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"Anti-Gravity Magazine"

“Y-O-U is an unforgivably catchy, unapologetically retro, pop-rock band. Y-O-U is fun as hell to say, even more exciting on record, and a godd--m heart attack live.”

-N. Bonapart, July 2004
- - Noah Bonaparte

"Band of the Week"

In some ways, Nick Niespodziani and Pete Olson are like a young married couple. They’ve been playing together since the mid ’90s when they monopolized the student council and chose their own band to play the prom. They’ve experienced highs and lows together, they have a system for collaborating on songs and, dare I say it, they finish each others’ sentences.

The two are very different in demeanor and taste, but since opposites attract, maybe that’s what makes their collaborations pop. Olson likes Back to the Future II better than III. Niespodziani thinks he’s crazy. Niespodziani studied English in college, Olson got his degree in Exercise Science. Opposites don’t just attract in relationships, they attract in music, too.

About their creative process, Niespodziani says “most of the time, I come in with an initial idea, and I bring it to Peter first. And we kind of hash it out more. A lot of times, he’ll write the bridge, or the chorus, or edit the lyrics. Or say, ‘that sounds like a Tesla song.’” To which Olson fires back, “And you’re like, OK, I like Tesla.’” So maybe the system isn’t perfect, but they’re churning out ideas all the time and they pride themselves on bringing something new to every performance.

Presumably joking, Niespodziani has called himself the band’s “resident bitch,” but attitudes aside, he and Olson are the backbone of Y-O-U and are largely responsible for the band’s growing repertoire. Its website features a series of music videos, both live-action and animated, as well as some installments from a mockumentary still in progress. Both the music and images provide a window into the lives of Y-O-U’s members because Niespodziani says he starts his songs with a real story from his experiences and combines this truth with fictional elements or ideas from movies and books.

Niespodziani expands on the concept, “[I] make it into the story of how it should have been. To make a good story rather than the one that is true. Because…” Olson cuts in, “…The truth usually sucks.” Their dynamic is founded on an old friendship that can go from silly to sarcastic to business and back again, and it’s noticeable in the band’s music. Whether these guys are joking around or discussing the finer points of making money in the biz, they really just want to make good music. And how will they know they’ve achieved this? “You could be in the car, and Tom Petty comes on the radio and you can’t get out … I want to create that.”

- Emily Beard, March 22, 2006

- Paste Magazine On-line Exclusive

"Rockin' the Peach State"

Ask the members of the Atlanta rock band Y-O-U to describe their musical style, and you won't get a simple answer. The four band members have found inspiration in everything from neo-soul to rap, but as lead vocalist and guitarist Nicholas Niespodziani notes, "It all goes back to the classic rock our dads spun on their record players when we were in the cradle."

Now the grown-up rockers carry on a Georgia musical tradition rooted in the piano-powered hits of Ray Charles and Little Richard and the guitar-driven, lyrically rich songs of acts such as R.E.M. Although influenced by their famous forefathers, it's hard to categorize this band, comprised of Nicholas, Peter Olson (bass and vocals), Mark Cobb (drums and vocals), and Clay Cook (organ, guitar, and vocals). There is, however, a simple word to describe them: "good."

Seasoned musicians with years of professional experience in the music industry, the members of Y-O-U use their different artistic backgrounds to create an eclectic, ever-changing style that has found a perfect home in Atlanta's diverse musical community.

A Band's Migration

Three of them--Peter, Nicholas, and Mark--moved South from their Indiana homes four years ago to pursue recording careers. Peter says Atlanta was their first choice.

"Atlanta is, without a doubt, the hotbed of musical talent in the Southeast," he says. "For us it easily edged out other top music cities such as Miami and Jacksonville."

After a few years playing the city's vibrant club scene, the three Southern transplants joined with Clay, who hails from Snellville, Georgia, and has worked with the likes of John Mayer, Sugarland, and The Marshall Tucker Band.

Of Love and Politics

The focus has changed considerably since Y-O-U recorded its self-titled first album in 2003. "Our older songs are mostly love songs," Nicholas explains. "And there is no higher calling than writing a great love song." Their second album, Everything is Shifting, focuses on more complex issues such as politics and spirituality.

"Everything is Shifting is a kind of a concept record about change," Nicholas says. "I think our country is undergoing some pretty momentous shifts, and our record is a small attempt to call attention to that."

In between recording sessions, Y-O-U continues to move forward by playing to crowds across the Southeast and gathering material for a third album. "This record will really focus on capturing the energy of our live shows," Nicholas says. "We're poring over the structures and sounds coming out of our instruments with a much more scrutinizing ear."

Although other cities offer plenty of musical possibilities, Atlanta continues to be the perfect place for the band to make its mark. "I'd compare the rock scene here to a really nice, ripe pile of avocados," says Nicholas with a grin. "It's ready to be converted into some very tasty guacamole."

If you want to hear y-o-u, check out www.pleaserock.com. Some of the group's favorite CDs include All the World Asleep Tonight by Telegram, another Atlanta-based band; Kicking Television by Wilco; and The Bends by Radiohead.

- Writer: Sabra Snyder, April 2006
- Southern Living

"Voted ‘Top 25 Bands on Myspace’"


- Dec 2006


- RollingStone.com

"Artist of the Week"

“Smart lyrics, vulnerable melodies and evocative guitar riffs make Y O U a compelling listen."

Billy Zero, on selecting Y O U Artist of the Week for XM Radio's Unsigned Artists Channel, April 27, 2007

- XM Satellite Radio

"Album Review"

“…The band's third release, "Flashlights," is an assured, well-crafted effort. Songs like "The Physics of Giving (Einstein Song)," "All Arranged #7" and "Effort" float along over solidly constructed, mid-tempo classic-rock foundations, content to ingratiate themselves slowly via easygoing melodies and effortless choruses”. – The Sunday Paper, January 2007 - Sunday Paper

"Everything is Shifting - Show Review"

. . . The third [event which heralds good things to come from the Southeastern US indie scene] was last night’s performance by Atlanta’s Y-O-U at The Evening Muse. I went in to the Muse a Y-O-U fan from seeing them five or six times previously; I left a wide-eyed devotee.

Y-O-U has received critical and commercial acclaim in Atlanta since their first appearances on the circuit in 2002. Their original lineup featured a five-piece powerhouse of sound, their live show a frenetic outburst of musical spasms of jangly guitars and well-placed electronic sounds. Their 2003 eponymous debut presented the best of their live show staples, but the recording failed to capture all of their indie charm. Indeed, for most of their actions, Y-O-U so seemed to embrace the indie-geek-rock fashion as to almost present the image that they winked heavily at the genre and performed every song with tongues firmly implanted in cheeks.

In late 2004, the band parted ways with two original members and performed for a brief while as a power trio consisting of founding members Nick Niespodziani, Peter Olson and Mark Cobb. The three had provided the core of the original lineup, but one couldn’t help but wonder how their complex arrangements could be presented on stage by an army of three. Still, they forged on, and released a new EP called Everything Is Shifting.

Where their first album sounded more like the bastard child of Weezer and Van Halen as supplemented by early-pop harmonies and sensibilities, the new EP makes it seem as if as much time was spent listening to postmodern rock and synth geniuses like the Doves. Produced by Y-O-U and Clay Cook, Everything Is Shifting seems to refer to myriad things at once. An acknowledgement to the band as reformed and reshaped. A reference to a slight stylistic change in sound. Even a nod to the changing political and social direction in our great nation. Y-O-U underscores these seismic shifts by presenting a remixed version of one of the EP tracks, “Good Luck With that American Dream,” as the Jeff Tamborello-esque “Digital Dream” – change the vocals to Ben Gibbard and it could easily be confused as a Postal Service outtake.

Now, like Bain Mattox, Y-O-U also is riding high on the talents of a new band member – the incomparable Cook. An award-winning songwriter and talented and accomplished performer in his own right, Cook stepped directly from the studio to the stage and brings a passion and talent to Y-O-U that helps further catapult the band’s soaring soundscapes. His versatility as a multi-instrumentalist, combined with the technological effects of looping pedals and other toys, provides a fullness of texture that allows the band to recreate live many of their most ambitious studio recordings. And his abilities as a vocalist allow the band to present their complex three-part harmony chords, like the soaring bridge in their ballad “Wings” that evokes the memory of Ben Folds, Robert Sledge, and Darren Jessee reaching musical nirvana in their classic “Missing the War.”

Cook’s arrival more than adequately supplements the talents of the remaining original three, but his presence in no way overshadows their abilities. Niespodziani remains the frontman while eschewing most frontman clichés; if anything, he underscores his own presence by presenting a vocal landscape that remains strong yet fragile, as if his powerful lungs and heart could literally explode and break on the delivery of the very next note. Olson not only lays down the foundation on bass; he also plays keys and synth on some songs and, as an energetic but understated part of the stage show, provides an excellent foil for Niespodziani and Cook. And drummer / percussion master Mark Cobb runs the timing with precision and technical mastery – employing drums, shakers, tambourines, other percussive toys, and even the xylophone – often simultaneously – to hold down the bottom end.

Despite the obvious skills of its members, Y-O-U’s current show can still only best be described as a whole being greater than the sum of its parts. Y-O-U never ceases to entertain because it remains transparent to the crowd just how hard this band is working on stage. It’s one thing for a musician to play his instrument with urgency and abandon; it’s another to do so while weaving a sonic tapestry that is not often seen in these parts.

Last night’s show featured a combination of songs from both the album and the EP as well as some unreleased material. Musical highlights were plenty: The aforementioned “Wings.” The faux-Motown falsetto and white-boy groove of “L.A. Lindsay.” The combination of the pensive “Good Luck With That American Dream” and the sing-along power of “Good Intentions,” bridged by a drums and synth and pedals jam and culminating with a tight and tasteful Cook solo. The electronic and lyrical futurism of the new song “Shadows on the Page.” And the finale of fan-favorite “Moviekiss,” with its dreamy chorus and soaring coda.

The night was not without its humor – a broken bass string that prompted a search for a replacement; a fun jam on the importance of movie montages. When, after L.A. Lindsay, the band riffed on the song behind about hookers in Hollywood, you realize that those tongues are still in those cheeks – you think. With this band, you’re never quite sure.

There’s a term in the jamband community called “permagrin,” to describe that feeling you have during a great show when that goofy smile hits your face from the opening notes and doesn’t leave until well after the show is over. For me, almost 24 hours after last night’s show, I still haven’t wiped the permagrin off my face. And so, as 2005 progresses, Everything Is Shifting seems to have one more interpretation attached to its many meanings – a wink at Y-O-U’s ascension on the Southeast scene.

(c) 2005 Cannonball Entertainment

- Cannonball Entertainment, Looch

"Performer Magazine"

"Y-O-U performed a new batch of tunes ready to be released on two EP's in late spring/early summer. A highly creative trio, the band's songs "Moviekiss" along with with the newer "Shadows on the Page" and "National Straitjacket" lifted the experience to ever higher heights. A band filled with romance and passion, Y-O-U set the groove and tone for the evening, a group that is rare as a diamond heart found in the bottom of the deepest of oceans, a group that radiates with the best that local music has to offer."

Live review, Roxy Theatre, Spring 2005. - - Shawn M. Haney

"Performer Magazine"

Everything is Shifting is a genuine breakthrough achievement for the Atlanta band YOU. Lead vocalist and guitarist Nick Niespodziani displays uncanny maturity in his songwriting, arranging, and vocal style. “Shadows on the Page” opens up this seven song delight with introspective, witty melodic statements, showing a fluency and strong poeticism. The band’s interest in creating a retro-futuristic rock dynamic is executed with the help of Clay Cook.

The sounds are brilliantly captured and mastered with grace and passion. Repeat listens reveal the band’s ability to build upon its basic premise. With this disc, the trio is eager to carve a genuine identity in the Southeast rock scene. These songs are accessible, innovative in sound and composition, and supplemented by sharp storytelling with an overall concept that’s frighteningly beautiful.

The magic and romance of YOU is still apparent, as “Not a Dove” and “The Change” provide insight into the band’s evolution, sparked in part by the change from a five-piece to a stripped-down trio. The words graph out YOU’s special gift, creating emotionally gripping material that is lush and gorgeous in every respect. Peter Olson and Mark Cobb’s exceptional instrumentation is rivaled only by Niespodziani’s dreamy, ethereal vocal presence. “All Arranged #2” is a perfect example of his love of folk music. The song also expresses his insights on today’s society and world issues.The lyrics written in “Straightjacket” soley express the identity and character of everyday American citizens, young and old alike. Certainly, with a record of the caliber as Everything is Shifting, YOU stirs good feeling about local rock in Atlanta and throughout the Southeast.

-S. Haney, July 2005
- - Shawn M. Haney

"Live at Pianos in NYC"

Atlanta’s Y-O-U is a band for whom rock n roll is a thinking man’s game. Rather than assemble a loose collection of power chords and big drum fills, Y-O-U takes a relatively simple rock template and expands upon it with smart pop construction and striking musicianship. Onstage they come across as a group who only recently made the jump from charming nerds to cool rock musicians. It’s a style they work to their advantage - and just in case you miss it, all three of them still wear glasses.

Looking not unlike a young Elvis Costello, singer/guitarist Nicholas Niespodziani led the band through a graceful set last Tuesday night Pianos, one of the lower east side’s hipster venues of choice. Appearing very comfortable with their instruments, Y-O-U engaged the audience with the simple thrill of watching somebody do their job well. In addition to a nearly unpronounceable last name, Niespodziani possesses an incredible voice – with a falsetto that would make Prince jealous. With both drummer Mark Cobb and bassist Peter Olson singing back up, the band sounded much fuller than its three pieces.

In fact, all three members of Y-O-U seemed to be multi-tasking to give the band a bigger sound. Cobb was like a one-man percussion section, working a wide array of shakers, click tracks and, much to the delight of one woman in the audience, lots of cowbell. Cobb switched between keys and bass, sometimes playing both at once. Niespodziani, for his part, managed to put on a little sideshow. When his guitar strap broke in mid-song, he finished a verse playing upright, and then unplugged, de-strapped another guitar, and then made the switch back to the original guitar, all during the course of a short bridge section in one song.

Again this seems to reference Y-O-U’s musical smarts and savvy stage presence. (And for the record, the band’s name is pronounced “why oh yew”). In addition to the impressive musical abilities that allow them to play their instruments with appealing ease, the band has a genuine pop sensibility. Even the slow jams were engaging, packed as they were with vocal harmonies and little pieces of ear candy from Niespodziani’s guitar. Of course this was not lost on the ladies in the audience, who squealed with delight at the love songs – as well as the up tempo number “Alright, Alright, Alright” – but only because Niespodziani dedicated it to his mom. Such a good boy.

Speaking of dedications, if there were was any confusion about the band’s intellectual style, Niespodziani cleared it up with his shout-out to a famous astrophysicist on the final song of the evening. “This last song is about Albert Einstein,” he said, “and it’s kind of about me too.” But rather than leave the audience with the impression that perhaps their approach is too studious, Y-O-U finished up with the number one cheap thrill in rock n roll: the big ending. After all, a smart band knows that often times the best path to take is the one that rocks the hardest.

- Ethan Kanat, Breakthru Radio, 06/26/2006
- Breakthru Radio


Flashlights. LP, January 2007.
Everything is Shifting. EP, May 2005.
Y-O-U. LP, debut release, October 2003.

Medicine Man and Moviekiss, both off Flashlights, have found their way into specialty shows at Atlanta's WNNX 99X, XM Satellite Radio, and various podcasts.




- Y O U licenses two tracks to major motion picture Mrs. Hobbes' House (Directed by Barnett Bain; in theatres Fall 2007)

- Coca-Cola Inc. licenses the group's American Dream for use in a global ad campaign for Diet Coke

- Rolling Stone declares Y O U one of Best 25 Bands on Myspace

- Y O U makes its new album Flashlights available in its entirety for free download at www.myspace.com/pleaserock

- Moviekiss video made on a Lite Brite children's toy joins top 100 videos on Youtube, now viewable in the video section of this presskit


Y O U was born when Nicholas Niespodziani and Peter Olson met in the 4th grade at Richards Elementary School in Columbus, Indiana. (Columbus is famous for world-class architecture.) Their high school band, Stalefish, created high school dances so they could have gigs to play – a task made easier due to the fact they were also presidents of the student council.

At Indiana University, Nicholas met Mark Cobb while playing in the Indiana University Soul Revue, paying tribute to soul greats from James Brown to Prince. The group was soon touring the midwest as Y O U with Matthew Dalief Sonnicksen and Alyssa Finke. They cut their teeth opening for ska legends Johnny Socko and recording boy band pop and hip-hop beats in the jam band haven of Bloomington, IN. They also played Fort Wayne.

A move to Georgia in 2002 brought the four men and their longtime friend and collaborator Eric Harlan Park to a marvelous new land to explore. The new 5-piece Y O U made a name by crashing open mics with synthesizers and singing falsetto ditties to make the ladies swoon. Their meteoric rise to wherever they rose to was precipitated by their tendency to act like complete idiots.

2003’s self-titled debut album showcased the group’s expansive style and pop sensibilities, and it earned them the right to record the Strongbad Sings album with Homestar Runner creators Mike and Matt Chapman. They developed a smelly internet presence through pleaserock.com, which featured (features) a multi-media feast of music, pictures, videos, cartoons, slideshows, mockumentaries, social commentary, and carpet.

After touring the eastern half of the country and opening for Kings of Leon, Rooney, and Hoobastank, Matthew and Eric moved on to other endeavors (read – make money make money) and Nicholas, Peter, and Mark forged on as a 3-piece. They continued making magic whilst opening for Better Than Ezra. Twice. They also continued the tradition of pleaserocking comedy that began with the jump roping magic of The Flying Wallabies with the sandal rock mockumentary 3 Daugh Stevens.

The Everything is Shifting EP (2005) proved to be a self-fulfilling prophesy, as the band focused on more meaningful lyrics and experimental sounds.

In 2006 the group successfully licensed "American Dream" to the Coca-Cola company for use in a global ad campaign. Later that year, Rolling Stone magazine voted Y O U one of the 25 Best Bands on Myspace reflecting the strength of the group's videos and online presence.

In 2007, Y O U released its third effort, Flashlights, recorded a year earlier with help from producer Geoff Melkonian (Whigs, Modern Skirts, Five-Eight) and Dave Barbe (Drive by Truckers, Sugar). Billy Zero of XM Radio said of Flashlights: “Smart lyrics, vulnerable melodies and evocative guitar riffs make Y O U a compelling listen."

Flashlights is available for FREE download at the group's websites: www.pleaserock.com and www.myspace.com/pleaserock.


Joe Kuhlman, Owner, Evening Muse, Charlotte NC 704.376.3737
Nicole Jurovics, 10 High Booking, Atlanta GA 404.229.0054
Jeff Sample, Birdy's Live, Indianapolis IN 317.254.8971
Mike "McQ" McCrary, Brash Music CEO, Atlanta GA 678.904.4790