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Seattle, Washington, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2012 | SELF

Seattle, Washington, United States | SELF
Established on Jan, 2012
Band Alternative Post-punk




"Empty Houses album review"

The first thing that came to mind when I listened to Scarves was that they had a lousy singer. But as I let the album play through I realized that the eccentric vocals help shape the unique sound Scarves is gifted with. Empty Houses isn’t like anything I’ve heard before. It’s upbeat, catchy, quirky, delicate, melancholic, and really fresh all wrapped in one tight combo. Scarves is a Seattle-based entity made up of three humans named Niko, Arda, and Marshall. DEVO is a claimed influence. - KVRX

"Scarves Creates Modern Mythology With Empty Houses"

Coming-of-age stories have become modern mythology (you know the gods: The Catcher in the Rye, The Perks of Being a Wallflower, John Hughes). With its debut full-length album Empty Houses, Seattle indie-rock group Scarves adds to the lore. “Icarus With a Rattle Can” explores the idea of impulsively getting matching tattoos, one of Icarus and one of the sun—an apt summation of the epic, hyperemotional messiness that comes with youth (teenage years are a time of flying too close to the sun, you see). Vocalist/guitarist Nikolas Stathakopoulos plays up the gravitas with lines like, “Thou shalt not swim in man-made lakes/Thou shalt not eat on paper plates.” The riffs and wordplay are further enhanced by the perfectly muddy and chaotic rhythm section of bassist David Price and drummer Marcus Verdoes. The trio makes the precision of math rock rough and relatable. The opening of “A ‘Pop’ Song” showcases Stathakopoulos’ guitar virtuosity before pummeling with dissonant and harsh guitar chords; it’s indicative of those sleepless high-school nights and moments of serenity among the hijinks; of a teenage world in which everything is like the Smashing Pumpkins’ “1979” video. As Stathakopoulos bellows on the chorus, full of the uncertainty of tomorrow, “When they say be brave/They mean brace for impact.” - Seattle Weekly

"Scarves' Own TV Party"

The group’s pop sensibilities heighten the youthful vibe brought about in many of the songs’ topics. Stathakopoulos’ narratives highlight familiar actions like watching reruns of “The Simpsons,” making out on parents’ couches, and even “skating for Jesus.”

“I’m very in my teen angst period,” Stathakopoulos laughs. “I try to get existential but I really don’t like my philosophy because I feel like my rhetoric’s really bad and so I feel like I try to write and someone’s going to call my bullshit so bad.”

Stathakopoulos says a lot of the inspiration for his writing comes from playing out arguments in his head between two different viewpoints, then when he sits down to write music he personifies the two into characters. He then tries to imagine what it would be like if they got along. Though the characters are somewhat fictional, he says they are typically combinations of different people he knows.

On songs like “Tag!” from their recent TV EP, listenersfind two friends at odds. The narrator watches as their friend falls into a manic crowd of graffiti tagging, running from people who might not exist, and using a sharpened ballpoint pen to “carve foreign phrases” into her wrists. Even though the storyteller doesn’t agree with the path she’s taking, he’ll still choose to follow her.

“You said come with me and I said, ‘okay.’ Because I’d follow you, I’d follow you anywhere,” Stathakopoulos belts at the end of the track. In another context, it may seem like a throwaway line. But that despite it all, the narrator would still choose to go with this girl after all of the doubts of her sanity makes it a poignant moment.

“I watched a lot of T.V. as a kid. I was really antisocial,” Stathakopoulos says, also noting that he has insomnia which kept him up watching sitcoms, primarily from the 60s and 70s. “I’ve probably seen every episode of ‘M*A*S*H’ like 30 times.”

This fondness and nostalgia for television is what inspired the TV EP. At one point, each of the three songs made reference to television. However, some references were cut out during the rewriting process. At one point “Tag!” referenced Will Smith’s hit “Fresh Prince of Bel Air.”

Scarves opened their El Corazon set with “Broken Branches,” one of the most youth centric songs on the EP. It highlights everything from being 13 and falling out of a tree, to being in high school and spray painting roller rinks, getting drivers licenses, and overall rebelling. Stathakopoulos would lean into the mic and rolls his eyes on key lines. During “Tag!” Price jumped down into the crowd and played the entire set looking up at his bandmates from below. All the while Verdoes aggressively and meticulously pounded his drum set to keep the groove going.

There’s a punk sassiness to how the three perform. It’s a reckless abandon many reluctantly lose in their teens, but Scarves use it as fuel. - Pre Amp

"Live Review: Polaris with Scarves"

Scarves mastermind Niko Stathakopoulos only seems to be getting better and more self-assured over time. His work combines a jarring mixture of Northwest indie rock, math rock, and classic emo to create an emotional landscape that Niko feels best suits him. In this, Scarves make themselves more relatable than many of the other indie rock outfits out there, if only for Niko’s stark honesty and abrasive attempt at human connection. For a young songwriter, Stathakopoulos isn’t afraid to challenge his audience and invite them into something more rewarding than the status quo. This time around, Niko was joined by a fresh lineup, featuring former members of Seattle band Friends & Family. The set was a grand continuation and a great offering from of the city’s top notch rising acts. - KEXP


TV EP - June 2013
Empty Houses - June 2014 (CMJ peak 128)



"Scarves only seems to be getting better and more self-assured over time. Scarves combines a jarring mixture of Northwest indie, math rock, and classic emo to create an emotional landscape more relatable than many of the other indie rock outfits out there, if only for their stark honesty and abrasive attempt at human connection. " – KEXP

Mall Goths is an album comprised of ten vignettes depicting characters along the I-5 corridor between Bellingham, Washington and Portland, Oregon. Struggling against their reality, desperate for rebellion, yet inextricably stuck, they fall in love in one city and break up in the next, all over meticulously unhinged instrumentals.

Scarves was formed in mid-2013 by Niko Stathakopoulos of Silicon Girls, Marshall Verdoes of Mt. St. Helens Vietnam Band, and David Price of Natalie Portman’s Shaved Head. All three found themselves in bands in the midst of implosion, and wanted a creative outlet that existed simply for the sake of making art and blowing off steam. The project took on real significance for Stathakopoulos when they began work on their debut release, TV EP (2013), with Sam Anderson of Hey Marseilles. “Lyrics suddenly became super important to me,” relates Stathakopoulos. “Suddenly our slacker rock sensibility wasn’t enough. I wanted our songs to mean something, to tell a story.”

After touring behind TV EP for a few months, they headed back to Soundhouse in Seattle to record their first full length, Empty Houses, with Dylan Wall (So Pitted, Craft Spells). Scarves toured lightly in support of the release, and once again, discord crept into the project: “I am the only original left,” says Stathakopoulos. “During that time, we went through 11 members.” In late 2015, drummer Cael Watts and bassist Hector Rodriguez III joined Stathakopoulos, and the band got back to work. Newly invigorated, the band booked time at Chris Walla’s legendary Hall of Justice studio for their next record.

Written while Stathakopoulos was travelling continuously through the Northwest, the record crackles with the bleary-eyed intensity of too many hours spent flying down the highway. “My girlfriend at the time was living in Portland, so I would drive eight hours from Bellingham to see her,” says Stathakopoulos, “or I would drive two hours to practice with my band who all lived in Seattle. We would practice and get the instrumentals done together, then record them on an iPhone, and I would drive around listening to the little blown out audio files and just sort of diary over them.”

Tonally, Mall Goths can be broken into two sides, the first half hopeful, the second heavy and tinted with hindsight. “Dissolve” charts the brutality inherent in the service industry, while “Slasher Flicks” looks enviously at the simple life/death duality of horror films, a welcome reprieve from the complicated emotional minutia of the average day. Against a backdrop of tall pines and freeways, Stathakopoulos sketches snapshots of banal reality and the inevitable longing for escape. Wrap yourself in Scarves’ angular guitars and intriguing melodies, and perhaps you’ll find that it’s in the ubiquitous details of daily reality that our shared humanity dwells.

Band Members