My Son Bison
Gig Seeker Pro

My Son Bison

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2012

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
Established on Jan, 2012
Band Rock Folk




"Listen to the infectious new Electric Singles EP by Philly’s My Son Bison"

Call them electronic folk or experimental pop – however you frame it up, Philly four-piece My Son Bison writes some damn catchy music. After playing North Star Bar last night with North Carolina five-piece Matrimony, the band dropped a pair of brand new tunes on Bandcamp today – its first output since debuting a year ago with a self-titled EP.

Electric Singles is a big step up in production from the lower-fi, rougher-round-the-edges debut. “Vermin” has a sleek New Wave feel, with intricate chord changes and very studied (almost jazzy) solos intertwined with purely poppy piano and vocal hooks. “Stable Places” skews a bit more theatrical a la early Pattern is Movement, but is no less infectious. Check out the EP below and keep tabs on MSB’s Facebook page for news of when they’re playing live next. - John Vettese of WXPN's The Key

"Watch the video for My Son Bison’s “Stable Places” off Electric Singles EP"

My Son Bison just dropped a new EP a couple days ago (listen here), and now the Philly band has released a video for its song “Stable Places.” The video, which might be a play on the title, is anything but stable. We watch a shaky camera as it captures footage of a person walking through a park (possibly Valley Forge?) and a car driving across a bridge at sunset, which eventually turns into night. The recurring scenes of an open field and the drive across the bridge represent two different themes that “Stable Places” addresses. The field might represent freedom, simplicity and not knowing one’s place in the world while the bridge might represent a transition from one point in life to another. The song could also reflect uncertainty about growing older and about future events in life and how to make important decisions. “You say you do not know where we belong, or how to tell what is right from what is wrong.” Check out the rest of the EP Electric Singles here. - WXPN's The Key

"My Son Bison to bring its eclectic sound to Philly stages twice in the next week"

Psych-pop band My Son Bison are keeping themselves plenty busy this month. Not only did they recently come by WXPN to play an awesome cover of The Zombies “Brief Candles” for Dan Reed’s Copy That segment, they’re set to perform twice in the upcoming week.

The Philadelphia-based quartet, whose sound is an eclectic mix of psychedelic pop and baroque folk, are playing a house show tonight in South Philly at Liz Cavialino (of Liz and the Lost Boys’) house show series; more information can be found at the show’s Facebook Event Page. They will also bring their infectious live show to MilkBoy on Wednesday, September 9 opening for the Portland indie-folk group, Mimicking Birds.

Check out the video below for their song “XV,” filmed prior to their show late last month at Magic Gardens on South Street to get an idea of the kind of nuanced performance you can expect from the band, and watch their Zombies cover here. For tickets and more information on the MilkBoy show, consult the XPN Concert Calendar. - WXPN's The Key


Electric Singles EP (2014) 
My Son Bison EP (2013)



It wasn't until I was finished studying at university that I fully understood the limits of pains and joys that an obsession with music can bring. It isn't that I hadn't been obsessed. I just hadn't pushed my obsession to its limits.

I moved to Philadelphia. I bought a grand piano from some shady guys in New Jersey. It was a Hyundai with the heaviest keys of any piano I've played. The resistance was like weight training.

For a couple of college years, Dane and I did this whole band-incest thing. I played accordion in Dane's folky band, and Dane played bass in my poppy band, and we had a experimental jazz trio with Kirk, (who drummed for my pop band). And now, we just weren't actually doing anything with any bands. Except we played in our housemate, Liz's band.

We were not creatively at a loss because the songs kept coming, but maybe organizationally we were totally gone. I think Liz suggested we just have one band. We found a bassist, this guy who I had played a jazz gig with. We made a list of names on the white board in our kitchen, and erased the worst ones every time it got too crowded. How we ended up with as bad a name as My Son Bison beats me.

Finding a name is one thing. Figuring out what our sound was going to be was an entirely different challenge. Without choice, we sounded like an indie folk band, but we also sounded like country, salsa, jams, and the jazz kept slipping out. You are what you eat, but you also are what your parents ate. My parents are Colombian immigrants, my mom's parents are from Argentina; Dane is of Basque and Filipino, so that stuff probably sneaks in too.

None of our previous recordings really captured what our rehearsals sounded like. I pitched making a purely acoustic album. Dane was entirely for it. I could tell he was excited to make something in a studio using the instruments we rehearse on: grand piano, acoustic guitars, upright bass.

We narrowed the songs down to the ones that fit together--the instrumental limitations helped us choose. I think the only way to justify recording an album in whatever you call the present era is to be able to point to the connective tissue. I think I can. The instrumentation is probably the most superficial connection. Then the harmonic stuff--I hear myself playing 4ths and 5ths everywhere. I'm so modern. There is this Latin thing too, the result of the stereo in my mom's minivan. Maybe Spanish on a couple of tracks, but really the sounds are from Argentina and Colombia. And the classical sounds: big and orchestral like Ravel's Bolero or loopy and layered like Reich. All of that through the filter of jazz musicians playing mathematical pop music. I swear to god it's accessible. I swear to god.

We started recording the album in July of 2014. We had finished recording and started mixing in February of 2015. And then the sucker punch. Our whole lunch. Buried in the sandbox. Something happened and the record was lost. 

I wrote a song. (It won't be on the album.)

“Life is Hell”

I know all of these songs.
I’m showing them off. I’ve heard them a million times.
Why should I show them the world
as if each one could have a life.

For the fame nor for the glory.
I doubt there is either in these tapeless times.

To restore the data ghosts.
Insert a joke about cyber crimes.

Playing Prussian roulette,
Hammer to the head of portraiture in pastel.
Art imitates life by failing to see the light that life is hell.
Life is hell.”

We spent three weeks playing frustrated gigs and rehearsing with tension in our mouths. Then we went back into the studio, fueled by the melodramatic grief we needed for some of our darker tunes, and pushing ourselves to take the fun stuff further.

Since we first started work on it, my abuelita and my cat died. Dane and Kirk each lost grandmother's and pets too. Nick got married, bought a house, and started grad school. (Yay) The rest of us quit jobs, got new jobs, or went back to the jobs we had quit. But, when I listen to this album and these songs, I know the art we made is worth it.

Band Members