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Boston, Massachusetts, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2008 | SELF

Boston, Massachusetts, United States | SELF
Established on Jan, 2008
Band Rock Indie





The management at The Loft - originally the House of Blues at the top floor of Tommy Doyle’s in Harvard Square - didn’t wait long for Nemes to wrap up after their set before they flipped a quick switch to the pop hits. The band hardly got a chance to thank the crowd before being interrupted by Carly Rae Jepsen or Psy or whatever it was that kicked off the drunkest part of the night.
But violinist Josh Knowles was pretty happy to point out that the crowd on the dancefloor was noticeably larger and more active during their set than that which came out to grind to the top 40. Of course, this was probably because the majority of people still hanging around had initially come to the bar to see Nemes and/or Dressed for the Occasion (the opener). But still, it was a minor victory.

It could be a good time to be Nemes, the Boston-based band whose members identify their music, albeit reluctantly, as “folk pop.” What with The Avett Brothers getting the attention of Rick Rubin and Mumford & Sons getting the attention of Forbes, it’s safe to say 2012 was the year folk-influenced rock carved out its niche in the mainstream markets.

And Nemes, whether intentionally or not, bet big on this kind of recognition years ago. They’re not quite there yet, though, and they know that. And that kind of works in their favor. In the past year, Nemes has both playfully and professionally experimented with new sounds, attracting new listeners while running the risk of stepping too far out of bounds.

This is apparent on their YouTube page, where acoustic covers of classic songs like Nirvana’s Heart-Shaped Box and the Rolling Stones’ You Can’t Always Get What You Want have appealed to the masses. Others, like a tribute song to AMC’s The Walking Dead and an acoustic cover of MGMT’s Kids curiously filmed while the entire band played in only their underwear, run the risk risk of alienating the following they’ve built.

It was even more evident this weekend, when Nemes recorded a five-track EP of acoustic songs at the Medford home of decorated music producer Ducky Carlisle. The songs recorded ranged from modern folk that rubs elbows with the now-iconic Mumford & Sons sound to dance-folk and soft-pop Carlisle compared to early Rod Stewart to a Western-influenced song sung entirely in Spanish.

It’s a risk they’ve been willing to take. None of it strays too far from their core; they never abandon the violin and harmony that’s defined their sound to this point, for example. It’s almost as if they know they’re onto something big, but instinctively incorporate their latest influences to differentiate themselves. As hesitant as they are to label their music “folk pop,” it’s the sound they’ve adopted. And, for better or worse, they seem determined to continue projecting it onto different concepts. - Allston Pudding

"Five Minutes EP Review"

There’s no question that in the landscape of the modern music industry that social media has created, there are hundreds of ways for artists to get their music into the hands of their fans. Worcester, MA quintet Nemes have taken this to heart and are releasing the 5-song 5 Minutes EP exclusively on their Kickstarter “I Carry Your Heart” project, which is running until April 21, 2013.

“99 Cars” takes you on a journey, starting in slowly with sparse, folk-y instrumentation until the tail end of the song, where the energy level shoots skyward for a sweet, albeit brief moment until the final a capella refrain takes over, summing up the whole of the song in a single line – “99 cars crash into your shattered heart/and there’s a piece of me in each one”.

“Butterfly” goes straight for the folk sound. The music itself is bouncy and simple, and makes you feel a bit as though you ought to be sitting around a campfire in the old west, clapping and singing along. Similarly, “5 minutes”, the track for which the EP is named, is a laid back folk track that revolves around a banjo. The two differ in content, however – whereas “Butterfly” is an homage to flirtation (“Well I’ve been working hard trying to keep my hands off of you/You’ve been working twice as hard trying to keep your hands off of me too.”), “5 Minutes” seems to be focused on moving on. While it would seem to be about a person, it could just as well be about a place, or a phase of one’s life. “Well I’ll say my goodbyes to the burning skies/and then set my sights on the newly waxing moon/and the distant lights approach/so I grab my bag and coat/cuz’ from now on to you I am just a ghost”.

But Nemes are no one-trick pony, and they’re set to prove it. “I Have Nothing” is as flamenco as folk songs come, complete with lyrics en español. It summons images of candlelit rooms filled with seductive dancing as a band plays – which is appropriate, since the main phrase repeated in the song is about someone lamenting having nothing (as the song title would suggest) but their guitar.

“Everest Isle” rounds off the EP with an upbeat ode to the spirit of perseverance. “No I’m not giving up this time/I’m gonna hold out each note till you’re mine/…I’ll just sing till I run out of rhymes.”

It’s odd, really, because the individual writings don’t suggest a terribly cohesive EP, which is not at all the feeling the listener is left with once the final track ends. Somehow, instead of feeling like a mish-mosh of songs cobbled together and haphazardly labeled an album, it seems as though each track had a purpose that it fulfilled. That, in and of itself, is incredibly impressive for a release this length. Equally impressive is the fact that this EP has the ability to capture the ear of listeners who may not normally enjoy self-proclaimed folk music, such as the person writing this review. All in all, it is a noble effort that is well worth the $20 pledge required to download it.

Rating: 9/10 - The Sound Alarm


Videos can get expensive, even the lyrical types. Massachusetts indie folk band Nemes know this all too well, as their clip for new single “Butterfly,” officially released this morning, went a whopping $7 over its initial budget of zilch, zero, nada, nothing.

That money was used to purchase wine.

“We were going for free, but needed to add a prop to make the second verse not so boring to watch,” drummer/percussionist Chris Anthony tells Vanyaland. “$7 was all we had so we got what we could and went with it.”

It’s enough to get us buzzed on the new record from Nemes — pronounced “knee-miss” — which is titled I Carry Your Heart and due October 28. It’s the follow-up to the band’s 2011 LP Don’t Flush Me, and the lead single is free to download when you place a pre-order via Big Cartel.

The video for “Butterfly,” which was produced by the band and incorporates American Sign Language (ASL), can be viewed below.

Meanwhile, catch Nemes live and in all their fiddle-action glory Thursday when they play a free show at the Boston Calling Block Party at Dewey Square in Boston. From there they head up north to perform at the Newburyport Brewing Company on Friday, then head west for a Saturday night show at Electric Haze in Worcester. They have a pair of shows, September 4 and 11, at the Lawn on D in South Boston, a space we gave a First Look at after this past Friday’s opening ceremony. - Vanyaland

"Concert Review: Nemes at Brighton Music Hall in Allston, MA"

My sister used to say that it was impossible to eat Cool Whip without smiling, and that’s the same way I feel about listening to local indie-folk-rock-pop-punksters Nemes (pronounced Nee-Miss) – you just can’t help but be in a good mood. Playing as the first opener for Air Traffic Controller’s CD release party earlier this week at Brighton Music Hall, the crowd quintupled in size over the course of their 8-song set, but these guys were able to sustain the same fountain of energy from start to finish, practically hemorrhaging joy.
The bandmates traded off singing duty, though they were all powerhouse wailers. With Dave Anthony (guitar) and Josh Knowles (violin) double-dutying the lead-singing role, they also traded off on backing vocals along with Alex Glover (bassist), while Dave’s brother Chris held it all together on percussion in the back. If their vocals were an octave lower they’d have sounded like death metal growls, but instead their shouting was playful and oddly melodic. They’ve been playing with the current line-up now for the last four years, which has brought them to a performance sweet spot – they were tight and had great on-stage chemistry, but their youth and lack of squeaky-smooth polish was precisely what made the music believable. The first violin blues track they played (appropriately titled “Blues“) was a good example of this more standard vitality. It certainly didn’t hurt the crowd-pleasing nature of the song that they inserted some Johnny Cash “Folsom Prison Blues” lyrics into the mix, either.
While many of their songs carried a virile dynamic, they weren’t afraid to show their more tender side. My personal favorite was “Junk Mail,” off of their 2011 Don’t Flush Me album. Dashboard Confessional-meets-luau (I mean this in the best way possible), the song featured lovely three-part harmonies. Dave even signed lyrics (in American Sign Language) for a few of the evening’s verses, at one point asking people to clap along because he wanted to “see the beat,” which I thought was beautiful. If that’s not convincing enough, I’d aver that any band that can comfortably open a song with the intro of The Lion King’s “The Lion Sleeps Tonight” requires not only good humor, but also ample self confidence, to pull off with panache. These guys rocked it. - The Will Rock You Music Network

"Nemes Release New Video"

Local rock group Nemes have returned with a new single and accompanying video from their upcoming album I Carry Your Heart. “Butterfly” is the first track released from the record due out October 28th and if it’s any indication as to what we can expect for the full-length then we may all have Nemes songs stuck in our heads for the rest of 2014. The video for the catchy-as-hell “Butterfly” is a fun take on the lyric video and incorporates ASL (American Sign Language) performed by each band member. Not too bad for working with a $7 budget. Pre-order the self-produced and Rick Kwan (My Morning Jacket, Zambri) mixed I Carry Your Heart and you’ll get a free download of “Butterfly” to hold you over until October 28th. And don’t forget to catch Nemes performing this Thursday at the Boston Calling Block Party in Dewey Square. - Maimed and Tamed

""Blues" Video Premiere"

"with their modern blend of folk and alternative rock, these young men have consistently produced some of the most engaging music we’ve heard." - Under the Gun Review


Still working on that hot first release.



Genre: Indie/Rock/Folk
Location: Boston, MA

Nemes (pronounced knee•miss) has made their mark on the Boston and larger New England music scene by playing everywhere from subway stations to highly-revered rock venues. Led by duel-frontmen Dave Anthony and Josh Knowles, the band showcases a true metamorphosis of sound, featuring warm, layered harmonies and one-of-a-kind violin shredding Vanyaland describes as "fiddle-action glory." These components are delicately layered across captivating original songs to form what Under the Gun Review calls "some of the most engaging music we've heard," garnering shout-outs from national and international acts such as Alt-J and Nirvana.

Released in the fall of 2015, their debut studio full-length album, "I Carry Your Heart," has lifted the band from the subway stations of Boston to larger stages around the region, performing as support for acts such as X Ambassadors and Guster. The album was co-produced and mixed by Rick Kwan (Jim James, My Morning Jacket) and funded by a combination of busking, gigging, and crowd-funding. The 11-track record is an exploration of four minds working to create a resonant, cathartic listening experience.

Band Members