The Sobriquets
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The Sobriquets

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States | SELF

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States | SELF
Band Rock Singer/Songwriter


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



""...Are Out Of Style""

"With “...Out of Style,” the band not only proffers up signature alterna-folk (“Decisions, Decisions”), but also, edgier, more modern sounds (“The Thing About This”). “Take Me Down” is another personalized folk recipe, a tight, rhythmic showcase that brings to mind Guster while demonstrating that the band’s tagline, “Philadelphia’s Most Punctual Band,” refers to more than just its appointment-keeping skills. By nature of the trade, some new-folk acts can become a bit paint-by-numbers, but with “...Out of Style,” The Sobriquets have managed to avoid this pitfall." Jonathan Rowe, 02/17/2010 - Harrisburg Patriot-News

"The Sobriquets"

"3.5 Stars out of 4: The Sobriquets album features a whole lot to enjoy, and very little to dislike... [they] are an act to look out for..." -Bill McThrill- The Compendium (9/3/2008)
- The Compendium

"Sobriquets Record Release"

[On] the band’s new self-titled and self-released album, you can hear equally the phantoms of loose-strung Americana, dewy trip-hop and an eccentric coffeehouse hybrid of the two... their novel approach to trusty singer/songwriter-isms may just see them breaking into new circles.

Doug Wallen, Philadelphia Weekly (April 23, 2008) - Philadelphia Weekly

"Sobriquets Want to Hook You, and Draw You In"

"...Known for their unapologetically hook-laden songs and intricate arrangements that juxtapose electronica with rootsy acoustics... One of the most salient quality of the Sobriquets is the band's musical resourcefulness. These guys will do anything with anything."

Greg Hanlon - Brooklyn Courier-Life (Apr 3, 2008)
- Brooklyn Courier-Life

"Vox Pop"

"Most alternative acts take at least five or six members to knock you off your feet. However, two guys, Dan Drago and James Hearne, are all it takes to get you going. They uniquely use electronica to support their acoustics. They are highly praised for their intelligent, emotional lyrics which some bands dream to possess. Emerging from Philadelphia is a fresh sound that has the potential to elevate independent rock. Recently enlisted upright bassist Josh Neale further demonstrates why this group is so rare in the sea of alternative players."
Amber Stewart, Vox Pop -


"The Sobriquets" LP- Available Now

"...Are Out Of Style" EP- Available Now



A rock band is, at its best, a collaboration between people of diverse musical backgrounds that come together to produce a sounds that is both the sum of its parts as well as something on its own. The Sobriquets, a Philadelphia based rock band, has four members that all have differing approaches to their craft, and by throwing in together they create something truly unique. On their new EP, “…Are Out of Style”, the band combines their singer-songwriter approach with soaring three-part harmonies, ethereal guitars, and a backbone of tight rhythmic structure to produce their most accomplished release to date. Having all played in very different groups (punk bands, jazz combos, orchestras and choirs, to name a few), the Sobriquets call upon a range of experience to produce well-crafted songs that are both familiar and new to a wide range of audiences.

The Sobriquets were formed by James Hearne and Dan Drago, both multi-instrumentalists and collaborators with each other for well over 14 years. They met as teenagers in Western New York where they shared a love not only for the big groups of the day (Nirvana, Smashing Pumpkins, Nine Inch Nails, Radiohead) but also the rootsy acoustic styles of bands like the Indigo Girls, Rusted Root, the Counting Crows, and Ani Difranco. “Every teenager can tell you how they felt the first time they heard ‘Nevermind’,” says Dan. “But I remember the first time I heard [Ani Difranco’s song] ‘Out of Range’ on local radio, or ‘Ahead By A Century’ by the Tragically Hip. Songs like that definitely formed James’ and my tastes, and still play a role in how we play today.” After their college years took them to different places, the two musicians reformed and moved to Philadelphia in 2004. “It was fascinating to put us both back in a room together after so many years,” reminisces James. “I had added love for folk music and old R&B to my collections, and Dan had pretty much lived in a college radio station for the last six years, and was heavily into trip-hop and electronic bands.” Dan agrees: “I had discovered bands like Massive Attack and Everything But The Girl and Portishead. I became fascinated with drum machines and synths. James had been doing solo gigs with just him and a guitar, and playing in a college rock band. We couldn’t see any reason why we had to compromise with our new styles, we’d just put it all together and see what happened.” The two formed a band with three other Philadelphia locals that combined both rock and electronic elements, dubbed themselves Confusion About Weather, and played up and down the Northeast. When that band dissolved, James and Dan barely took a moment to shake off the dust before they were onto their next project, a combination of acoustic rock and laptop production. They immediately went to work on a new record, using the full capacity of their home studio to overdub folk instruments with synthesizers and drum samples to make the record they had wanted to make for years. Borrowing the French word for ‘nickname’, they became the Sobriquets.

“After a few months of playing live, just the two of us, we both knew we had to bring in fresh blood or it was going to get really stagnant really fast,” says James about the early days of the Sobriquets. The duo had been playing small rooms with just two guitars, a sampler and their voices, and felt they had to widen what they did live to keep it interesting for the audience as well as themselves. They were mostly done with their self-titled album, but found it difficult to capture all the studio layers and instruments they had laid down when they performed. Luckily, they came across bassist Josh Neale through a mutual friend, and the three clicked immediately. Josh has extensive experience playing in jazz combos and pit orchestras, as well as a background as metal musician. His new take on the Sobriquets material was just what James and Dan needed to shake things up. Dan can account the first time they all sat down to play in the fall of 2007. “I remember Josh coming in with an upright bass to our first practice. It had such a percussive sound, it really added a great deal to the band. Suddenly, I could start playing the guitar more as texture and layering, because now Josh had the rhythm and low end taken care of. A whole new world of arrangement and performance opened up.” James adds, “Plus, he could sing like crazy! I finally could start writing the vocal arrangements I’d always wanted.” Josh’s bass was quickly dubbed onto a few tracks of the record (now even longer in the making), and the three started going up and down the east coast, to New York, Baltimore, New Jersey, Hartford and many other cities, playing clubs and festivals in support of their debut album. But there was still something missing.

“Everyone we talked to while on the road seemed to say the same thing,” says Dan. “They’d say ‘You guys are great, but you should really get a drummer.’” The three Sobriquets had a lot going for the