Arlie

A pop tunesmith from DC, an electronic artist from Memphis, and a classical composer from New York; these are the kinds of people one might expect to find in booming new Nashville, but Arlie’s seamless synthesis of perspectives is far from typical. Their blend of golden-age pop with state-of-the-art indie-rock is taking the city by storm.

The group’s origins trace back to spring 2016. After 18 months of fine-tuning, Nathaniel Banks decided to show some fellow Vanderbilt students the bedroom demos he’d been working on since his last solo project. Among those present was George Miller, a forward-thinking artistic director. Excited by the demos’ potential, George suggested forming a band. They added drummer and producer Adam Lochemes to the mix, and Arlie was born. The group quickly created a vibrant live set once guitarist Carson Lystad and bassist Tommy Leahy joined, and by their fourth show, even unfamiliar audiences couldn’t escape the infectious energy on stage.

Arlie released their first single, “Big Fat Mouth,” in February 2017. Combining dreamy vocal layering and psychedelic synths with catchy folk melodies and warm-hearted chord progressions, the track encompasses Arlie’s signature sound. Its bouncy retro beats, heart-tugging vocal delivery, playful yet sincere lyrics, and indie-pop street smarts have led to an overwhelmingly swift and positive reaction. The single has spread quickly through the Nashville college circuit; thanks to Arlie’s network of supportive friends, including Intermission - an arts group co-founded by George and Nathaniel, which facilitates collaboration across a wide spectrum of creative media.

After performing in Lightning 100’s Road to Roo competition at Mercy Lounge, Arlie has made its way to the playlists of Nashville’s local tastemakers, leading to the attention of larger platforms like Indie Shuffle and Spotify’s “Fresh Finds” playlist. In just a little under a month, "Big Fat Mouth" reached 69,000 plays on Spotify. The group will release two more singles and a music video for “Big Fat Mouth” over the course of the next three months. Arlie is just getting started.

Hailing from San Diego, Ross Nicol is a classically-trained guitarist who began writing music at 14. Inspired by the musical arrangements of Radiohead and Vampire Weekend, while drawing influence from David Bowie and The Beatles, Nicol fuses the analog sounds of the past with a modern, alternative twist. Under the guidance of producer Jason Hill (The Killers, Louis XIV), Nicol released two EPs in 2016. He’s in good company, working with the creative minds behind Alabama Shakes, MGMT, and Of Montreal.

Formed in Northern Virginia by Chris Kasbarian and Carter Auch in 2007, HyeTension gigged its way around the DC/NoVA area throughout school until meeting drummer Sam Khalaji and Ryan Sheehan upon moving to Richmond. The band is now based out of Richmond, Virginia, combining riffy guitar music infused with an Armenian influence to create a fresh new alternative sound.

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