Januar

Januar

BandAlternativeFolk

Januar, a Denver trio, creates atmospheric indie rock that combines airy harmonies, thoughtful lyrics, and unforgetable melodies in the vein of Low, Mojave 3, and the Innocence Mission.

Biography

EVERYTHING YOU NEVER WANTED TO KNOW:

WHAT'S IN A NAME
Why did Januar [yah-new-wahr], a Denver-based "trio" who creates atmospheric indie-pop in the vein of Low, Pedro the Lion, and Mojave 3, pick a name that hardly anyone (even certain band members) can pronounce correctly? The group’s first drummer, Katie Aikins (who had grown up in Iceland), suggested Januar (the Icelandic term for January) because the band, which had sprung from the ashes of former space-rock band, Breathing Eve, formed in January 2002. Soon to be married couple, Jeremy and Amy Burbick, readily agreed to the name (especially since Amy’s option had been “Shades of Mediocrity”). The “rules” of the new band were relatively simple: 1) No electric guitars, 2) no bass, and 3) no primary vocalist (vocal duties would be shared by all), but it wouldn’t be long until Januar would be breaking their own rules.

A TRIO OF FOUR
Januar began playing their bare-boned approach to indie-rock in the clubs of Denver, but by Fall 2002, it was time for Katie to move on (Iceland, PA, and GA). Still, Katie remained a member of Januar, which for the next two years existed primarily as a recording project for Jeremy and Amy. Occasionally Katie would come back to town in order to record and play a show, but in early 2004, Katie was unable to make a scheduled performance. Patty Holland (who had played percussion with Januar at coffee shop gigs) made a seamless transition from the djembe to the drum kit. Januar began playing out on a regular basis, with Patty as the primary drummer, and started recording a five song EP. On March 18, 2005, Januar released The Fall Ep, with a show that featured both Patty and Katie, and the album received critical acclaim from the Westword, the Onion, Kaffeine Buzz and others.

MAKING THE WAY
By the summer of 2005, fate (and a little thing called Myspace) introduced Januar to home studio wizard Jme (in Blusom- signed to Second Nature Records, Mr. Xmas and formerly in Acrobat Down and Blue Blooded Girls), and Jme offered to record the band for a “price” that even Januar could afford (free). Suddenly, the band, who had banned the bass and electric guitar, was embracing both instruments. Even though Januar was morphing into a “standard trio” (with Jeremy on the bass, Amy on electric guitar, and Patty on the drums), the songs comprising the new album were sounding anything but ordinary.

SIGN ON THE DOTTED LINE
Through the mayhem of Myspace, a West Coast indie label stumbled upon Januar and wanted to release their debut, full length CD, The Way Back Home. The label promised Januar many things, including national distribution, advertising in music magazines, college radio airplay, and even a free trip to sunny CA to have a CD release show. After much deliberation, Januar signed a contract in January 2006 (which seemed like a good omen, but things are seldom as they seem). Januar delivered The Way Back Home to the label in February, and began waiting for a release date. After a few setbacks (which is typical in the music biz), the label assured Januar that the album was being manufactured and was next in line to be released. The band was given the go ahead to set up a June 24th CD Release Show in Denver and was promised that the CDs would be in their hands before the show.

PRESSING PARTY
Two weeks before the big event, Januar received a strange email telling them that the head of the label would be unreachable for awhile, but the CDs were on their way. Januar called the manufacturer, just to be sure, and found out that production on their album had never officially begun. The label still hadn't paid for a previous project; the manufacturer never had been given Januar’s artwork; and the head of the label had essentially disappeared. It became clear that Januar was going to have to cut ties with the label and release the album on their own. There was no way The Way Back Home would be ready in time for the scheduled CD Release Party, so the show was changed into a Pressing Party, to help raise funds for the album’s pressing. [John Wenzel from The Denver Post wrote the article “Januar Gets Wise to the Biz” about the whole fiasco 6/22/06]

A TRIO OF TWO
Before the Pressing Party, Januar had scheduled a summer tour (thinking, at the time, that the album would already be released and have national distribution and radio airplay). Instead, they headed out on the road (with Katie filling in for Patty on the drums) without any CDs, until midway through the tour. Upon returning home, they set up another CD Release Show (this time with actual CDs) for November 11, 2006. A month before the show, Patty, who had far too much on her plate, had to (amicably) quit the band. Katie, in her last year at seminary, was unable to leave school during that time. Januar finally had their CDs, but they no longer had a drummer.

BLAST FROM THE PAST

Jeremy (who had only played the drums occasionally for fun)

Discography

The Fall EP - 2005
They Way Back Home - 2006

Set List

We generally do a 30-40 minute set of 8-10 songs. If we do cover songs, they are usually more obscure (such as "Give What You Take" by Mojave 3 or "MT" by the 77's), but we have been known to cover Jeff Buckley, Radiohead, Garbage, and Alan Parson's Project (a revamped version of "Eye in the Sky").