Band of Horses

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Not to be confused with Horse the Band.
Band of Horses
Band of Horses - SXSW2006-cropped.jpg
Band of Horses at the 2006 SXSW festival, from left to right Hampton, Bridwell, Barrett (hidden), Brooke, Arnone
Background information
Origin Seattle, Washington
(Now based in Charleston, South Carolina)
Genres Indie rock, southern rock, alternative country, folk
Years active 2004–present
Labels Sub Pop, Columbia Records
Fat Possum Records
Brown Records, Kobalt[1]
Associated acts Carissa's Wierd, Grand Archives
Members Ben Bridwell
Ryan Monroe
Tyler Ramsey
Bill Reynolds
Creighton Barrett
Past members Joe Arnone
Ludwig Böss
Mat Brooke
Sera Cahoone
Chris Early
Matt Gentling
Rob Hampton
Tim Meinig
Blake Mills
Robin Peringer

Band of Horses, originally known briefly as Horses, is an American rock band formed in 2004 in Seattle by Ben Bridwell. The band has released four studio albums, the most successful of which is 2010's Grammy-nominated Infinite Arms.[2] The band's lineup, which included Mat Brooke for the debut album, has undergone several changes; although, the current members, Bridwell, Ryan Monroe, Tyler Ramsey, Bill Reynolds, and Creighton Barrett, have all been with the band for several years. Band of Horses' fourth studio album, Mirage Rock, was released in September 2012.


Formation and Everything All the Time (2004–2006)[edit]

Bridwell and Brooke at SXSW 2006

Ben Bridwell (vocals, guitar) formed Band of Horses in 2004 after the break-up of his previous band, Carissa's Wierd, along with bassist Chris Early and drummer Tim Meinig. They were soon joined by former Carissa's Wierd bandleader Mat Brooke (guitar, vocals).[3] The band initially received attention from Sub Pop after opening for Iron & Wine during Seattle area shows. In 2005, the band released the Tour EP, which was sold at shows and on Sub Pop's website.

Their first full-length album, Everything All the Time, was recorded in 2005 with producer Phil Ek and released by Sub Pop on March 21, 2006. It features the band's original four-piece lineup, although both Tim Meinig and Sera Cahoone receive drumming credits.[4] The album included new versions of five of the six songs from the Tour EP along with five brand new songs. It was a minor hit in Scandinavia, entering the lower reaches of the Sweden and Norway album charts.[5] Ben Bridwell explained the sound of the album, "I thought before recording that I really wanted an ELO-sounding record, with strings and keyboards and synths, but then, as we got closer to it, we wanted to take a more raw approach."[6]

Bridwell found that there was a personality clash between himself and Meinig and Early and the two left soon after the recording of the album. Ben explained his side of the story, "All of a sudden I was...with two guys I didn’t really even know...they were nice guys, there just wasn’t a personality match."[7] For the subsequent tour, Joe Arnone (guitar and keyboards), Rob Hampton (bass and guitar) and Creighton Barrett (drums) were brought in to play with Bridwell and Brooke.

Everything All the Time's first single was "The Funeral", which has been used in numerous television series, films, video games, and advertisements. On July 13, 2006, the band performed the song on the Late Show with David Letterman without Brooke, who had left the band.[8] He subsequently formed Grand Archives, who have since signed to Sub Pop and released two albums. Brooke explained how he joined Band of Horses, "So they ended up getting a show opening up for Iron and Wine in Seattle and Ben asked if I would just come up and do a couple songs, just 'cause we're friends. So...I did that. It was fun and then a couple of Iron and Wine tours came up...and then next thing I knew, we were in the studio making a record for Sub Pop." On why he left, he said, "I'd never really given the commitment to be a formal member. It was just a spur of the moment...and Everything All the Time took off really fast...I still didn't feel quite committed. It was still 100 percent Ben's project and I kinda wanted to see what else I could do."[9]

Cease to Begin (2007–2009)[edit]

Ramsey and Bridwell in vocal and sartorial harmony at Amoeba Records, October 10, 2007

Before recording their second album, Bridwell decided to relocate the band from Seattle to his native South Carolina.[10] He said, "We were touring so much that nowhere was really home, so I figured...if I’m gonna come home after these long stretches of traveling, it would nice to be around my family."[11]

Band of Horses toured Europe and North America in 2007, prior to the release of their second album. Joe Arnone was no longer part of the band, which now toured as a six-piece band following the addition of Matt Gentling (Archers of Loaf - bass), Robin Peringer (Modest Mouse, Carissa's Wierd - guitar) and Ryan Monroe (keyboards) to the line up. The album, Cease to Begin, was recorded in North Carolina and produced by Phil Ek. It was released by Sub Pop Records on October 9, 2007. The album features the core trio of Ben Bridwell, Creighton Barrett and Rob Hampton, with keyboards played by Ryan Monroe.[12] Cease to Begin gave Band of Horses their first hit in the U.S. by reaching number 35 on the Billboard 200 and was also a hit in Norway, Denmark, France and Sweden.[13] It was voted ninth best album of 2007 by Paste magazine[14] and 47th best by Rolling Stone.[15] The single "No One's Gonna Love You" gave Band of Horses their first European hit single, reaching number 22 in Denmark.[16]

Following the release of Cease to Begin, Monroe became a permanent member of the band, along with new recruits Tyler Ramsey (guitar and vocals) and Bill Reynolds (bass). This once again made Band of Horses a six-piece band. In addition to his role in the band, Ramsey often performs solo as the opening act before the band play live.

In 2008, Band of Horses played at the Glastonbury Festival, T in the Park, the Bridge School Benefit concert, and the Roskilde Festival.

Infinite Arms (2010–2011)[edit]

Ben Bridwell playing with Band of Horses at the Outside Lands Festival 2009

In May 2009, producer Phil Ek stated that he was recording the third Band of Horses album in North Carolina.[17] Ben Bridwell mentioned that the new album was titled Night Rainbows several times while introducing new songs during the band's summer 2009 tour,[18] but in a March 2, 2010 interview, the band revealed that the album was to be called Infinite Arms.[19] Prior to the recording of the album, Rob Hampton left the band. He was later replaced by Swedish guitarist Ludwig Böss, although Böss does not appear on the album and on March 19, 2010 it was revealed that he too had left.[20] The album was recorded by the current five-piece lineup of Bridwell, Ramsey, Reynolds, Barrett, and Monroe.

Infinite Arms was released worldwide between May 14 and 19, 2010 on the Columbia, Brown, and Fat Possum labels. Aside from the North Carolina sessions at Echo Mountain Studios, parts of the album were recorded in Los Angeles at Perfect Sound Studios. The album was self-produced by the band, with additional production from Phil Ek. On April 14, the band performed a full set for the WDR TV show "Rockpalast". On April 20, the band appeared on the BBC television series Later... with Jools Holland, promoting Infinite Arms by playing new songs "Compliments," "Factory", and "NW Apt". Following this appearance, the band's two earlier albums entered the UK Albums Chart for the first time.[21] Infinite Arms entered the UK chart at number 21, giving Band of Horses their first top 100 UK chart hit and debuted at number 7 on the Billboard 200,[22] far exceeding the performance of Cease to Begin. An outtake from the album, "Life on Earth" has been used on the soundtrack of the Twilight Saga film Eclipse, which was released on June 7, 2010.[23]

Band of Horses toured Europe, North America, Australia, New Zealand and Japan in 2010. They opened for Pearl Jam on their tour of the Midwest and East Coast and for Snow Patrol at their concerts in Bangor and Glasgow in June. They played the SXSW, Sasquatch, Splendour in the Grass, Summer Sonic, Pukkelpop, Highfields, Malmo, Rock en Seine, Reading, Leeds, ACL and Farm Aid festivals in 2010.

On October 7, 2010 Band of Horses released a cover of Cee Lo Green's "Georgia" via their official website. Ben Bridwell explained, "This began as a very random idea I had on my dad's patio after we watched our beloved Georgia Bulldogs football team get robbed of a win at the hands of the referees and LSU last year. I knew I wanted to pay homage to my favorite team in song but didn't have any idea how to begin. Once I heard Cee Lo's 'Georgia' I was immediately smitten and figured that's as good as any tribute to any state I've ever heard. It wasn't until I heard his cover of our song though that it occurred to me: Duh, we should return the favor. Incorporating the Redcoat marching band was just the icing on the cake! This song is so nostalgic to me as my parents grew up in Atlanta and have so many family members in the great state of Georgia. It's always been a second home of sorts. We've played some great shows there as well, including our run of annual New Year's Eve shows in Atlanta from 2007-2009."[24] The cover version Ben referred to is Cee Lo's version of "No One's Gonna Love You". The two tracks were released together as a 7-inch vinyl split single.[24]

Band of Horses released a video for their song "Dilly" on November 16, 2010. Previous videos for songs from Infinite Arms had been collections of still photographs by the band's longtime collaborator Christoper Wilson, merged to make movies. "Dilly" was shot in the Mojave Desert by director Phil Andelman and was exclusively premiered on the movie website IMDb. The video features the exploits of a trouble-making motorcycle gang, and includes surreal sequences of the gang dancing in formation, as well as them killing people by shooting them with nothing more than a pointed finger. The collaboration with IMDb represents the first occasion that the website has premiered a music video.[25] "Dilly" was released as a single on February 14, 2011 and includes the band's cover version of Cee-Lo Green's "Georgia".[26] The single was a minor hit on the Belgian (Flanders) singles chart.[27]

Infinite Arms was nominated for a Grammy Award in the Best Alternative Album category[2] and featured in several end of year "Best Albums of 2010" lists, including Q Magazine (#21),[28] NPR Listeners (#15),[29] Filter Magazine (#10)[30] and Paste Magazine (#14).[31] The song "Laredo" was placed at number 28 in Rolling Stone Magazine's top 50 songs of 2010.[32]

In 2011, Band of Horses returned to Europe for a tour in January and February, which included a show with Foo Fighters at Wembley Arena on February 25. They undertook a brief US tour in early April before returning to Europe for several festivals in June. The band were scheduled to support Kings Of Leon on their US tour from July to September 2011[33] and their eight Australian concerts in November 2011,[34] but Kings of Leon cancelled their US tour after just 3 shows.[35] In 2012 the band toured for the first time in South America.

Mirage Rock (2012–2013)[edit]

In April 2012, Ben Bridwell revealed that Band Of Horses' fourth studio album was scheduled for release in late 2012 and would be produced by Glyn Johns.[36] In June the band shared a video preview, via Facebook and YouTube, of a new song, "Dumpster World," and announced a September release for the album.[37] On July 10 the album's title was confirmed as Mirage Rock and the tracklisting and artwork were revealed. A debut single from the fourth album, "Knock Knock", was released on July 9, 2012[38] and the album was released on September 18.[39] "Knock Knock" and the subsequent single from Mirage Rock, "Slow Cruel Hands of Time", were both minor hits in Belgium. Ben Bridwell explained the recording process of Mirage Rock, "Everything was different. We’ve played live to tape on albums before but not to the degree of it being so dire that every member had to really hone their part for the sake of the take."[40]

In late August 2012, a music video for "Knock Knock" was released on the internet. Directed by Jared Eberhardt, the video simulates old fashioned nature documentaries and features members of the band being captured, like animals, to be studied. Bridwell revealed that the footage was taken in the Salt Lake City area, "It seems fitting that we'd finally get to shoot a video around Salt Lake City, as we've got a song that pays tribute to the area called 'The Great Salt Lake' from our first album. Better late than never."[41]

Acoustic at the Ryman (2014)[edit]

On February 24, 2014, Band of Horses released a ten track live album, Acoustic at the Ryman, featuring stripped down versions of some of their best known songs. The album was recorded over two nights in April 2013 at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville. The band played a 13-date run of acoustic performances across the US, which commenced on 11 February at the Wilshire Ebell Theatre and concluded on 5 March at The Ryman itself.[42]



Studio albums[edit]

List of studio albums, with selected chart positions
Title Album details Peak chart positions


Everything All the Time 25 58 191
Cease to Begin
  • Released: October 9, 2007
  • Label: Sub Pop
  • Formats: CD, digital download
35 23 199 18 57 148
Infinite Arms 7 19 29 83 7 4 26 91 88 4 21 64 2 16 5 29 21
Mirage Rock
  • Released: September 18, 2012
  • Label: Columbia
  • Formats: CD, digital download
13 21 61 27 115 9 72 20 55 9 21 24 15 35 20
"—" denotes a recording that did not chart or was not released in that territory.

Live albums[edit]

List of studio albums, with selected chart positions
Title Album details Peak chart positions
Acoustic at the Ryman 19 37 40

Extended plays[edit]

List of extended plays
Title EP details
Tour EP
  • Released: 2005
  • Label: Self-released
  • Formats: CD, digital download


List of singles, with selected chart positions, showing year released and album name
Title Year Peak chart positions Album




"The Funeral"[63] 2006 Everything All the Time
"The Great Salt Lake"
"Is There a Ghost" 2007 34 30 Cease to Begin
"No One's Gonna Love You" 22
"Compliments" 2010 Infinite Arms
"Laredo" 16 34 41
"Georgia" / "No One's Gonna Love You"[A] Non-album single
"Dilly" 2011 93 Infinite Arms
"Knock Knock" 2012 123 Mirage Rock
"Slow Cruel Hands of Time" 118
Mirage Rock Sonic Ranch Sessions ---
"Feud"[64][65] ---
"—" denotes a recording that did not chart or was not released in that territory.


Ben Bridwell's vocals have been likened to Jim James of My Morning Jacket,[66] early Neil Young and Wayne Coyne of The Flaming Lips.[67]


  • A ^ "Georgia" and "No One's Gonna Love You" were released as a split single[68] with "Georgia" performed by Band of Horses and "No One's Gonna Love You" performed by Cee-Lo Green.


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  2. ^ a b "53rd Annual Grammy Awards nominees list" Los Angeles Times
  3. ^ Tom Scanlon, For Band of Horses, Block Party is just one stop in whirlwind year Seattle Times - July 28, 2006
  4. ^ Everything All The Time, Credits Allmusic
  5. ^ Everything All the Time Ultratop entry - Ultratop
  6. ^ Matt Ryan, Band Of Horses: Confidence Men Magnet - July 23, 2006
  7. ^ Jonny Cazzola, Music: Band of Horses Fused Magazine - October 15, 2008
  8. ^ Justin Sheppard, Band of Horses loses Mat Brooke - July 26, 2006
  9. ^ Stephen Seigel, Volume and Vigor Tucson Weekly - June 19, 2008
  10. ^ Band of Horses Interview Mountain 7 Blog - March 14, 2008 (Interview originally published in 2006)
  11. ^ Simon Harper, Band of Horses interview Clash - May 19, 2010
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  13. ^ Cease to Begin Ultratop entry - Ultratop
  14. ^ Signs of Life 2007 : Best Music Paste, Issue 38 - December 2007
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  18. ^ Jessica Dean, Band of Horses tramples Charlotte, NC (6/17) Consequence of Sound - June 20, 2009
  19. ^ Amy Phillips, Band of Horses Announce New Album Pitchfork Media - March 2, 2010
  20. ^ Ludwig Böss no longer in Band of Horses It's a Trap! Scandinavian music journal - March 19, 2010 (Links to Swedish language article: Ludwig Böss tvingas lämna Band of Horses)
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  27. ^ "Band of Horses - Dilly" Ultratop
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  29. ^ Schlansky, Evan "Arcade Fire Tops NPR Listeners’ Best Albums Of 2010 List" American Songwriter - December 15, 2010
  30. ^ "FILTER’s Top 10 of 2010: Staff Picks" Filter - December 1, 2010
  31. ^ Jackson, Josh "The 50 Best Albums of 2010" Paste - December 1, 2010
  32. ^ "Rolling Stone – 50 Best Songs of 2010" - December 18, 2010
  33. ^ Jones, Anthony "Kings Of Leon Announce US Summer Tour Dates" All Headline News - April 25, 2011
  34. ^ Tracey, "Band Of Horses to support Kings Of Leon in Oz" Vox magazine- May 23, 2011
  35. ^ Michaels, Sean "Kings of Leon cancel US tour due to exhaustion" - August 2, 2011
  36. ^ Blanton, Kristen "Watch Band of Horses Perform New Track Long Vows" Paste - April 18, 2012
  37. ^ Nelson, Michael Preview Band Of Horses "Dumpster World" Stereogum - June 22, 2012
  38. ^ Evan Minsker; Amy Phillips (9 July 2012). "Band of Horses Announce New Album, Mirage Rock, Share New Track and Video". Pitchfork. Pitchfork Media Inc. Retrieved 5 September 2012. 
  39. ^ Kane, Tyler "Band of Horses announce new album Mirage Rock" Paste Magazine - July 10, 2012
  40. ^ Cosyns, Simon "Band of Horses: How the hell we made it this far is unfathomable" The Sun - September 14, 2012
  41. ^ Thompson, Stephen "First Watch: Band Of Horses, Knock Knock" NPR Music - August 24, 2012
  42. ^ "Band Of Horses Release Album 'Acoustic At The Ryman' Out 24th February 2014"
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  62. ^ "Band of Horses – Chart History: Rock Songs". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved April 4, 2013. 
  63. ^ "Funeral – Band of Horses". AllMusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved April 4, 2013. 
  64. ^ "Band Of Horses Announce Single ‘Feud’". DIY. DIY. Retrieved October 18, 2012. 
  65. ^ "SINGLE: Feud // Band of Horses". Hooting and Howling. Hooting and Howling. Retrieved November 21, 2012. 
  66. ^ Dave Gurney, Everything All The Time, Review tinymixtapes - 2006
  67. ^ Thom Jurek, Everything All the Time, Review Allmusic - 2006
  68. ^ "Georgia/No One's Gonna Love You – Band of Horses, Cee Lo Green". AllMusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved April 4, 2013. 

External links[edit]