Los Campesinos! In-depth Biography
Celebrating a bratty, tongue-in-cheek viewpoint and a spunky indie-punk style similar to Art Brut while applying an assortment of instruments akin to Architecture in Helsinki, the seven-piece group Los Campesinos! (a Spanish name that roughly translates to "the Peasants") formed in 2006 in Cardiff, Wales. The lineup took shape around Cardiff University students Aleksandra (keyboard, horn), Ellen (bass), Gareth (glockenspiel), Harriet (violin, keyboard), Neil (guitar), Ollie (drums), and Tom (guitar), all of whom began sharing vocals (as well as the last name of Campesinos!). The group played their first show at a college function in May 2006; by the following August, they had built enough of an audience to secure an opening gig for Broken Social Scene. Later that year, Los Campesinos! signed to the U.K.-based label Wichita Recordings, which released the band's first single in early 2007.
A North American contract with Arts & Crafts followed several months later, and Los Campesinos! expanded their catalog that summer by issuing recordings on both labels, including a second single from Wichita and an EP from Arts & Crafts titled Sticking Fingers into Sockets. The full-length Hold on Now, Youngster... followed in early 2008. After a long tour that took up much of the year (and included a stop in Seattle to record new songs), Los Campesinos! issued their second album, We are Beautiful, We are Doomed, in November. Another round of touring followed, including the band's first performance in South America. By early 2009, though, Los Campesinos! had decamped to Connecticut to record another album, Romance Is Boring, which arrived in early 2010. ~ Kenyon Hopkin, Rovi