Set Sail
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Set Sail

Sydney, New South Wales, Australia | SELF

Sydney, New South Wales, Australia | SELF
Band Alternative Pop

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Set Sail’s Hey! EP is all about smiling faces, flailing limbs and dancing in the sunshine. While it is nothing new, it is a formula that has worked wonders for many good bands in history. Plus, when it induces such raucous fun you are left to wonder if there really is anything left to complain about, both here and in life in general.

Review Score: 7.4 out of 10. - The AU Review


The night kicked off at The Zoo with Set Sail. The Sydney band absolutely blew me away! Another name randomly picked off a list, the band are indie pop at it’s finest. The three piece, with added bass, not only play stellar tunes, but are also well presented and put on one hell entertaining show. - The AU Review


Dropping out of law and literature degrees to play music on the streets may not sound like the smartest of career choices, but for the boys in Set Sail, it turned out to be a once in a lifetime opportunity. - See more at: http://filtermagazine.com/index.php/news/entry/discover_the_undiscovered_set_sail/#sthash.m0NSBim7.dpuf - Filter Magazine


"Everyone edged closer to the stage as the slowly-building tune of Oh Sarah played out, and from that point on, everybody – including the band – was in it together; dancing, laughing, and generally just having a super time. The three boys have already taken themselves and their summery indie-rock on a world tour, and seeing them back in the city “where it all began”, you can tell that the experience has only strengthened their stage dynamic.

From favourites like Whales, Stockholm and Charleston – where everyone was encouraged to do the accompanying dance of the same name – to new tracks Run and Hey, the band just exuded confidence and genuinely looked like they were having a ball. “It feels like summer in here!” exclaimed Hoogenboom with a smile, before suggesting that maybe we should all have a fiesta…or some tequila.

The work of Josiah Willows was particularly notable, as the lanky violinist expertly plucked and stroked at his instrument, it’s subtle notes never seeming out of place in the catchy pop-soaked songs.

The introduction to Kids In America got disrupted when technical issues arose with the keys, but the band took it in their stride, improvising with what they had until the problem was fixed, all the while maintaining their engagement with the crowd. One could argue that they were perhaps too engaged, as one punter eagerly grabbed Hoogenboom by his dreadlocks when he got a little close to the front of the stage at one point.

After the obligatory encore, Set Sail fittingly wrapped things up with a refreshing take on The Verve’s Bittersweet Symphony, leaving the small – albeit enthralled – crowd sad to have reached the end, but thankful for the good times."

- Faster Louder


"Headliners, Sydney fellas Set Sail, hit the stage with some godlike harmonies, performing to a now packed out venue. With their summertime sound, lyrics and generally happy vibes, you couldn’t help but forget about all the shit things in life, whip out a massive smile and have a good dance.

Accompanied by their full touring band, the trio seemed to be having as much fun as the crowd. Throughout the entirety of ‘Charleston’, twisting and shouting is exactly what happened. Violin extraordinaire Josiah Willows stole the limelight at many points with his simply incredible talent.

Closing with the popular ‘Hey!’, after which their latest EP is titled, no one in that room wanted the night to end. Luckily, it didn’t.

The boys came bouncing back on stage to perform an upbeat and innovative rendition of The Verve’s hit, ‘Bitter Sweet Symphony.’

When the doors opened and the crowd flooded towards the exit, mixed emotions filled the stairwell; happiness from seeing such a fun and brilliant band, sadness because it was over. There was however one general consensus; everyone in that crowd had added something to their to-do list.

Get a van, take a trip up the East Coast, soak up some sun and surf, have a dance along the way, and find where the rainbow is."
- Tone Deaf


Live performance of 'The Boat Song' on Sunrise, Channel 7. - Channel 7 - Sunrise


"Set Sail's tracks have a real summery beach vibe about them, but not in the traditional power chords and distortion kind of way; Josiah Willows is killer on the violin, both bowing and plucking, and frontman Brandon Hoogenboom's voice has an earthy, chilled feel. Suffice to say, Set Sail's set made the audience take notice." - XPress Magazine


"..the EP is a coming of age record.." - Busselton-Dunsborough Times


I have always believed that the best love songs are short and sweet. Longer and you risk alienating those not involved in your lusty circle. Or worse, the one actually involved. Set Sail know this well and dont hold back on the sentiments or the mega-foot tapping in their high-pep nautical love letter. The frantically fun song anchors the stellar Riley Moore EP, keeping the other 3 jams from bouncing away on their own caffeinated folk-pop vibes. It also has this awesome claymation video that manages to sneak a bit of a love story in as well. - The Burning Ear


Since the release of their debut EP last year, indie-pop outfit Set Sail have been arrested in Europe and had a member deported from Sydney. Violinist Josiah Willows tells Daniel Cribb that it’ll take a lot more than that to stop them... - The Music.com.au


The tumultuous tale of Set Sail had its unlikely beginning on the mean streets of the Pitt Street Mall. The three amigos who comprise the band pulled in to entertain the masses on a busy intersection a couple of years back, and have been growing exponentially in profile and ambition ever since. They’ve recently toured the world, for instance, making a fairly hilarious tour diary via YouTube in the process – which includes such highlights as shows underneath the Eiffel Tower, and in the kitchen of a jumbo jet. - The Brag


...Having first encountered Set Sail at the once-glorious BJB Studios Sydney in the summer of 2010, it was obvious that these boys would populate our airwaves within years. Their feel-good vibes would resonate through the Studio walls and throughout the building, where you could often find a cheerful Angus Stone humming along on the floor below. At that time, the band were preparing to embark on their world tour, which would see them fund a global trip entirely on busking profits. “That was the intention when we started the band really, we wanted to go around the world... - Music Feeds


Set Sail have garnered the sort of media attention that most indie bands would only dream of. Sure, some of it has been venous and negative, but any press is good press, they say. Starting out as a nomadic busking band on the streets of Sydney, attention first arrived via a bitter rant on a music site's message board with a writer (and eventually the site itself) spouting their hatred for the indie/folk band. An impromptu gig on a Virgin flight furthered their reputation as an organic band with a raucous charm but also (understandably) resulted in a fair amount of criticism. Set Sail also made national headlines earlier in the year when lead singer Brandon Hoogenboom was deported by Australian authorities for breaching his visa conditions. A Facebook petition that went viral attracting over 8,500 signatures of support within a day of its creation helped bring Brandon back to Australia and has allowed the band to continue creating music... - Beat Magazine


Set Sail have fast made a name for themselves not only through their music, but their unorthodox approach when it comes to performing live. - Mixdown Magazine


Aptly named Set Sail, their group so far has sung and played on the streets of Australia, Hong Kong, England, Germany, France, Dubai, Spain, Sweden and Iceland. Along the way, he, Brandon Hoogenboom, 21, and Josh May, 22, ate piles of rice and pasta and slept in some leaky dives but had the time of their lives. - The Daily Interlake


Any aspiring young musician with enough nerve would dream of doing this: Buy an around-the-world ticket, perform impromptu street shows at places such as Paris’ Arc de Triomphe and Berlin’s Brandenburg Gate, document it for YouTube, sell your CD and try to keep it going as you build a following on Facebook.

For four months, that has been the rather lean way of life for two Americans and an Australian who formed a street band in Sydney and saved up enough through gigs to launch the trip in May. - The Orange County Register


'Set Sail' have got a unsophisticated and engaging style which I find rather appealing - if you're in London's Trafalgar Square on Thursday why not head over to check them out? - The Londoneer


I dare you not to fall in love with this next collective.
Having just embarked on their debut world tour, (spanning 48 cities and 6 continents) Set Sail are made up of Brandon Hoogenboom, Josh May and Josiah Willows. Their style is unique – taking the music they love to create to the streets, through an intimate and magnetic performance. The Riley Moore EP (released April 26) is a small taste of genius obtainable for a measly dollar.

‘The Boat Song’ is undoubtedly my favourite track on the release, combining delightfully articulated lyrics with a fast paced cadence.

If you close your eyes and hold your breath you’ll think it’s summer. If you follow my advice and purchase The Riley Moore EP you’ll think it’s Christmas. - Party Aids TV


"What would you do if a trio of musicians stood up and began serenading you while at 37,000 feet onboard a long-haul flight? Hopefully, you wouldn't club them and assume they're undercover hijackers throwing the flight crew off their scent; you'd clap right along, just as these Virgin Atlantic passengers did recently when the Australian band Set Sail covered the Jason Mraz song "I'm Yours."

The cute performance happened somewhere between Hong Kong and Sydney, as the band is setting out on a 48-country itinerary to give street shows throughout the rest of this year. This is only the second video of a slew they're planning, and Josiah Willows (one of the band members) explains, "flights aren't always bad food and uncomfortable seats!" Every week they'll release another video to YouTube—follow them here—mixing music and travel." - Jaunted (concierge.com)


"...The band, which is currently traveling the world, gave an impromptu concert on the Virgin flight..." - AOL Travel


'Home' presents an addictive pop song that will have you humming to it involuntarily" - Scenewave


"Their music has an invitation to be carefree wrapped inside of it, and it’s never more apparent than on their lead single; “Home”. The violin frolics, the vocals skip, and the percussion lays a blanket down." - The Wounded Jukebox


"The down under continues its ascension with this brief, bookish, catching, and upbeat track named “Home,” ... nearly any quarter of the music world would classify this as a happy thing" - The Muse in Music


"blew me away with their energy and style." - Vox Magazine


Headliners Set Sail, who are embarking on a world tour come May, immediately caught my attention with their well-arranged folk-indie pop which bragged some epic violin playing (I have never seen anyone rock out as hard on a violin as violinist Josiah Willows).

Set Sail, headed by Brandon Hoogenboom, frequently perform on the streets of Sydney just because they love performing so much, and even though this wasn’t exactly outdoors they seemed right at home, effortlessly creating beautiful melodies with their instruments over which Hoogenboom commanded attention with unassuming vocals. Their dance-y rock songs got many back up to the dance floor, creating a small mosh pit which was pretty damn cool to see. Josiah Willows took over vocal duties as he sang a modest little love song to which the dance floor started slow-dancing but the tempo didn’t stay slow for long as they quickly got back into some rock and even churned out a cover of ‘Little Lion Man’ by Mumford and Sons which could definitely go toe-to-toe with the original. - The AU Review


Competition was fierce and the support was even fiercer with 600 people cramming into Manning to witness the 26th Annual Sydney Uni Band Comp Final last Thursday 2nd September.

Third Place – Set Sail - The University of Sydney- Manning Bar


Forty three slick, sharp and funky acts took to stages across Byron Bay over three days, pushing the poor judges to their decisive limits to choose the winner from a staggering talent pool of performers.

Seven finalists played back-to-back to an enthralled and enthused crowd of locals and out-of-towners yesterday afternoon at the Beach Hotel.

The judges, independent producer Murray Burns, 2008 busking competition winner Matty Devitt and 2007 winner Marshall O’Kell had their work cut out for them as they spent most of yesterday splitting musical hairs.

The Specifics picked up second place by a hair’s breadth followed closely by Set Sail. - The Northern Star


Discography

Hey! - EP (2012)

1. Charleston
2. Who Are You
3. Kids
4. Hey!

Produced by James Manson
Mixed by Rob Conley

The Riley Moore - EP (2011)

1. Home
2. The Boat Song
3. Whales
4. The Warmup

Produced by Rob Conley
Mixed by Evan McHugh

Photos

Bio

Boasted as "The most exciting thing in Australian music right now", Set Sail's spontaneous, guerilla performances around the world have gotten them arrested in Madrid, 26 free beers on a Virgin flight, a showcasing performance at the Australian ARIA awards and over 25,000 facebook fans worldwide off the back of their debut EP "The Riley Moore"

Summer 2011 saw the band take their 'summer pop' sound on the road in Asia, Europe and North America before returning to Australia for a headlining run of dates across the country. This June, their 2nd EP "Hey!" was finished with Rick Will (Bjork, Incubus, Johnny Cash) at the helm mixing and released June 29th to critical acclaim. Currently on a 18 date tour of the country playing sold out shows off the Hey! EP, Set Sail is one to watch this year with continued Australian acclaim, USA touring and a debut album in the near future.

Dropping out of law and literature degrees to play music on the streets may not sound like the smartest of career choices, but for the boys in Set Sail, it turned out to be a once in a lifetime opportunity.