Bonesetters
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Bonesetters

Indianapolis, Indiana, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2009 | INDIE

Indianapolis, Indiana, United States | INDIE
Established on Jan, 2009
Band Rock Indie

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"Figure It Out by Bonesetters by T.D. Fields"

“But if we go down by the water’s edge, we could just float if we drop”



When in 2011 Bonesetters released their debut album, SAVAGES, the then Muncie-based group found themselves, suddenly, without a record label and financial backer to support the LP. Roused by the band’s last-chance efforts to release the record, many family members, friends, and general supporters banded together to (monetarily) raise the album from what seemed like its destined grave. In many ways, this anecdote penetrates to the heart of the overarching Bonesetters story; one that sees the group through years of underground shows, performing in friends’ basements, touring in crowded vans, and surrounded by winter-hardened fans. The experience, not only proved as a testament to the group’s ever-growing support vein, but also set the tone for Bonesetters’s sophomore album, Figure It Out.

Musically, Figure It Out, retains much of Bonesetters’s signature alt-folk sound from when the group was as many as six or seven strong and featured a saw and bow. Indeed, even “Saint Led Astray” features the languid trumpet of SAVAGES’s “Mama Prays.” In the sophomore record, a smoky guitar floats in and out of the superbly dialected rhythms of the drums and bass. The melodies are embracing, warm even, and are the perfect vehicle for lead singer Dan Snodgrass’s swinging vocals. The album sounds ever-still appropriate for the basements of dive bars shroud in sheets of ice, but all of a sudden much more precise, thoughtful, and mature. Sonically, Figure It Out represents the group’s soul nurtured, pondered upon, and polished into a product Bonesetters should be proud to carry with them into the future of their career.

Perhaps the most intriguing aspect of this new album is what one finds inside the reminiscent sound: the lyrics. Despite the comfort of the music, Figure It Out is utterly anxious. The title itself calls into question a sense of security, clarity, understanding. Each of the seven tracks cut from Bonesetters’s new album is, in its own rite and to its own degree, fueled by anxiety of some sort. From its opening track, “Housefires,” which features the lyrics, “It’s alright to give up sometimes,” to its lead single, “Day of the Dead,” in which one hears, “ Keep all of my secrets / I’ll bottle them until I’m gone / Am I alive?/ Set me up and watch me fall,” to the closing song, “Greed,” in which Snodgrass belts, “We had heart / we had a home / We had all we ever needed/ but we wanted more,” the album explores a myriad of themes carried by the undercurrent of anxiety.

Such an aware lyrical thread coupled with the band’s embracing musicality creates an experience that spearheads Bonesetters’s very platform. Figure It Out acts as a manifestation of the group’s past, present, and future. It tells tales of youth and searching for independence. It asks questions about finding love and making a home. Most prominently, though, it consoles in the universal denominator that is the unknown and seeks to boldly and unapologetically figure it out along the way.

It seems almost written in fate that Bonesetters’s experience with their debut album release was wrought with the icy fear of potential demise, warmed over by the support and care of their community, and solidified into the acute awareness featured on Figure It Out. If the band moves forward into their promising career at this current trajectory, there is, indeed, much to anticipate from this young act’s future endeavors. - Lone Empire


"Review: Bonesetters, 'Figure It Out' by Grant Catton"

Bonesetters
Figure It Out
In Store Recordings, Rhed Rholl Recordings
Two years after the release of their debut effort, Savages, Indy-based Bonesetters are back with their second full-length album, Figure it Out. They've added a new bassist and drummer; only lead singer-songwriter Dan Snodgrass and lead guitarist Sam Shafer remain from the original lineup. They've also dropped the word "The" from their name, a change which may matter and may not. But, this is a different band than "The Bonesetters" who came here two years ago from Muncie, and Figure it Out demonstrates that this band is worth watching closely.

Savages established Bonesetters as a richly instrumented alt-folk act with a serious songwriting talent in Snodgrass. With Figure it Out, the complex songwriting is still there but the album moves away from that sort of rock-orchestra métier; the tracks feel more like individual songs rather than suites of some larger musical statement.

Bonesetters still seem to be exorcising some serious demons — lost loves, youthful indiscretions, sins committed by former selves — and looking back into the past for redemption and answers. Lyrically, there's a lot to chew on, as always. Religious symbolism is rife — devils, saviors and saints make appearances — even in song titles (see: "Day of the Dead" and "Saint Led Astray"). Certain songs take on an element of prayer; of getting things off one's chest in order to ask forgiveness, as in "Greed": "We bottled lightning / We sold it cheap / We owe our souls to the devil / For our greed."

In terms of sound, it's hard to draw a specific bead on Figure it Out, as Bonesetters resist easy categorization. Drew Malott, on bass, and Cody Davis, on drums, seem to have continued and improved upon the band's penchant for hard-driving beats, and horns and strings on songs like "Golden Youth" and "Saint Led Astray" lend a sort of epicness. Opening track "House Fires" contains a distinctly math-y guitar riff, but that's about as math-y as this album gets. "Day of the Dead" has early '60s pop undertones. "Sundowners" is back to pure '90s rock – complete with mid-song breakdown. The album reaches what I consider its high point on "Saint Led Astray." - Nuvo Magazine


"BONESETTERS TEASE US WITH THEIR NEW SINGLE ‘DAY OF THE DEAD’ by Christine Cook"

What was so great about music in the 60’s? The correct answer is: folk, rock and surf pop. Indianapolis indie rockers Bonesetters make music that combines all three. “Day of the Dead” is the first single from their upcoming album, Figure it Out, and is a guitar heavy, string-laden track with soothing vocals. This band manages to marry folk, pop and a child-like swoon perfected by bands such as Girls. Figure it Out drops January 31st. Until then, listen to the single above! - Wild Honey Pie


"FIGURE IT OUT BY BONESETTERS by Dan Fiorio"

Bonesetters are back with their second record Figure It Out, the follow-up to their 2011 debut Savages. After listening to this record a healthy number of times, it’s safe to say that this Indianapolis four-piece have avoided the dreaded sophomore slump. If anything, these guys are on an upward swing with this latest release, offering up a record full of catchy hooks and inviting melodies.

If Figure It Out sonically could be described in one word, that word would be “warm”. Everything from the vocal deliveries of frontman Daniel Snodgrass to the instrumentation and melodies Bonesetters have composed for this record, Figure It Out is a very lush, grandiose-sounding record. What really accentuates these qualities on this record is the fine musicianship displayed by Bonesetters accompanied by the great string arrangements provided throughout by Joe Fawcett of The Smile Majestic. All of these elements add up to what is a very inviting and blissed-out sounding slice of indie pop.

Bonesetters have displayed elements of surf rock in their brand of indie pop in the past; for Figure It Out, the band has retained these indie pop sensibilities but stylistically have gone in a direction more accurately be described as jangle or chamber pop. This direction is evident on the record right from the get-go with the album opener ”Housefires”, a track that is at both times very lush and full sounding with reverb soaked guitars and accompanying string sections, as well as delicate, warm vocal deliveries. This track really sets the tone properly for the rest of the record.

The sun soaked pop of the record kicks even more into high gear on the tracks that follow “Housefires”, ”Golden Youth” and “Day Of The Dead” (a track recently featured in a recent Give It A Spin column). Both tracks boast some killer guitar melodies and vocal hooks that are hard to be denied. The entirety of Figure It Out features a really nice cohesive flow, and while stylistically it stays in a similar song writing style, the album very rarely gets stale – if anything it gets catchier and more engaging as it progresses. The biggest example of this is mid-album highlight “Sundowners”, a great track featuring some jangly guitar interplay and a chorus that is hard to be denied. It’s a great track and paves the way quite well for the two closing tracks, “Saint Led Astray” and “Greed”.

All in all, Figure It Out is a very solid listen. If you’re looking for some harmonious, self examining indie pop with affecting melodies to boot I think you may want to grab a copy very soon.

And that opportunity may come sooner than you think! Bonesetters were kind enough to donate a copy each of their orange and white vinyl records. Enter to win a copy of Figure It Out by letting us know your favorite colored vinyl in the comments section below. We will pick two winners (living in the continental US) at random on February 17, 2014, and send it off to enjoy. Good luck, we’re looking forward to reading them!

Recommended if you like: Fleet Foxes, The Shins, The Morning Benders
Favorite Tracks: Housefires, Golden Youth, Sundowners - Midwest Action


"Review: The Bonesetters, 'Savages'"

"Bonesetters nailed it right from the gate"- Grant Catton - Nuvo.net


"Album Review: The Bonesetters ‘SAVAGES!’ by Bandcamp Hunter"

After Mossback Records folded, Bonesetters were left with the costs of this wonderfully produced album and it came close to being shelved. Thankfully, fundraising prevailed and Savages was belatedly released. It immediately captures with a wall of harmonies giving way to jocular guitars in the joyous surf rock title track, but the loveliest moments in Savages are the quiet ones that allow lead singer Dan Snodgrass’ smoky voice and adept lyricism gleam through. Oh, and the tracks where a barber’s quartet supplies backing vocals- fingers crossed this becomes a trend because it’s bloody gorgeous. Bonesetters have a sound that encases whisky and grit with sweetness and storytelling and this nearly-not album shouts for multiple listens. - Bandcamp Hunter, Popstache.com


"Lovely Hearts Club Presents: Bonesetters"

The success of Indy-based BONESETTERS hinges on their restrained and straight forward songwriting to create a fine balance of fast-paced alt-rock and acoustic indie folk. They stick to the essentials: guitars and drums with catchy vocal hooks. No superfluous effects or over-saturated reverb…a refreshing change in today’s indie music scene if you ask us!

Their debut album, SAVAGES, came close to never being heard when their previous label Mossback Records folded in early 2011, but with persistence and a successful Kickstarter campaign the band was able to drop the album last month. And thankfully so, for it has been a delight to our ears here at LHC. Grounded in a love for poetry and librarians, frontman Daniel Snodgrass delivers lyrics that are sincere admissions of ordinary life made poignant, sung with a voice that falls somewhere between Nathan Willet (Cold War Kids) and Robin Pecknold (Fleet Foxes). The instrumentation is clean and tight, with a few strings and horn arrangements to supplement their catchy riffs and melodies. - Lovely Hearts Club (Paper Garden Records)


"Album Review: The Bonesetters ‘SAVAGES!’ by Rob Peoni"

At long last it’s here. The Bonesetters SAVAGES!. An album that nearly never saw the light of day. Were it not for a successful Kickstarter campaign and the generous lip service of blogs like Musical Family Tree, there was a significant chance that we never would have heard this album. That result would have been an unacceptable travesty.

For those of you that don’t know, this album has been in the can for quite sometime, but after the close of Mossback Records left the lion’s share of the recording costs on the shoulders of the band, the SAVAGES! release was in jeopardy. Fortunately for us, our ears need not fret. The Bonesetters are here.

The album opens with the title track. A soothing serenade of ahhs gives way to a rollicking guitar riff. Enter lead singer Dan Snodgrass. I happen to know that Dan spends his days as an assistant librarian. His station in life bleeds into his writing. Snodgrass’ songs contain full story arcs. The characters are rich and the descriptions vivid. He understands irony, symbolism and all of the other literary tricks of the trade, and he knows how to make them do his bidding. His writing is the type that only comes after long days spent thumbing through tomes written by men who have already conquered the beast that is the blank page.

Snodgrass’ knack for painting clear pictures in his listener’s mind is on display in the first verse of “Savages”, when he sings: “I have been a dead man, / But since those nights I’ve stretched to keep a level head / If I’ve learned one good lesson, / It’s how to keep an eye or two open while in bed.” These clever turns of phrase are littered throughout the album.

One aspect of SAVAGES! that appeals to me the more than any other is that it is completely vacant of gimmicks. Too many bands amongst the indie scene seem so intent on creating the appearance of complete originality that they wind up colluding their songs with layers of looping, incoherent sound effects. The Bonesetters don’t sound concerned with such frivolous pursuits. We all know that music, for the most part, is a medium that is shared and borrowed amongst its members. Originality proves an elusive dream. So The Bonesetters refuse to dress their songs up, leaving their stories and melodies to stand on their own. The result serves as a refreshing change of pace.

Choosing favorite tracks from SAVAGES! proves difficult. Mixed by Tyler Watkins of Margot and the Nuclear So and Sos, the album has an air of maturity that seems beyond a group that should still be discovering its identity. At the risk of sounding like a cheerleader, I’ll go ahead and say that there isn’t a single song that I dislike. Even the brief, instrumental, circus-like “Shakespeare” that appears on the latter half of the disc works for me as a nice intermission of sorts—as if allowing the listener to escape for a cigarette before the band brings this baby home.

I’m not going to waste your time by breaking this album down track for track. I would rather you listen and discover what they mean to you. See what Dan and the boys have to say. There’s an oft quoted Kurt Vonnegut line that goes, “I trust my writing most and others seem to trust it most when I sound like a person from Indianapolis, which is what I am.” Though Dan is from New Palestine and his band gained their footing in Muncie, this too is a Hoosier voice worth hearing and one that others across the country can trust. - Thought On Tracks.com


"New Music: Bonesetters by Matt Erler"

The release of Savages was fraught with uncertainty and desperation. Proving that you don’t have to be a Capitol or Atlantic Records-signed artist to be screwed by your record company, Bonesetters were stuck with the bill for the recording of Savages after Mossback Records, their label, went under. Recorded in November and December of 2010, Savages was finally released digitally on Tuesday and a physical release will follow next year due to a successful Kickstarter campaign.

The band deftly avoids cluttering Savages with inconsequential songs – with the possible exception of the instrumental interlude, “Shakespeare” – and focuses on delivering an album’s worth of unpretentious and unsweetened music, playing to their strengths while smartly and cautiously exploring new sonic possibilities.

“Bruises” has a loose, relaxed feel to it. Dan Schepper’s drums casually stroll throughout, while Ryan Rader’s snappy bass line in the verses give way to broad, elongated strokes in the chorus, giving the song a natural flow.

Frontman Dan Snodgrass often peppers the songs with evocative, almost disemboweled lyrical phrases like “the helicopters swinging, zinging static and the television glow/The silent flip of a switch, the whispering radio,” (“Bruises”). Those may be the most ear-catching and distinctive lyrical flourishes on the album, but Snodgrass is at his best and most effective when he sighs, shrugs and sings “But I’m finding out it’s more dangerous now” on album closer “Morning Glory.”

Bonesetters have probably found their signature song (at least at this early stage in their career) in “You Are Shaun Gannon,” an acerbic and cocksure reaction to former Muncie poet Shaun Gannon’s screed “I Am Shaun Gannon,” which, like the song, combats hubris with humbling reality.

But the true charm of “You Are Shaun Gannon” is the song’s arrangement. Sam Shafer’s cyclical, melodic guitar, doused completely in reverb and delay, Schepper’s driving staccato drum beat, and Jayson Homyak’s elaborate production flourishes contrast rather severely with the rest of Savages. “You Are Shaun Gannon” is Savages’s most star-reaching moment.

Bonesetters have been knocking around Indy for under a year after building a solid foundation in Muncie. A lot of great bands have come out of Muncie, from Indy’s own Everything, Now!, to the defunct Everthus the Deadbeats, to Philly’s Arrah and the Ferns, etc. But few of those bands have met as warm and fanatical embrace as they did in Muncie. That makes sense. Muncie’s a small community, and there isn’t much competition.

The ghosts of misbegotten and neglected bands probably haunt every small venue in every major city the country. Most are bands that simply couldn’t get traction in a crowded scene. They’re victims of the fickle tastes of trendsetters, or saturation, or band in-fighting, or a simple occurrence of unfortunate circumstances. As promising as Bonesetters are, we, as a community, can’t let that happen. Go to one of their shows. Hear Snodgrass give the song “Jesus” a sweet, cathartic treatment; hear new drummer Cody Davis’s militaristic drumming; watch Shafer’s deft handling of guitar, keys, and trumpet; hear Rader’s melodic and driving bass.
- Musical Family Tree.net


"SAVAGES-Bonesetters"

"Bonesetters have got some real pep. High grade indie rock and roll. They'll make you happy and sad and back again." - Bandcamp Hunter - Bandcamp Hunter


"The Bonesetters"

The Bonesetters
Muncie, IN • Indie/Folk
Singer/songwriter Dan Snodgrass guides this Hoosier quintet through songs equally informed by ancient Folk pioneers and modern Freak folksters and Indie Pop revelers. Smart lyrics and sharp melodies are set against a minimalist backdrop of sparse percussion, acoustic guitar and unexpected additives like a quivering saw and the occasional trumpet, and there’s a spirited surge of energy through most songs that’ll make you uncontrollably clap along. The band has an EP (Family Tree) under its belt and is currently hashing out details for a debut full-length.
Dig it: Time-traveling Folk musicians are transported from a tent-revival in rural Mississippi in 1932 and dropped in the front row of an Andrew Bird concert in 2010. (MB)
11:30 p.m. Saturday at Segway of Cincinnati - Cincy Beat


"Purr to the 30's"

"Bonesetters is Dan Snodgrass’s vehicle to take us back to a depression era time in American history and still find the joy in the sorrow. The past six months has seen a perpetually changing lineup in which Mr. Snodgrass is trying to find the ‘right’ match. Bringing elements of brass, Saw, thick electric bass, drums, electric and acoustic guitar; and now even lite touches of electronics he will have ya purring to the sweet introspective sounds of the 30s!" - Travis Harvey posted on stereosubversion.com


"Local band creates unique sound, gains fan following"

By Heather Collins

Heartbreak, betrayal, adultery, handclaps and old westerns are just a few of the things that Muncie-based band The Bonesetters can weave into a story for an audience.

The Bonesetters are quickly becoming a Muncie favorite among the local music venues, as well as students and locals alike.

The Bonesetters began as Dan Snodgrass’ former band, St. Vlasco, but soon settled into its current form as a modernized country band with a saw player to boot.

“I wrote eight songs in a week, and we played those and then I started looking at it a little more seriously,” Snodgrass said. “It’s just kind of been a revolving door band ever since then; there’s always been someone either coming or going.”

The current line-up is Snodgrass on guitar and lead vocals, Ryan Rader on bass, Jeremy Bauer on the saw and percussion, Dillon Ehright on drums and Sam Schafer on guitar, organ and trumpet.

The group’s sound evokes the whimsical and Western musicality of composer Ennio Morricone meshed with a folkier version of Phantom Planet.

Lead singer Snodgrass is often praised by fans for his songwriting ability and old time lyrics.

“It’s like a darker folk pop, a little dance-y with a little bit of rock n’ roll in it and Ennio Morricone influence,” Snodgrass said.

Their newest song, “Put Your Fingers Through the Vines,” includes the lyrics, “I’ll fill my boat/You fill your van/We can go to higher lands/Where black holes populate and swallow up the day jobs we once held.”

The Bonesetters “Family Tree EP” will be out soon and includes the tracks, “Grand Ol’ Party,” “Jesus,” “Rita Mae,” and Trigger Finger.”

Their next show in Muncie will be on Saturday with The Elms at Doc’s Music Hall.
- Ball State University Daily News


""Get Your Folk On: The Bonesetters""

"The complexity of Snodgrass' lyrics of misfortune and audience-pleasing, energetic, old-time musicality is a rare but blissful combination." - Ball Bearings Magazine


"THE BONESETTERS"

"They are a modern day guild, with healing powers that transcend the beautiful, yet strange and somewhat disheartened lyrics...Just when we thought we had heard everything and that nothing could get better than this or that, The Bonesetters decided to show up and rain on their parade. And damn it, I'm glad they did." - Humanize Magazine, Issue 6


Discography

Savages- 2011
Figure It Out - 2014

Photos

Bio

 Bonesetters were formed to make sounds that interpreted our dreams, and we built our quiet sounds into louder sounds into louder sounds. Indiana is where we call home.  We love our home dearly. We love the road more. 

Band Members