Lavoy
Gig Seeker Pro

Lavoy

Spokane, Washington, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2007 | SELF

Spokane, Washington, United States | SELF
Established on Jan, 2007
Band Alternative Pop

Calendar

This band hasn't logged any future gigs

Oct
10
Lavoy @ Whiskey Jacques

Ketchum, Idaho, United States

Ketchum, Idaho, United States

Sep
27
Lavoy @ Eastern Washington University

Cheney, Washington, United States

Cheney, Washington, United States

Sep
13
Lavoy @ Perry Street Shakedown Festival

Spokane, Washington, United States

Spokane, Washington, United States

Music

Press


I fell in love with 5 men from Alaska.

That is a sentence any mother would cringe to hear regardles of the gentlemen in question. None-the-less my mother heard it, then my producer, various friends and my boss. They all greeted my proclamation with the same shell shocked expression. I of course laughed, I really enjoy putting people off balance, but quickly explained myself.

Those guys I recently fell for, are musicians… *cue mother passing out*. No but seriously, I was surfing instagram, looking for new music, and up-pops this hipster chic, slightly bearded, guy next door type band. After completing a brief google search I hear a few songs which heralded my swift fall into “Lavoy Love”.

Lavoy is an Alternative Pop band formed in 2012 in Anchorage Alaska. After touring locally they began performing in the surrounding areas and finally garnered the attention of L.A. producer Tony Hoffer who helped to mold the recently released self titled debut E.P. “Lavoy”. I immediately went to itunes, purchased the EP, and signed my fate.

I am anxiously waiting to see this group playing in the “lower 48”. I will buy the ticket, the t-shirt, and the poster. I will happily revert to my “teenage fan girl” craze, because their music is unique, it is riveting and it helped me fall in love with music all over again... - The Grey-Zone Mag


This last summer my uncle and his family made a long overdue trip to visit us. I say long overdue because it had been somewhere around 15 years since I had seen them. Needless to say, my three cousins had changed a great deal. Two of them hadn’t even been in elementary school yet… and one hadn’t even been in existence yet. So it was a shocking transformation all the way around.

And you may be asking, what does that have to do with this CD review? And I’m glad you asked. This is my second review of LaVoy’s body of work. And to be honest, this new CD is a whole different animal than their previous EP. To put it another way… “Look Ma, they’s all growed up,” is what I might say if I was related to Jed Clampett. Or if I was an Orion Walsh fan. Bad joke. Sorry. Suffice it to say that if you even mildly enjoyed LaVoy’s “Said The Quiet Hands” EP, then you’ll love their new full-length release, “We Met In The Arts”.

In case you’re late to the party, LaVoy is a 4-piece out of Wasilla, Alaska (yes, just like Sarah Palin) that plays a seriously eclectic brand of indie rock with hints of folk and a big jazz undercurrent. The new CD tends to opt for a more utilitarian sound. Less smoothing of the edges and more raw energy. In spite of this slight shift in sound, LaVoy still manages to maintain their style. Think somewhere along the lines of Portugal The Man meets The Shins meets Forward Russia who had already met Fires Of Rome. So their sound isn’t easy to nail down… so sue me.

Characterized by a heavy groove and a punchy vocal delivery, LaVoy is hard not to like and nearly impossible to ignore. And one listen through will show you why the beast on the drums drinks more water during the course of a live set than anyone I’ve ever seen. And I’ve sat through outdoor shows in 114 degree heat.

Packaging is first rate on this release. Lyrics are included which is profoundly appreciated. Wink, wink. Production is superb, as you would imagine of a project handled by Jason Martin of Starflyer 59. Add to that the lead singer’s fabulous taste in hats and there’s really no way that this CD can miss.

Lyrically, LaVoy is pretty upfront with their songs. They manage to be contemplative without making you dive too deep to appreciate what they’re saying. Usually. There’s also a hint of the band’s spirituality here and there but nothing too overt. Consider the song “Green Forest Road” as an example of the typically feel, it says, “settle into the rut that they dug you / a corpse with a view / dark like a coffin / six feet under in Boston / shine through / out of the fire and into the quicksand / feels right / avoid all the issues that put me in your shoes / all my life / pour out the water in my fish tank / for words to build you a title wave / but everyone knows that its not my place”.

The standout track was definitely “Mr. Magsam” which has some great change-ups and an almost alt-shoegazer feel at times before hitting the big groove finale that is a perfect set up for the following song “Western Son / Eastern Seaboard” which I also dug but came off a bit repetitive and seemed to lose momentum. This song worked a lot better live, but, hey, any song that mentions a seahorse is alright in my book. Yes, even Owl City. Besides, “Living In Florida” picks things right back up and pushes you down the home stretch.

Overall: The only thing that held this CD back in my opinion was that structurally some of the songs drone on a bit rather than following a consistent progression. But that was actually pretty rare. So aside from that, LaVoy’s brand spankin’ new full-length release, “We Met In The Arts” is a sight to behold… and one that you should seriously consider checking out. - Indie Vision Music


After years of performing in the solitude of Wasilla, Alaska, Lavoy caught the ear of producer Tony Hoffer (Beck, Depeche Mode, Foster The People) and decided to take things to the next level. They chose to move to Spokane...clearly, they weren't trying to escape the harsh winters. But now they have found a budding, closely-knit music scene and a practical home base for touring.

As for their sound, every member has a set of electronic gizmos to modulate his own instrument and/or generate novel tones. Tyrell makes sparing but deliberate use of a variety of effects on his voice. Ivan uses multiple keyboards to create a giant, lush background. Kipp cues off some retro beats to augment his acoustic drum kit, while singing backing vocals. Ryan adds some room-shaking pedal tones to punctuate his overdriven bass. In addition to backing vocals, Sean surprisingly opts for a relatively unaltered timbre on the one instrument that has historically seen the most effects: the electric guitar. However, none of these sonic treatments are gimmicks: taken together, they are just another means of creating a huge, upbeat, frequently danceable indie/electro/pop-rock sound during live shows.

Having just finished their new EP with Tony Hoffer and gearing up for several shows around its release date (Jan 1st), Lavoy will share all 3 of their new studio cuts plus several full-band live tunes this Sunday at 10 pm on the 103.1 KCDA Local Lounge.

Hear Lavoy on the 103.1 KCDA Local Lounge on Sunday, December 8th (and catch the replay on December 22nd), 2013 at 10 pm PST. Tune your radio to 103.1 FM in the Spokane/Post Falls/Coeur d'Alene area or listen live to the on-line audio stream. You can also hear the live broadcast on your iPhone, iPad, Kindle Fire, Android, or Blackberry with the iHeartRadio app.


After the initial broadcast, their entire 30-minute show will be posted here as high-quality streaming audio, available on demand. Check back on this page later in December to see a video of Lavoy performing their song "Cursing the Curses" live in the Local Lounge!


Here is their new, professional music video of "Fool Proof Plan": - KCDA 103.1 Radio


Lavoy is a group who moved to the area from Alaska to continue pursuing their electro/indie/pop band. Spokane seems like quite an unlikely place, but they chose it and have been quite busy. Touring around the Northwest, recording, and playing plenty of shows in town. Most recently, they released this amazingly well done music video featuring what looks to be some beautiful scenery in Alaska. And I’d say the acting from Lavoy’s lead singer is on par if not even more impressive than his vocals…and I mean that in the most flattering way possible.

One thing I find missing in Lavoy’s online presence is actual recorded music. Their website shows a cd, but I can’t seem to find it anywhere! Nothing on itunes or spotify. I’m guessing this means an upcoming release soon, so we’ll try to keep you updated on that.

Follow Lavoy on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Youtube…they are one of the only local bands I know that actually update ALL their social networks. Way to go guys, happy to have you in Spokane. - http://www.collectpnw.com/lavoy/


If you’re a band living and playing in Spokane and you want to Make It Big, what’s the most logical thing to do? Move away, of course, to a bustling metropolis like Seattle or Portland, because no one Makes It Big in Spokane, right?

The same could be said of Wasilla, Alaska, where the five-piece Lavoy had been performing for years through various lineup changes and stylistic about-faces.

Tyrell Tompkins, Lavoy’s lead singer, said the Wasilla music scene is about as insular as you might expect. “In Alaska, no one has heard of you outside of the state,” he said. “It’s really hard to get your music out of there.”

Lavoy’s songs are heavy on dreamy synths, ringing guitar hooks, propelling drums and catchy, chantlike choruses. You can hear the influence of New Wave groups like New Order and Depeche Mode and the pop sensibility of newer bands like M83 and the Killers.

Although they’d achieved plenty of success locally – crowds were generally large and receptive, and they opened for touring acts like Cold War Kids and Portugal. The Man – the band wasn’t known outside of Wasilla’s tight-knit musical community. Tompkins said everyone they knew in the music business was advising them to get out of Alaska.

It wasn’t until Lavoy played a gig at Austin’s South by Southwest music festival that the need to relocate became apparent. “We looked at everyone, and we thought, ‘We can do that,’?” Tompkins said. “We went back to Alaska, and we’re telling our friends in bands, ‘You’ve got to get out,’ because what’s happening here, it’s not getting out to the rest of the world.”

In July, Tompkins and his bandmates packed up everything they had. They quit their jobs, sold their houses, corralled all their money (Tompkins even cashed out his retirement fund) and moved to Spokane.

They’re living together in a 4,000-square-foot home in the Wandermere area – all five members are married, and Tompkins has two kids, which brings the occupancy to 12 – and they pay the rent with the money they earn at shows.

Music is their full-time job. They’re not playing because they want to; they’re playing because they have to.

But they wouldn’t have it any other way, and Spokane, oddly enough, has granted the band more artistic freedom than ever before. They’re writing and practicing five or six hours a day, they’re playing shows all over the West Coast, and they recently recorded a three-song EP in L.A. with producer Tony Hoffer, who has worked with a laundry list of major artists (Beck, Foster the People, Belle and Sebastian, Phoenix).

Tompkins hopes their recent adjustments will yield success – the band’s goal is to secure a record label that will support them on an extensive tour – even though they’re essentially working their way up from the bottom rung of the local music ladder.

“We’re starting all over,” Tompkins said, “but we feel like we’re going at the right pace, in the right direction. We want to survive playing music for the rest of our lives.” - The Spokesman-Review


The instant Lavoy began their first song my skin erupted with excited chills.The gathered crowd was small and intimate, but Lavoy produced a driving beat and melodic rhythms that could have filled a packed stadium. Set in the dining area of Cafe Sophia the show began with overwhelming presence and power that intensified throughout the performance.

Lavoy is a local Alaska band composed of five members. The smooth vocals of Tyrell Tompkins resonate as the group’s lead singer. Sean Riley’s grooving lead guitar is joined by his brother, Kip Riley, who drives a steady beat on the drums. Ryan Monson strums a solid heart beat on bass guitar, while Ivan Brik, the band’s newest member, asserts himself with graceful force on the keyboard. Altogether they create stellar music that fits the genre of alternative pop, indie rock, and electronic verve.

When choosing the name of their band, Lavoy wanted a significant title, yet one with classic simplicity that would be easy to say and remember. Tyrell told us how in 2006, when Lavoy was formed, other bands tended to have tongue twisters and riddles that distracted from the actual music. Music, the common denominator for all musicians sometimes gets lost in trendy monikers and other means of self-promotion. Lavoy named themselves as a tribute to Tyrell’s grandfather who passed away the year they started the band. They later came to find out that “Lavoy” in French translates to “the way”. I researched the name and found a couple other meanings-- “I go, I am going,” and “Dwellers on the main highway.” Each translation has the common theme of travel, and going somewhere, which aligns itself with the plans Lavoy has in store for the future.

The show at Sophia’s was my first time hearing Lavoy perform live, and I was happy to finally put faces to the talented instrumentalists. They played old and new songs; songs that have been produced on one of their three albums, along with songs that have not yet gone to the recording studio. Tyrell informed the crowd of Lavoy’s prolific activity over the last year writing over thirty songs. Their newest compositions follow the dynamic character of their previous works while maintaining a sound that can be identified as non other than Lavoy’s.

It is frustrating as a writer trying to figure out ways to express the way music sounds. They say a picture is worth a thousand words. Well...try putting into words a description of your favorite band who produces song after song of sensational melodies that will someday undoubtedly hit mainstream and worldwide popularity. That would explain the hardship I’ve gone through trying to express the impact Lavoy’s music has made on me.

The only bias I have towards Lavoy is that their music fits the alternative-pop, indie rock, genre that has always been my favorite. What sets them apart from the other bands I listen to is they can do a show with a twenty song set list where I lose track of how many times I say “Oh yeah, that’s my favorite … that’s going to be their hit.”

It was thoroughly entertaining watching the members interact with each other throughout each song. Instead of remaining engrossed with their own instrument the band continually exchanged smiles or knowing nods. Their wordless communication has been made possible through years of playing together, improving themselves and developing an almost telepathic camaraderie. Having never been a part of a band I can only equate the communication to that of a basketball team; when a sideways glance or subtle movement of the body tells your teammate to wait for a screen, take it all the way, or give me the ball cause I’m going to teach this guy a lesson. Lavoy taught their audience a lesson about what can be accomplished through a lasting and healthy friendship where each member contributes their talents to the overall success of the group. Tyrell told us how each song is a compilation of each member’s input. One person will get the ball rolling; whether it’s a guitar riff from Sean, or a drum beat from Kip, they all constantly send each other recordings of their ideas until they all come together for practice and transform each idea into a complete song. The song may sound nothing like what they first started with, but like the metaphor of a seed, each song comes alive and calls for an audience to admire it.

How do they do it? The mainstream musicians, bands, and vocalists. How do they go from a small audience of friends, family, and a handful of fans to international fame, where anyone with a radio, television, or computer will be familiar with their music? The progression from local sensation to staggering popularity reminds me of the evolution of a conversation. Most people can’t keep track of each change of topic. Ever stop and wonder, “How did we go from the weather to ice fishing,” or ask, “Why are we talking about our favorite toothpaste?” The randomness and seemingly untraceable entrance of your favorite band is so similar. - Last Frontier Magazine


ANCHORAGE, AK — Sound From the Other City is a yearly music festival in Manchester, England, featuring international acts in venues across the city on May 5. The festivities also include an event called the Manchester SceneSkype, which features performances from across the globe that will be broadcast live to Islington Mill in Manchester, and local indie-pop group Lavoy will be dialing in from Koot's.

Other acts performing in front of webcams include D/R/U/G/S, Modern Blonde, Jarboe and Antic Clay, Pregnant and Oxbow, though the site says that performance is pre-recorded.

But the Lavoy performance won't be, and it might be the earliest set Koot's has ever hosted. The band goes on Sunday, May 5, at 7 p.m. British Summer Time / 10 a.m. Alaska Daylight Time, no cover charge

Read more here: http://www.adn.com/2013/04/04/2852250/lavoy-to-play-british-festival.html#storylink=cpy - Anchorage Daily News


Posted: Friday, January 27, 2012 1:45 am
By Jeri Kopet
Everyone needs a dose of optimism in the cold winter months, especially when faced with wind chills of negative 17 and below. Luckily, for those of us lacking adequate therapy or SAD lights, local band LaVoy is bringing a dose of musical vitamin D to us pale denizens of the Last Frontier.
The Valley-based band is jumping back into the live scene after a bit of a musical hiatus, bringing with them their third album Bearly Merry. And yes, the spelling is on purpose.
Bearly Merry is an interesting combination of upbeat indie pop and acoustically tinged tracks that has been under construction for quite some time. Since the band isn't tied to a particular label, the members decided to record and produce independently at home, giving them more time to sit and work with the album.
"[The time] has actually been a good thing in a sense," says lead singer Tyrell Tompkins, "we've been able to sit on the songs longer."
LaVoy will be unveiling the results of their long-term effort at the February First Tap at the Bear Tooth Theatre. It isn't often that local bands headline a First Tap gig, so the opportunity is huge. The band will follow Thursday with two big shows at the Sitzmark in Girdwood-in other words, it's going to be a long but exciting weekend for the LaVoy boys.
When I last spoke with Tompkins, the band was relatively close to finishing off the pending album. In the following three months, Tompkins says the band spent time tying everything together and adding strings and horns to some tracks. "We probably would've gone way overboard [with strings and horns] if we had the money," admits Tompkins, "but I like the peppering."
Some extra spice is exactly what the band was wanting. Although Lavoy's second album, We Met in the Arts, was well received, the group wanted to branch out and make sure their third album was different from their earlier releases. "We actually tried to go less Americana," says Tompkins, noting that the second album bore many similarities to Wilco and other classic Americana acts. "We wanted to steer away from that... go a little more electronic."
LaVoy has created a fresh and interesting selection of songs that still maintain a sense of cohesion. Some tracks are more instrumentally heavy and peppier than others, but the addition of softer tracks help keep things varied. Even with my terrible affliction of musical ADD, I noted a dynamic interplay between tracks and the band's varied musical tastes are made evident in Bearly Merry.
"There are so many ridiculous influences," says Tompkins, who cites Peter Bjorn and John as only one of many.
The album begins with a short intro track that leads directly to the fun and poppy opener, "I'm Entitled," followed by the slightly less energetic but musically layered "Smile." "I'm Entitled" is fast-paced, featuring barreling drums and Tompkins's energetic vocals. This sort of piece, punctuated by a driven, consistent beat and Tompkin's cascading vocal energy, is one of LaVoy's strengths. Several other tracks follow the same formula, but are spread far enough apart so as to not be predictable. "Impossible Pig" and "Coo Par Lane" both use the same clever layering, although "Coo Par Lane" has an impossibly catchy chorus that has been stuck in my head the last four days. "Keep your head above the water," sings Tompkins, perhaps a cosmic piece of advice for my own disheveled self.
Careful listeners may note some heavy Biblical references on tracks such as "Song of Solomon," "Sleep Talk and the Village Sleep," and "Love Your Brother." Although these songs are solid, they did not stand out as favorites. I can honestly say, though, that they were the first good religiously tinted music I had heard in quite some time. Perhaps classic Bible stories should always be told through indie rock.
Though I am always a fan of danceable music, I found LaVoy's slower tracks to be my favorites from Bearly Merry. The fourth track, "Pardon Me," is sung in French by drummer Riley and given extra texture through plucked strings and melancholy whistling, both of which reminded me of classic Leonard Cohen. The reflective track "Traveller" features an interesting mix of acoustic and electronic sounds, closing out with a spectacular chorus. The final track "Little Bird" also stood out, its sparse string instrumentation and airy vocals offering a dreamy close to an otherwise relatively energetic album.
Overall, Bearly Merry is a solid piece of handcrafted work from a local band that offers plenty of diversity and liquid sunshine for the winter listener. - Anchorage Press


By Todd L. Disher
Frontiersman
Published on Thursday, April 9, 2009 10:30 PM AKDT

MAT-SU — A Valley band is riding high from the release of its first CD. Now Lavoy is headed to California to produce another.

Lavoy’s band mates are all from the Valley: singer Tyrell Tompkins, guitarist Sean Riley, bassist Ryan Monson and drummer Kipp Riley. Tompkins described Lavoy as an indie rock band with a wide-open range.

Released in 2008, the first CD, “...Said the Quiet Hands,” is gaining Lavoy recognition throughout the state.

Lavoy is keeping a light schedule as the group prepares to record its second CD in Long Beach, Calif. The sound is changing a bit, dropping the keyboard to keep with the four-man lineup.

“The CD we just released has keyboards on it and a real indie pop feel,” said Tompkins. “The stuff we’re working on now is more of a cross between Bob Dylan and Broken Social Scene.”

Tompkins is the only survivor of Lavoy’s original line-up and is largely the band’s leader. He was born in Wisconsin but soon moved to Wasilla where he was homeschooled. He is the first to admit he was sheltered, but he credits this with developing his musical tastes.

“Homeschooling gave me a unique and different perspective on things,” said Tompkins. “I was listening to oldies when everyone else was listening to Nirvana, so I missed that whole movement.”

Tired of bands trying to be clever with their names, he named Lavoy after his grandfather’s middle name, and family has been a big part of Lavoy’s music ever since.

The original line-up included his brother and two cousins. The band had a more progressive and epic sound, he said, which was not the exact musical direction Tompkins was hoping to go.

They soon decided they needed a keyboardist, and Tompkins wanted to step back from playing the guitar to focus on vocals.

He contacted Kipp Riley, who Tompkins claims was a born drummer playing keyboard at the time. To take the guitar load off of Tompkins, Kipp called his brother Sean.

This six-piece band was more experimental and indie and was moving in the right direction, said Tompkins.

Six months later, Tompkins’ two cousins decided the commute from Anchorage to the practices in the Valley was too much, and they parted ways with the band. Lavoy needed a bass player, and Kipp and Sean suggested Ryan Monson.

“I trusted their musical tastes, and everything clicked,” said Tompkins. “At this point, we were going the way I wanted it to, but Kacey (Tompkins’ brother) was going in a bit of a different direction.”

Kacey was the band’s drummer, but Tompkins knew Kipp was more than capable of handling the percussion. In what he describes as the hardest decision he has ever made, Tompkins decided Kacey and Lavoy had to part ways.

“That’s when we finalized the band. Now were a four-piece.” said Tompkins. “We don’t have a keyboard player anymore, and we’re very happy where we’re at.”

The indie rock world must agree, as notable small-label producer Jason Martin signed on to produce the album. Martin is the frontman and producer for Starflyer 59, produced a CD for Cold War Kids and is strongly affiliated with Tooth and Nail Records, an independent record label.

“We’re getting ready to record with a pretty big hero of ours,” said Tompkins. “We’re hoping that someone from Tooth and Nail hears our CD and likes it.”

A contract with a record company will break Tompkins away from his job on the North Slope. He currently works two weeks on, two weeks off as a pump man on the rigs.

“It’s not always easy being with the band for only half the year,” he said. “Eventually, I’m going to work my way out of the Slope and into touring, putting together a down payment and downsizing our house to something more affordable.”

In the meantime, the band is focusing on developing a strong fan base in Alaska, having no misconceptions about touring in the Lower 48.

“We’ve seen a lot of bands go out of state just to do the same things they do here,” said Tompkins. “We’re not going to get out until we feel like there’s a reason to do it. You can’t do something different just because you’re in a different place.”

Contact Todd L. Disher at todd.disher@frontiersman.com or 352-2252.
- Todd L. Disher


Good, local music isn’t restricted to Anchorage alone. With an impressive resume including opening for Cold War Kids at Bear Tooth’s First Tap, Valley-grown LaVoy took time out of their busy schedule to get interrogated. Comprised of Tyrell Tompkins on lead vocals and guitar, Kipp Riley on drums and vocals, Ryan Monson on bass and vocal, and Sean Riley on guitar and vocals, LaVoy is breaking the stereotypes of Valley Trash and bringing consistent sound with sophistication and class.
What's the story behind the band name?
Tyrell: Our band name is a middle name that has run in my family for a long time and my grandfather died the year we started the band. I guess at the time it was a kind of homage to him, but we also just thought it was a good name. We were also recently told it means “the way” in French. Someone could set me straight on if that is incorrect.
Do you follow any superstitions—lucky guitar pick/drumsticks, etc?
Tyrell: We get together and huddle and pray before each show… then we put our hands in and yell out a completely random word or phrase on the count of three.
Sean Riley: Well I'm not sure if it's lucky, but I've always worn the same pair of underwear at all of our biggest shows. And I do wash them. But it's not that I think they are lucky, it's because they extremely comfortable, and comfort is my number one priority on stage.
What's the best venue you've ever played? What made it so great?
Tyrell: My favorite would either have to be the Wendy Williamson or the Bear Tooth Theatre. Both of them fit a lot of people but it's more the respect for the venues that make me love them. These are the kinds of venues I used to dream of playing when I was young. For me it's a dream come true to play them.
Sean Riley: My top three favorite shows in this order: The Marlin in Fairbanks, the Wendy Williamson Auditorium, and the Bear Tooth Theatre.
How long has the band been together? How did you meet?
Tyrell: The name LaVoy has been around since ‘05, but I am the only original member from those days and it is fair to say that we are a completely different band now… so we have really only been together since 2008, I think. I have known Kipp and Sean Riley for 10 or 11 years but just as acquaintances. I met them through my best friend at a youth group. I didn't get to really know them until they joined the band in 2007. Ryan I met when he came back to Alaska after living in Australia for a few years. Kipp and Sean knew him but I really didn't get to know him until he joined the band either. I interviewed him to play bass in the band and thought he was a great guy. I was right.
If you could give advice to young garage bands, what would it be?
Tyrell: Keep taking lessons! Just because you have a band now and you are playing shows in front of people doesn't mean you have reached your full potential or anywhere close to it.
Sean Riley: Practice together as much as possible. Always strive to the best you can be at your instrument. Use a metronome! Always have fun.
Pull out your phone/iPod/whatever, put it on shuffle, and tell me the first three songs that come up in the rotation.
Tyrell: Bill Callahan’s “The Wind and the Dove,” Donovan’s “Do You Hear Me Now” and The Swell Season’s “Low Rising.”
Sean Riley: Radiohead’s “A Punch Up At A Wedding,” The Beatles’ “Doctor Robert” and Fionn Reagen’s “The End Of History.”
Kipp Riley: Keith Green, Surfer Blood and The National.
What are you working on right now?
Tyrell: We are working on our third record right now. We basically took the whole summer off and wrote so many songs that we decided it was time to record another full length album. We are running a little behind so we don't have a release date yet but it will be the best material to date. We are very excited about it all cannot wait to share it with everyone.
Sean Riley: Recording, writing, writing, and writing. - Anchorage Press


When it comes to music, the term "indie" has been pretty watered down. It seems to have been applied to just about everyone from bands that will never get out of the basement to Grammy Award winning Arcade Fire. (True story, I heard them called Indie. Recently.)
Tyrell Thompkins of Valley-grown LaVoy wants to breathe new life into the old label. In a recent blog posting (lavoymusic.com/blog) he laments the rumors that "indie is dying" and argues that it isn't a dirty word, dooming a band to a career playing in those aforementioned basements.
In the blog he defines indie by setting these benchmarks: "1) Your music has more natural sounds than pro tools replacement instruments or vocals (this usually includes NO AUTO TUNE) So basically your recordings may sound a little bit like what you actually sound like live... weird isn't it? 2.) You do most things all by yourself (or... "independently"). So you usually only include the help of your friends for anything that needs to get done and you keep control over basically EVERYTHING."
He goes on to say this necessitates hard work and organization, which are further indicators of fair use of the label, and points out that there are also many different kinds of indie including such varied possibilities as indie Americana and indie mathcore.
Luckily, LaVoy practices what Thomkins preaches. The melodic four-piece knows how to make magic happen independently with one solid record under their belts (2009's "We Met in the Arts") and another in the works with a planned January 2012 release. The tight rhythm section comprised of Kipp Riley on drums and Ryan Monson on bass sets the stage for a creative textural landscape brought in with the guitar and vocals of Thomkins and Sean Riley. Through patience and diligence, LaVoy has carved out a niche in the local scene, strong enough, perhaps, to lay claim to their own indie genre. Indie Alaska Awesomeness, maybe. - Anchorage Press


Lavoy's premier release, Said The Quiet Hands, is immediately rocking with heavy keyboards and a booming rhythm section, a true wall of sound thick as a brick and dense as an anvil repeatedly struck upon. Their sound is not without a refreshing sense for the theatrical, making for a healthy helping of something a little different.

"Asleep", the second track on the album, employs a crafty production sensibility by opening the track with fast words and an immediate, driving beat, sending the listener soaring from 0-60 in about ten seconds of the track. Their lyrics are as cryptic as the album's title. He sings: "Hidden in the corner in the room where you live, they're waiting for you."

The guitar and bass work on "Sailor & The Monster" compliment one another magically with accompanying high hat in a groove session reminiscent of the great symbiosis achieved on Interpol's Turn on the Bright Light release.

"It's Hard Off-Roading in these Penny-Loafers" carries that same Interpol quality in their sound, a big and brash sort of ordeal that is always somehow dance-able, except in those quieter moments of howling keyboard chorus resonating off the sounding board that makes you ache for more of that rhythm section. Then it suddenly delivers as it promised in the packaging of mad trees with endless hands and triangles before finally declaring itself done.

I picked up this album at Pandemonium Books in Wasilla, the first place I was able to find local music so locally. So now I have two places in the Valley to buy local music, and so do you. Check out Lavoy's myspace page for listening samples at myspace.com/lavoymusic. - Josh Cole


http://www.indievisionmusic.com/wordpress/2009/05/07/lavoy-said-the-quiet-hands/

For those folks that believe that Alaska is a bitterly cold, frozen wasteland where everyone lives in igloos and rides to work on a dogsled, think again. Alaska is a state like any other state. Aside from the fact that it’s way, way bigger than any other state... sorry Texas. And even though Alaska is known as the last frontier, that doesn’t mean it’s somehow behind the times. Like any other state, Alaska has a thriving music scene. And since I happen to live here, I’ve decided that every once in a while I’m gonna give IVM readers a taste of that music scene and cover a bit of local talent.

So, first up... LaVoy. LaVoy is a 4-piece out of Wasilla, Alaska. They play a groovy alt-rock with a penchant for catchy rhythms and captivating lyrics.

Packaging and production are both very good. It would have been nice to get lyrics with the CD, but I also certainly understand what it means to work within a budget. And the decisions made definitely put priority in the right places. “Said The Quiet Hands” is a 6-song EP that’s quality showcases all the right elements at all the right moments. From the mellifluous vocal delivery to the well-paced and appropriately edgy guitars. From the heavy bass to the jazz-influenced drums. And through it all flows a stream of ethereal keys that at times gathers into pools and then slowly recedes back into the mix again.

Style-wise, LaVoy isn’t easy to pigeon-hole. Coming off at times like Brighten’s edgier side... while at other times sounding more subdued; think Evoka. Alt-rock that’s not afraid to lay down the funk from time to time. The song “Sailor & The Monster” even brings a bit of a Poor Old Lu vibe. LaVoy could easily hold it’s own sharing a bill with big-label bands.

Lyrically, there’s a smattering of spiritual undertone, but for the most part it’s kept pretty focused on life and love with a metaphorical bent. The songs are cerebral yet still very meaningful and accessible. Consider “The Lord Works In Mysterious Ways” which closes out the EP, “we could rebuild this if we really wanted / we could clean up the mess we’ve made / my tongue is a murderer on the loose / darling, I’m sure to offend you / my tongue is a murderer on the loose / darling, I’m sure to offend you / with the stories I’ve been telling you / with the way my body’s selling you”.

Standout track was “Asleep” which is carried along by a huge bass line and some rapid-fire vocals.

Overall: A great release by LaVoy and one that you really should take the time to check out. And, hey, is it even humanly possible not to dig a band that names a song “Armadillo Tooth Party”? I dare say, it is not. So... dig away. (8/10) - Scott L.


Who is this?

Lavoy are an indie synth-pop band straight out of the remotest parts of Alaska, a place miles from the next town and flooded in darkness during the cold winter months- hardly ideal for any band just starting up! But Lavoy have persevered, moved on and after three independently released albums met with great local support, they find themselves releasing a self-titled EP under producer Tony Hoffer (Phoenix, Beck, Depeche Mode). Most bands would probably have given up at the first hurdle but not Lavoy, they’ve been through more trials than the fellowship themselves!

What do they sound like?

Lavoy’s indie pop music is heavily focussed on synthesisers and pop guitars, with the result being a soft and subdued sound. It’s not garish at all though, but instead vibrant and lively, soaring off in every direction like a splash of paint to a blank canvas. It’s colourful music but executed in a subtle way and perhaps it’s this timid characteristic that makes them so instantly charming? “Fool Proof Plan” features a bass heavy synth that resides over the track amongst soothing guitar flecks, whilst “Here Comes The Night” is packed with sparkling synths and eerie electronic drums. But the standout track of the EP is “Learn Who You Are” which features a delicate Kings Of Leon style guitar riff, more shimmering effects and teasing keyboard flickers. They sound like a mixture of Phoenix and M83, full of pop energy and textural sounds, and that added geek factor, all jam jar glasses and half-mast pants. Frontman Tyrell Tompkins has a unique voice, both sharp and warming that mimics the music note for note. It’s a remarkably elegant EP and what’s so lovely about their sound is that it evokes a whirlwind of emotions both good and bad. Each song is like its own little journey, straight in to the heart of Alaska, delving deeper and deeper in to its beauty.

A few words from the band themselves…

“Our sound is of synth based alt-pop origins from the likes of David Byrne meeting Michael Jackson at a Beck DJ’d dance party. We like to get people dancing and we like to do a bit moving ourselves. There’s a place we like to go where the audience is our away team and we’re discovering a new uninhabited planet and there’s hit heavy dance music with undertones of a real message, a real gospel if you will playing from a vintage boom box in the sky hidden behind the sunset purples and oranges. We hope you enjoy it.”

NEW MUSIC 2014
home > new music 2014
New Music 2014: The Best New Music.
Do you know about a great new artist? Is there a fantastic new indie band that we should be covering? Get in contact with the best indie music blog via our Facebook or Twitter pages to suggest your top tips!

Lavoy
Lavoy

Who is this?
Lavoy are an indie synth-pop band straight out of the remotest parts of Alaska, a place miles from the next town and flooded in darkness during the cold winter months- hardly ideal for any band just starting up! But Lavoy have persevered, moved on and after three independently released albums met with great local support, they find themselves releasing a self-titled EP under producer Tony Hoffer (Phoenix, Beck, Depeche Mode). Most bands would probably have given up at the first hurdle but not Lavoy, they’ve been through more trials than the fellowship themselves!

What do they sound like?
Lavoy’s indie pop music is heavily focussed on synthesisers and pop guitars, with the result being a soft and subdued sound. It’s not garish at all though, but instead vibrant and lively, soaring off in every direction like a splash of paint to a blank canvas. It’s colourful music but executed in a subtle way and perhaps it’s this timid characteristic that makes them so instantly charming? “Fool Proof Plan” features a bass heavy synth that resides over the track amongst soothing guitar flecks, whilst “Here Comes The Night” is packed with sparkling synths and eerie electronic drums. But the standout track of the EP is “Learn Who You Are” which features a delicate Kings Of Leon style guitar riff, more shimmering effects and teasing keyboard flickers. They sound like a mixture of Phoenix and M83, full of pop energy and textural sounds, and that added geek factor, all jam jar glasses and half-mast pants. Frontman Tyrell Tompkins has a unique voice, both sharp and warming that mimics the music note for note. It’s a remarkably elegant EP and what’s so lovely about their sound is that it evokes a whirlwind of emotions both good and bad. Each song is like its own little journey, straight in to the heart of Alaska, delving deeper and deeper in to its beauty.

A few words from the band themselves…
“Our sound is of synth based alt-pop origins from the likes of David Byrne meeting Michael Jackson at a Beck DJ’d dance party. We like to get people dancing and we like to do a bit moving ourselves. There’s a place we like to go where the audience is our away team and we’re discovering a new uninhabited planet and there’s hit heavy dance music with undertones of a real message, a real gospel if you will playing from a vintage boom box in the sky hidden behind the sunset purples and oranges. We hope you enjoy it.”

What’s the final verdict?

Lavoy are a band with an instantly popular sound and have the potential to grow and develop in to a fully fledged indie pop group. What they do best is produce spirited indie pop, full of quirky synths and vivid guitar sounds that simply make you feel good. With a new single on the cards as well as a follow up EP working with Tony Hoffer again, it’s exciting times for Lavoy. Clearly those harsh Alaskan winters haven’t had an effect on this band!

Words by Guy Arrowsmith. - Electric Banana


Discography

February 4th, 2014
Lavoy EP (2014) Recorded with producer Tony Hoffer in Los Angeles, CA

(No longer available online)
Said The Quiet Hands (2007) Recorded with producer Casey Bates in Seattle, WA
We Met In The Arts (2009) Recorded with producer Jason Martin in Los Angeles, CA
Bearly Merry (2012) Recorded & Produced by Lavoy in Palmer, AK



Photos

Bio

As an indie rock band from the remote outpost of Wasilla, Alaska, Lavoy had to contend with quite a few distinct challenges. Touring meant driving a minimum of eight hours to the next city. Wintertime meant round the clock darkness and below freezing temperatures less than ideal conditions for dragging musicians out to nightly six-hour rehearsals. It was also very likely that no matter how many bars it played on Saturday nights the groups celebrity status would never surpass that of the local dog mushers. 

Singer-songwriter Tyrell L. Tompkins reckons it was that very sense of isolation that allowed Lavoy to grow, get its chops and come up with a sound it can truly call its own. When I was young I thought the music from the 50s and 60s was actually happening because thats all I heard, he says. I missed the whole grunge thing -- I had no clue who Kurt Cobain was. 

It was only after he started playing music that Tompkins, who was home schooled, jumped a few decades forward and discovered formative post-punk acts like New Order and the Talking Heads. 

Lavoy released three independent albums in Alaska, shuffling through several lineup changes along the way. It built up a decent following around nearby anchorage. A band could play there forever and feel good about itself, Tompkins says. 

Instead, the five members of Lavoy decided they wanted something more. In 2013, they quit their jobs, sold their houses and moved their families into a 4,000 square foot home in Spokane, Washington not exactly the most happening place but close enough.

They have been writing and rehearsing daily right there in the home, with their wives and kids running around, fitting in several van tours when their schedules allow. There were some rough times there, Tompkins says. But I just feel like we're determined. That's a big part of who we are.

On the evidence of the electrifying, ambitious songs that make up the bands forthcoming three-song EP, produced by Tony Hoffer (Phoenix, Beck, Depeche Mode), Lavoy wont be in the wilderness much longer. 

~Aidin Vaziri San Francisco Chronicle

Band Members