Band of Horses

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Band of Horses
Band of Horses at the 2006 SXSW festival. From left to right Hampton, Bridwell, Barrett (hidden), Brooke, Arnone.
Band of Horses at the 2006 SXSW festival. From left to right Hampton, Bridwell, Barrett (hidden), Brooke, Arnone.
Background information
OriginSeattle, Washington
(now based in Charleston, South Carolina)
Years active2004–present
SpinoffsGrand Archives
Spinoff ofCarissa's Wierd
MembersBen Bridwell
Ryan Monroe
Creighton Barrett
Matt Gentling
Brett Nash
Past membersSee Band members

Band of Horses is an American rock band formed in 2004 in Seattle, Washington. Led by singer-songwriter Ben Bridwell, who has been the band's sole constant member throughout numerous line-up changes, the band's current line-up also includes longtime members Creighton Barrett (drums) and Ryan Monroe (keyboards, guitar, backing vocals), alongside Matt Gentling (bass, backing vocals) and Brett Nash (guitar, backing vocals).

For ten years, the band's most stable line-up featured guitarist Tyler Ramsey and bassist Bill Reynolds, who recorded and performed with the band between 2007 and 2017, before acrimoniously departing.

To date, the band has released six studio albums: Everything All the Time (2006), Cease to Begin (2007), Infinite Arms (2010), Mirage Rock (2012), Why Are You OK (2016) and Things Are Great (2022), with Infinite Arms being nominated for a Grammy Award in 2011.


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

Ben Bridwell (vocals, guitar) formed Band of Horses, who were originally briefly known as 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).[4] 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.[5] 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.[6] 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."[7]

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."[8] 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.[9] Subsequently, he 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."[10]

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.[11] 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."[12]

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 Asheville, 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.[13] 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.[14] It was voted ninth best album of 2007 by Paste magazine[15] and 47th best by Rolling Stone.[16] The single "No One's Gonna Love You" gave Band of Horses their first European hit single, reaching number 22 in Denmark.[17]

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 performed solo as the opening act before the band play live.[citation needed]

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.[18] Ben Bridwell mentioned that the new album was titled Night Rainbows several times while introducing new songs during the band's summer 2009 tour,[19] but in a March 2, 2010 interview, the band revealed that the album was to be called Infinite Arms.[20] 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.[21] The album was recorded by the 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.[22] 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,[23] 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.[24]

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 said, "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. 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."[25] The cover version Bridwell 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.[25]

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.[26] "Dilly" was released as a single on February 14, 2011, and includes the band's cover version of Cee-Lo Green's "Georgia".[27] The single was a minor hit on the Belgian (Flanders) singles chart.[28] Infinite Arms was nominated for a Grammy Award in the Best Alternative Album category[29] and featured in several end of year "Best Albums of 2010" lists, including Q Magazine (#21),[30] NPR Listeners (#15),[31] Filter Magazine (#10)[32] and Paste Magazine (#14).[33] The song "Laredo" was placed at number 28 in Rolling Stone Magazine's top 50 songs of 2010.[34]

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[35] and their eight Australian concerts in November 2011,[36] but Kings of Leon cancelled their US tour after just 3 shows.[37] In 2012 the band toured for the first time in South America.

Mirage Rock (2012–2013)[edit]

In April 2012, Ben Bridwell said that Band Of Horses' fourth studio album was scheduled for release in late 2012 and would be produced by Glyn Johns.[38] 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.[39] On July 10 the album's title was confirmed as Mirage Rock and the track listing and artwork were revealed. A debut single from the fourth album, "Knock Knock", was released on July 9, 2012[40] and the album was released on September 18.[41] "Knock Knock" and the subsequent single from Mirage Rock, "Slow Cruel Hands of Time", were both minor hits in Belgium.[citation needed]

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."[42]

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 U.S., which commenced on February 11 at the Wilshire Ebell Theatre and concluded on March 5 at The Ryman itself.[43]

Why Are You OK and the departure of Ramsey and Reynolds (2015–2020)[edit]

On July 17, 2015, Ben Bridwell and Sam Beam of Iron and Wine released a covers album titled Sing into My Mouth. The fifth Band of Horses studio album, Why Are You OK is produced by Jason Lytle of the band Grandaddy and was released on June 10, 2016, through Rick Rubin's American Recordings and Interscope Records.[44]

On May 1, 2017, Tyler Ramsey announced his departure from Band of Horses on his personal Instagram account.[45] A day later, Bill Reynolds made a similar announcement via his Facebook page.[46] When touring resumed on May 18 in Tallahassee, Band of Horses was joined by Richard Fitzpatrick on guitar and saw the return of bassist Matt Gentling, who had previously toured with the band prior to the recording of Cease to Begin.[47] Fitzpatrick was subsequently replaced by guitarist Ian MacDougall. In 2022, Bridwell disputed Ramsey's and Reynolds's claims that they quit Band of Horses, saying that they had instead both been fired from the group.[48]

Things Are Great (2021–present)[edit]

On October 12, 2021, Band of Horses issued the single "Crutch" and announced the release of Things Are Great, their first album with Matt Gentling and Ian MacDougall, and sixth overall. Calling it "a return to their earlier work and the kind of raw ethos that lies at the heart of Band of Horses", Things Are Great was released on March 4, 2022.[49] Prior to the album's release, MacDougall exited the band[50] and in late January 2022 was replaced by Brett Nash as lead guitarist.[51]




Studio albums


  1. ^ Ingham, Tim "Band Of Horses to self-release new album through Kobalt Label Services" Music Week December 9, 2013
  2. ^ "Why Are You OK by Band of Horses on iTunes". iTunes Store. United States: Apple Inc. June 10, 2016.
  3. ^ "Band of Horses Announce New Album, Share New Song "Crutch"". Under the Radar. October 12, 2021. Retrieved February 24, 2022.
  4. ^ Tom Scanlon, For Band of Horses, Block Party is just one stop in whirlwind year Archived June 22, 2011, at the Wayback Machine Seattle Times – July 28, 2006
  5. ^ Everything All The Time, Credits Allmusic
  6. ^ Everything All the Time Ultratop entryUltratop
  7. ^ Matt Ryan, Band Of Horses: Confidence Men Magnet – July 23, 2006
  8. ^ Jonny Cazzola, Music: Band of Horses Archived July 19, 2011, at the Wayback Machine Fused Magazine – October 15, 2008
  9. ^ Justin Sheppard, Band of Horses loses Mat Brooke – July 26, 2006
  10. ^ Stephen Seigel, Volume and Vigor Tucson Weekly – June 19, 2008
  11. ^ Band of Horses Interview Mountain 7 Blog – March 14, 2008 (Interview originally published in 2006)
  12. ^ Simon Harper, Band of Horses interview Clash – May 19, 2010
  13. ^ KEXP (October 27, 2007). "Live at CMJ: Band of Horses". KEXP.ORG. KEXP. Archived from the original on October 4, 2011. Retrieved September 5, 2012.
  14. ^ Cease to Begin Ultratop entryUltratop
  15. ^ Signs of Life 2007 : Best Music Paste, Issue 38 – December 2007
  16. ^ Stereogum (December 17, 2007). "Guide To The Misguided: Rolling Stone's Top Albums Of '07 List". Stereogum. BUZZMEDIA. Retrieved September 5, 2012.
  17. ^ "Discography Band Of Horses". Hung Medien. Retrieved April 4, 2013.
  18. ^ Bob Noble, Phil Ek Interview Archived July 19, 2011, at the Wayback Machine HitQuarters – May 25, 2009
  19. ^ Jessica Dean, Band of Horses tramples Charlotte, NC (6/17)[permanent dead link] Consequence of Sound – June 20, 2009
  20. ^ Amy Phillips, Band of Horses Announce New Album Pitchfork Media – March 2, 2010
  21. ^ 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 Archived April 6, 2010, at the Wayback Machine)
  22. ^ Peak chart positions for albums in the United Kingdom:
  23. ^ "Band of Horses – Awards". AllMusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved April 8, 2013.
  24. ^ Tom Breihan, Eclipse Soundtrack Gets Vampire Weekend, Beck/Bat for Lashes Duet Archived August 24, 2011, at the Wayback Machine Pitchfork – May 12, 2010
  25. ^ a b Max, "Band of Horses Cover Cee Lo Green" – October 7, 2010
  26. ^ Glassman, Emily "WORLD PREMIERE OF BAND OF HORSES MUSIC VIDEO EXCLUSIVELY ON IMDb" Archived March 15, 2016, at the Wayback Machine IMDb (Press Room) – November 16, 2010
  27. ^ Stickler, John "Band Of Horses Reveal Details Of New Single Dilly" Stereoboard – January 10, 2011
  28. ^ "Band of Horses – Dilly" Ultratop
  29. ^ "53rd Annual Grammy Awards nominees list" Los Angeles Times
  30. ^ "Q's Top 50 Albums of 2010" Sputnikmusic – November 25, 2010
  31. ^ Schlansky, Evan "Arcade Fire Tops NPR Listeners' Best Albums Of 2010 List" American Songwriter – December 15, 2010
  32. ^ "FILTER's Top 10 of 2010: Staff Picks" Archived December 22, 2010, at the Wayback Machine Filter – December 1, 2010
  33. ^ Jackson, Josh "The 50 Best Albums of 2010" Archived February 19, 2011, at the Wayback Machine Paste – December 1, 2010
  34. ^ "Rolling Stone – 50 Best Songs of 2010" Archived October 6, 2011, at the Wayback Machine – December 18, 2010
  35. ^ Jones, Anthony "Kings Of Leon Announce US Summer Tour Dates" All Headline News – April 25, 2011
  36. ^ Tracey, "Band Of Horses to support Kings Of Leon in Oz" Archived March 24, 2012, at the Wayback Machine Vox magazine- May 23, 2011
  37. ^ Michaels, Sean "Kings of Leon cancel US tour due to exhaustion" – August 2, 2011
  38. ^ Blanton, Kristen "Watch Band of Horses Perform New Track Long Vows" Paste – April 18, 2012
  39. ^ Nelson, Michael Preview Band Of Horses "Dumpster World" Stereogum – June 22, 2012
  40. ^ Evan Minsker; Amy Phillips (July 9, 2012). "Band of Horses Announce New Album, Mirage Rock, Share New Track and Video". Pitchfork. Pitchfork Media Inc. Retrieved September 5, 2012.
  41. ^ Kane, Tyler "Band of Horses announce new album Mirage Rock" Archived July 13, 2012, at the Wayback Machine Paste Magazine – July 10, 2012
  42. ^ Thompson, Stephen "First Watch: Band Of Horses, Knock Knock" NPR Music – August 24, 2012
  43. ^ "Band Of Horses Release Album 'Acoustic At The Ryman' Out 24th February 2014"
  44. ^ "TMRW: Band of Horses talk new album, veganism and doing the carpool run with the kids". May 17, 2016. Archived from the original on June 11, 2016. Retrieved June 10, 2016.
  45. ^ Ramsey, Tyler (May 1, 2017). "Saying farewell after 10 years to the band of horses". Instagram. Archived from the original on December 23, 2021. Retrieved May 2, 2017.
  46. ^ Reynolds, Bill (May 2, 2017). "I'd like to thank all the beautiful folks I have met out there on the road with Band of Horses". Facebook. Retrieved May 2, 2017.
  47. ^ @bandofhorses_fans (May 18, 2017). "bassist (Matt Gentling) and guitarist (Richard Kirkpatrick)". Instagram. Archived from the original on December 23, 2021. Retrieved May 19, 2017.
  48. ^ Kaye, Ben (March 3, 2022). "Band of Horses' Ben Bridwell Isn't Convinced Things Are Great, But He's Trying". Consequence. Retrieved March 10, 2022.
  49. ^ Arnone, Joey (December 14, 2021). "Band of Horses Announce New Album Release Date, Share Video for "In Need of Repair"". Under the Radar.
  50. ^ Kaye, Ben (March 3, 2022). "Band of Horses' Ben Bridwell Isn't Convinced Things Are Great, But He's Trying". Consequence. Retrieved March 8, 2022.
  51. ^ Clarey, David (March 1, 2022). "Charleston's Band of Horses playing on 'The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon'". Post and Courier. Retrieved March 8, 2022.

External links[edit]