Hermit Thrushes
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Hermit Thrushes

Band Rock Avant-garde


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This band has not uploaded any videos



"Next Music: What you'll be hearing this year."

Next indie rock band: Hermit Thrushes.

Tucking freaky pop inside knotty indie rock, Hermit Thrushes are best known for their live shows, during which they swap mean- spirited banter with each other, wear color-coded outfits and brandish a trumpet when needed. Their self-released album Benaki is pretty, but also pretty weird, with pristinely snaky instrumentation and breathy male vocals reminiscent of the Sea and Cake or David Grubbs at times. There’s some psych, some folk and lots of itinerant tunefulness, making for a quiet, studied experience. Onstage the guys are considerably more engaging, and when they embark on a tour of the South next month, they’ll surely give Philly a good name. Considered alongside Aunt Dracula and Papertrigger, Hermit Thrushes offer more proof that our city’s newest generation of indie bands can colorfully defy genres while happily erupting all over the place. --Doug Wallen 2.20.08 - Philadelphia Weekly

"Getting Rowdy with Hermit Thrushes: Tonight!"

Hermit Thrushes are one of those bands you really need to see live. It’s not that their abstract psych-rock anthems don’t translate to recording—they absolutely do—it’s just that the band’s personality really comes out during live performances.

Known for their outlandish costumes (BrightestYoungThings called them “an Easter parade on crack”), scrappy banter, and raucous on-stage antics, this Philadelphia fivesome definitely understands that chaos is an art form.

Take, for example, their tunes – quirky psychedelic concoctions that catapult between chord-clashy math rock and poppy shoegaze, with the occasional melody thrown in for good measure.

It’s been a couple months since their debut album, Benaki, dropped, and the feisty fivesome has been promoting it in the most chaotic way possible: an action-packed, rag-tag East Coast tour full of broken down buses, sleeping on the floor, and Ninja Turtles with AK-47s. Read all about it here – then catch the band this Wednesday as they return to their home city for a record release full of all the debauchery they can muster. This is one show that might be worth calling out sick the next morning for. - uwishunu.com

"Monday Magic @ Velvet Lounge"

Ok, so you’re 5 dudes from Philadelphia, you play “experimental indie pop” (they told us this) and you decide to name yourself Hermit Thrushes (which is either genius or a complete self-sabotage effort, I’m still deciding about this one), what ELSE can you do to emphasize your completely deconstructed, insanely kinetic brand of music which starts out as any almost-perfect-3-minute-nugget would and then goes haywire about 45 seconds in?


It was like Easter parade on Crack on that stage (in, I think, a good way)
When we saw them step up, I said to Raisa
"I hope they don’t suck because nothing is worse than a band with a gimmick that sucks"
And they pulled it off.
Much polishing left to do, but then, I don’t think they’re really the kind of band that strives for polish, so they should be golden. - Brightest Young Things

"Vibrational Vectors?!"

Hermit Thrushes are from Philadelphia and play some rad mathy tones that remind my Longstreth saturated ears of a Glad-Fact era Dirty Projectors, which is a very good thing. I had the opportunity to the see the Thrushes live a few weeks ago with the all too talented Extra Life, and they brought it very hard.

The band had been on an extensive tour, and tired as they were, the synergies of their compositional energy came through. As Anthony Braxton would say, the vibrational vectors were more than flowing that night. Anyway, “Fourth” is a pretty good indicator of their sound, and I’m sorry to harp on D-lo shit, but I can’t get it away from the “Winter is Here” resemblance. Enjoy it responsibly. - Analog Scene

"Folk Thrash?!"

This colorful group hails from Philadelphia, PA and tours with a whole rainbow storm which presides over the stage while they play. Yianni may be the primary songwriter, but this isn't some simple singer-songwriter with accompaniment outfit; this is a whole ensemble which loves to play together but somewhere during playtime they get way carried away and start throwing things throughout the room and everything popcorns for a while. It's where this is the new psychedelic and rainbow is the new black. - Collective Family

"Tiny Pop Eureka"

Philly's Hermit Thrushes' skewed psychedelic songs stumble and regain balance like a drunken man searching for quick sobriety. "Push" is a tiny eureka of somber, fractured pop beauty that may initially sound broken, but fixes up quite nicely. Fans of early Caribou and Lilys take note. - The Walrus blog

"Indelible Sound"

Ok, ok settle down. Yes, they now there is a band called Thrush Hermit, and no they don't care. These Philly musicians are out to make a name for themselves, and they don't need your preconceived notions of a pop-rock band mussing up their style.

So their new full-length "Benaki" is in my hand, and I'm trying to think of some witty comments to make about the band and how they move my soul, etc. I guess the least I can say about the band is that they take a seemingly simple concept of pop or indie rock and twist it this way and that to create their own indelible sound. Sure you can draw comparisons to bands like Apples in Stereo and Animal Collective, but they would be merely roadside landmarks to keep you on the right path.

What the 5-piece has done is create a fun record that is fun enough to keep your toes tapping, but deep and engaging enough to keep those said toes on alert. - Ghost Don't Walk

"Beautifully Simple"

At times this music doesn't make sense, but it comes together to form beautifully simple melodies. - Washington Square News

"No Pants"

And the award for Best CMJ Foot-Soldiering PR Hustle goes to the above dude in the Philly psych-folk fivesome, Hermit Thrushes!

Kid badly in need of a shower saw me doodling daggers during the Unexceptional Handclap Band's set at the Fader Fort Friday and network-assaulted me, all I see your pen, now use it to write about my band. His hook: “We’ve played Todd P shows.” In the end, he was nice enough, and passed along a manila CD-sized envelope with hand-drawn gummy worms and a one-sheet about how Hermit Thrushes use “awkward melodies,” “monophonic vocal doublings” and “unconventional song structures.” Inside was also an illustration of a humpback whale with angel wings.

Who cares, right? I do now. Not even five minutes later, I’m walking out and dude is standing by the exit, his pants down around his ankles. A woman is grinning and taking his picture. Matt of Matt & Kim is witnessing this from about ten feet away, and shaking his head. And for that, and that alone, I am going to post this Hermit Thrushes song “Fourth,” which, as it turns out, is actually pretty good. Think Impossible Shapes, a trou-dropping Pinback. - The Village Voice


"Benaki": CD (Single Girl Married Girl) 2008 available in stores and on iTunes

Split w/ Br'er: Vinyl 7" (Single Girl Married Girl) 2008

"Slight Fountain": CD (Joyful Noise Recordings/Single Girl Married Girl) & Vinyl 12" (SMK records) 2009

Split w/ Baby Birds Don't Drink Milk: Cassette tape (Lillerne Tapes) 2009

"Hidden Bee Sleeping In A Paper Flower": Cassette tape (Pregnant records) 2009

Hermit Thrushes have received extensive radio airplay, web-radio play & podcast play. Additionally, live Hermit Thrushes sets are featured on The Collective Family website, (Princeton, NJ's WPRB host) Jon Solomon's radio show and 95.1 WVUR's website and broadcast.



Hermit Thrushes are a strange, ambitious power that only the east coast could have birthed. Cryptic lyrics in English and Greek sit comfortably overtop angular guitar parts, melodic bass lines and fine-tuned drumming. Standard rock instruments are supplemented by melodic doublings on trumpet, spare glockenspiel lines, noisy organ chords and drums filled with metal.

In the Fall of 2006, Yianni Kourmadas (guitar, vocals) embarked upon an extended trip to Greece. Far removed from family and friends, he wrote and recorded a handful of songs on a guitar he trash-picked in Athens and collected hours of field recordings. The songs and sounds he captured reflected happiness, curiosity and loneliness. When he returned to his home in Philadelphia, a small group of friends assembled to perform and record these songs. After three months of playing together, the recordings (both the basement recordings of the young band and the recordings made in Greece) would become the first Hermit Thrushes album, "Benaki" (named after the museum in Athens that Yianni had spent entire days perusing and obsessing over).

In just two years, Hermit Thrushes have completed two albums, a 7" record, two cassette tapes, four national tours, dozens of weekend tours, as well as a series of radio interviews and in-studio sessions. They have performed at various festivals including official performances at the CMJ Marathon in New York City and five unofficial shows in two days at SXSW in Austin, Texas.

Their stage show has been the subject controversy and frequently features cross-dressings, rainbow outfits, outrageous acrobatics and high kicks.

Hermit Thrushes have shared the stage with Elf Power, Pattern Is Movement, Nat Baldwin (of Dirty Projectors), The Mae Shi, Karl Blau, Cut Off Your Hands (UK/New Zealand), Evangelicals (Dead Oceans), High Places, Slaraffenland (Denmark), So Many Dynamos, The Winks (Canada), Vic Chesnutt, School of Language (mems. of Field Music, Tortoise, Owls), Vampire Hands, EAR PWR, Royal Bangs, Mutators, Brothers and Sisters, Panther (Kill Rock Stars), Soft Circle, Anavan, This Bike is a Pipebomb, etc.

Hermit Thrushes also perform in Folklore (myspace.com/folkloreband) fronted by Jimmy Hughes of Elf Power and Yianni performs in Leopulde (Sounds Familyre Records).

See also: myspace.com/hermitthrushes