The Unlikely Candidates

Amoeba San Francisco - June 24th @ 2:00pm

The Fort Worth, TX alternative rock mavericks The Unlikely Candidates play live and sign their new deluxe EP, Danger To Myself, at Amoeba SF on Sunday, June 24th at 2pm. Also catch them later that night at Cornerstone in Berkeley.

One listen to The Unlikely Candidates, and it’s clear that they create their own scene. One song vaults from stadium anthem into a piano ballad, while the next twists from syncopated singalong into a contemporary grunge-influenced pop song. Boundaries don’t apply to the quintet—Kyle Morris (vocals), Brent Carney (lead guitar), Cole Male (guitar), Jared Hornbeek (bass), and Kevin Goddard (drums). Influenced by everything from Oasis, The Strokes, and Led Zeppelin to romantic poetry and the writing of Tao Lin, the group consistently craft unpredictable, unbreakable, and undeniable alternative pop rock music powered by gritty attitude, danceable swagger, and indie flair.

Hailing from Texas, the boys immediately separated themselves since uniting in high school. Breaking from the typical musical traditions associated with the Lone Star State, they turned up with an alternative style of their own. They challenged the status quo and carved out their own niche in Fort Worth.

No matter where they are, they’ve clung to a sound that’s simply The Unlikely Candidates.

As lead singer Kyle explains it, “In Texas, it’s all folk, blues, and country. That’s just how it is. By playing alternative music, we never quite fit in. We’d be playing small shows across from the largest honkytonk bar in the state. Since we weren’t part of anything else around us, we could focus on being ourselves and making our own little world for music. The isolation actually helped compress and solidify the vision. We never got comfortable. That fire hardened the group. You can hear it in the music. Nothing is off limits. It’s become easier for us to move on instinct.”

That instinct continues to serve them well as they bulldoze their own path. Flaunting outsider wisdom and big screen-worthy hooks as oversized as their home state, these outliers have logged countless miles on the road alongside everyone from Sublime With Rome, The Offspring, the Dirty Heads and Fall Out Boy. Their live show has been known to uplift every crowd with the band’s high energy antics. While on tour most recently, Kyle broke his foot by jumping off a speaker from the stage. As they say, “The show must go on,” and he continued to perform the band’s signature firework set while wearing a peg-leg crutch (in true rockstar fashion!). As they’ve grown as a band, the boys have earned acclaim from the likes of The New York Times, AXS, Esquire, and more.

“It was all about vibe,” exclaims Kyle. “We really captured something different. The whole outsider trip continues in our souls.”

Indicative of that trip, the five piece released their 2017 EP Bed of Liars that spawned the single, “Your Love Could Start A War,” which clocked over 4.7 million Spotify streams and charted in the top 40 at Alternative Radio. Riding off that success, they kicked off 2018 by releasing their Danger To Myself EP, which features the rising hit single, “Oh My Dear Lord.”

The track careens from shuddering piano chords and handclaps into a heavy-hitting synth melody that’s topped with Kyle’s steeple-vaulting vocal acrobatics and fiery falsetto.

“I was at a place where I’d been partying way too much,” admits the frontman. “I was touring and honestly feeling like I’d reached rock bottom. When you hit that point, you call out like, ‘I swear to any God above me or any force in the universe, I will not do this again if you can get me out of this moment!’ I turned myself around in that moment and got myself out of that state.”

“Oh My Dear Lord” earmarks the start of a new chapter. The truth is, The Unlikely Candidates’ sound is still too big, bright, and bold for any scene.

It’s ultimately meant to resonate on a much grander and more dramatic scale.

“We want to find this middle ground between catchy singable songs and themes that people can apply to their lives,” Kyle leaves off. “If there isn’t depth on a subconscious level, I don’t feel like I’m doing my job. I want listeners to walk away with something deeper. There are big themes, but there are big hooks too.”

There’s no scene for that. But The Unlikely Candidates are ready to pioneer a new one, and everyone is invited.

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