Souvenir Driver
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Souvenir Driver

Portland, Oregon, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2012

Portland, Oregon, United States
Established on Jan, 2012
Band Alternative Post-punk

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Music

Press


For over three years, Souvenir Driver has been conjuring melancholy slices of late '80s-inspired noise-pop, informed equally by the monochromatic swirl of proto-shoegazers like Jesus and Mary Chain and Swervedriver and the hazy stoner-psych of Primal Scream. But the layers of looped guitars, digital drone and other sonic references to the noisier, neo-post-punk bands of today like Protomartyr and Eagulls let you know that you’re still listening to rock music, circa 2015. The band released its second album last year, tightening its sound and adding a layer of polish that bodes well for the future. - Willamette Week


Souvenir Driver seem to specialize in music that drifts in and out of consciousness: both yours and their own. Like a conversation with someone who’s just woken up and is still half-dreaming, Touching might not make a whole load of coherent sense, but it’s lovely nonetheless. - A New Band a Day


Souvenir Driver are ahead of the curve, making each live show a production. Probably the best-dressed band in Portland, the three-piece suit-clad dudes looked and sounded polished for the release of their sophomore album, Living Water. SD made every effort to set the mood, layering the soft, reverby vocals of Nate Wey and heavily effected instruments, along with a mesmerizing visual effect reel projected over the band. The use of visuals transports the audience into a totally different space, adding an undefined excitement to their ominous bliss-pop songs. My favorite song from their set was “I Touch You Honey” off Living Water, with a catchy surf pop guitar riff, upbeat drums, and atmospheric backing vocals.

Attention to detail sets Souvenir Driver apart from other bands, right down to the hand-made posters and limited-edition cassettes at the merch table. - The Deli: Portland


Souvenir Driver's 2012 release, Lifts the Curse, was the first album recorded by the now four-piece band that evolved out of frontman Nate Wey's solo project of the same name. Over the course of 10 tracks, far-off vocals get drenched, but never lost, in a dreamy haze. The band allows their audience to drift along with amazing ease. It's the kind of music that feels so familiar on the first listen that you could spend hours trying to pin down what is so haunting about tracks like "Futures" or "More." I've given up on trying to connect the dots. Clear and emotive lyrics cascade and resonate with repetition, as they draw the listener into a self-contained comfort zone on each track. "Feel the Flood," a new song off the band's upcoming album, Living Water, takes a similar approach, and adds a thick layer of driving synth to the mix. CHIPP TERWILLIGER - Portland Mercury


[DREAM ROCK] Next time you hear Portland dream-rock outfit Souvenir Driver, picture colors. The band did just that with 2014's Living Water, crafting 10 songs that span several hues and moods. The spectrum ranges from blissful pop to sedated rock and shoegaze, and does so with carefree, fluid ease. If that’s not enough, Souvenir Driver has been hard at work on new material, trying some of it out at recent gigs. Get ready to experience both highs and lows, as these guys deliver healthy servings of each. - Willamette Week


Discography

LIVING WATER. 2014. Full Length.
LIFTS THE CURSE. 2012. Full Length.
JEANNE MOREAU. 2012. EP.
JOY. 2011. Solo Full Length.

Discography can be heard at http://souvenirdriver.bandcamp.com 
and major streaming services (spotify, apple music, et al).



Photos

Bio

What started as an experimental solo project, Portland’s Souvenir Driver have evolved over the past three years into a four piece band that weaves elements of shoegaze, post-punk, and psych into a formless genre they call “bliss pop.” Their unique, yet familiar sound has garnered local and national acclaim.

Currently at work mixing their new record, the band recorded a collection of 14 songs in a mountain cabin over the course of a summer week. Though the new material is their most ambitious yet, the dreamy music is also more human and inviting than previous releases. The natural and rugged landscape became a perfect backdrop for the new songs, which the band had been workshopping live before recording.

The as of yet untitled record will be their official follow up to Living Water (2014). That album featured contributions from Peter Holmstrom (The Dandy Warhols) and was produced by Gregg Williams (Blitzen Trapper). The artwork was done by cult movie artist Sam Smith, whose soundtrack art has appeared on the vinyl releases for Twin Peaks and John Carpenter’s Prince of Darkness among others. Living Water was self-released on vinyl, after a successful Kickstarter campaign, to local and international buzz: Willamette Week called it “shoegaze with grungy jolts that uppercut your chin.” 

Aside from being very active in the local scene of Portland, the band has played numerous west coast shows, festivals, and tours. They've been the main support for acts including The Dandy Warhols, Mark Gardner (of Ride), Froth (Lollipop/Burger), Corners (Lollipop), and others.

At festivals, they’ve played alongside Swervedriver, David J (Love & Rockets , Bauhaus), Dead Meadow, The Lemonheads, The Entrance Band, Blouse, Cosmonaut, Wampire, and Matt Hollywood. 

Their cinematic music has been licensed to advertisements in the US and in Germany; as well as TV shows The Real World and Best Ink. 

The four piece band was formed when singer/guitarist Nate Wey recruited other musicians over cheap drinks. The band includes members Ethan Homan (guitar, bass), Travis Hendricks (synth, drum machine, percussion), and Bob Mild (drums). Though it started as a solo project, the band now writes their music collectively. The “bliss” they refer to in their genre is more of Joseph Cambpell’s version, and encapsulates moods both dark and sunny. It is about being open, honest, and ultimately adventurous. A welcome counter-point to the current culture of playing it safe.