempo Club imprint. The five-song taster gained blog and radio attention throughout the Midwest, and its songs were featured in HBO’s Entourage and Showtime’s Look.
The quartet spent time following Kid Gloves attending to their ever-increasing Midwest fan base, while starting the writing process for their sophomore full-length. They returned to the studio with a vengeance in 2010 to record It Culls You. This time on their own terms. With a clear vision and complete control, recording began at ARC Studios in Omaha and Sonic Factory in Des Moines. Darner and Pettipoole self-produced the album and it was engineered and mixed by A.J. Mogis (Bright Eyes, Cursive, The Faint).
Anticipation for the new album peaked in the summer of 2011 after “Make It Stop,” the first single off the 12-track album was released. The new song was followed by strong performances to record number crowds at 80/35, Des Moines Arts Festival, and MAHA. Early reactions to The Envy Corps’ first new material in two years have fans and critics embracing the band’s exploration into a landscape that stretches the boundaries of the conventional immediate pop song. Content to take the reigns of any and all aspects of their sophomore effort, The Envy Corps are eager to share their new music with those willing to listen.