Half Alive (band)

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Half Alive in a 2018 photoshoot
Half Alive in a 2018 photoshoot
Background information
OriginLong Beach, California, U.S.
Years active2016–present
  • Josh Taylor
  • Brett Kramer
  • J. Tyler Johnson

Half Alive (stylized as half•alive or h•a)[1] is an American band from Long Beach, California.[2] The band was formed in 2016 and consists of lead singer Josh Taylor, drummer Brett Kramer and bassist J. Tyler Johnson. The trio are best known for their single "Still Feel" and its choreographed music video. Their first EP, 3, was released in 2017,[3] while their debut studio album, Now, Not Yet, was released on August 9, 2019.


2016–2017: Formation and debut EP[edit]

Josh Taylor had previously been lead singer for "The Moderates", a band from Long Beach, California. The band released their debut EP Colour in 2013.[4] In November 2015, Taylor announced that he had embarked on a seven-month songwriting program several months prior during which he hoped to write 50 songs,[5] a project that would eventually end on December 30.[6] Brett Kramer, who Taylor knew as they attended the same non-denominational church, joined him on the project. The duo decided to form a band in 2016[7][8] while "watching the songs evolve as [they] were working together."[9][10][11]

It was announced that The Moderates had disbanded in on April 10, 2017, due to other commitments, but that an EP as well as a new music video would be released by Taylor's new band, "Half Alive".[12] The band's first single, "The Fall", was released on April 24 of that year alongside its music video.[13] Their debut EP, 3, was released on the same day.[14] It was recorded with the help of James Krausse inside a helicopter hangar in the Mojave Desert which had been converted to a recording studio.[15] A behind the scenes video for "The Fall" was uploaded onto the band's YouTube channel in July.[16] "Aawake at Night", the second single from the EP, was released on November 6.[17] The three songs from the EP collectively amassed 4 million streams on Spotify in July 2018 and currently have over 6 million as of November 2018.[18][19] Soon after the EP's release, the duo added a new member to their band, bassist J. Tyler Johnson, who Kramer met while performing at various music festivals at university, and together entered and won a jazz competition with during this time, while Johnson had been introduced to Taylor through the former's brother. This was done to avoid using computer-generated sounds in their songs and live performances in favor of live instruments.[20]

2018–2020: Success with "Still Feel", major label signing and Now, Not Yet[edit]

On August 3, 2018, the band released a single called "Still Feel", accompanied by a music video filmed at Popsicle LA.[21] The video attracted attention for its choreography and cinematography, done by lead singer Josh Taylor and JA Collective,[22] and received positive reviews from publications including Alternative Press and Rock Sound, the former calling the cinematography "first-class" and the latter calling the band "so multi-talented".[23][24] NPR also featured the track on "All Songs Considered" playlist and directed praise at its music video,[22] while Triple J placed it on their "Best New Music" list, expressing similar sentiments.[25] Thanks to the attention received by the track, the band signed a record deal with RCA Records soon after.[26] The band subsequently performed their first live show in October 2018 at the Moroccan Lounge in Los Angeles.[27] They embarked on their first tour from January to February 2019, taking place in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom.[28][29] Soon after the release of "Still Feel", the band disclosed that they were recording two new songs that they had previously performed live, but declined to reveal when they would be released.[9]

On January 18, 2019, the band released the single "Arrow" and a music video premiered later that day.[30][31] Time named it one of the best songs of the week, writing that "the song is filled with small surprises, like mini drum breaks and a groovy synth sequence that break it up into an unexpected composition that pulses with fresh energy."[32] After the release of the single, the band disclosed to Rock Sound that they were working "on a larger body of work but keeping it discreet and mysterious."[33] The following month, the band's track "Still Feel" entered the Hot Rock Songs and Alternative Songs[34] chart in the United States and eventually peaked at number 26 on the former[35] and number 21 on the latter.[36] On March 14, the band made their late-night television debut as they played the track on Jimmy Kimmel Live!. The performance was well received by Billboard, calling it "spectacularly orchestrated," and Rolling Stone, who deemed it "cleverly choreographed."[37][38] The band then announced a world tour taking place from June to November in Australia, North America and Europe.[37]

On April 25, the trio announced on social media that they would be releasing all of their released material on a vinyl record named *7, which also includes an intro track and an unreleased song named "Runaway".[39] On June 13, the band released the track "Runaway" as a single alongside a heavily choreographed music video, simultaneously announcing that their debut studio album, Now, Not Yet, would be released on August 9.[40] They performed the track live for Vevo's DSCVR series alongside "Arrow" and incorporated various dance interludes from their music videos in the renditions.[41] The album's fourth single, "Pure Gold", which was produced by Ariel Rechtshaid, was released on July 19 alongside a "colorful and jubilant" visual.[42][43] A fifth single titled "OK OK?" was premiered on July 31 at 10 AM PST on Zane Lowe's Beats 1 show as that day's "World Record".[44][45] A music video for the song also shared that day.[46][47]

The band released an EP titled "In Florescence" on May 1, 2020, which features orchestral reimaginings of four songs off Now, Not Yet.[48] The EP was accompanied by a documentary titled "Now, Not Yet: in Florescence" that was released on Youtube on May 4.[49]

2021-present: Upcoming second album[edit]

On March 10, 2021, the band announced that they will be performing at the 2021 Life Is Beautiful Music & Art Festival in September of that year.[50] On March 24, they announced the release of a new single titled "What's Wrong",[51] which was released the following week on March 31 alongside a music video.[52] They further confirmed that it would serve as the first single from their upcoming second album.[53]

Musical style and influences[edit]

The band's musical style has been described as indie pop,[54] pop,[38] alternative rock,[37] dance-pop, electronic rock and electropop,[7] and further incorporates elements of R&B, funk and soul.[26] The band have explained that they enjoy experimenting with numerous genres as well as sounds from 1960's, 70's and contemporary music.[55] They have cited film and psychology, specifically Jungian and Freudian concepts from which the band's name derives, as some of their influences, in addition to the work of Sufjan Stevens, Vulfpeck, Christine and the Queens, Kimbra, Emily King, Chance the Rapper, Tyler, the Creator and Twenty One Pilots,[54][55] and incorporate themes of anxiety and religion in their songs.[56][57] Taylor, in an interview with NBHAP, illustrated that while songwriting he aims to hit the "sweet spot" between "abstract" and "relatable" lyrics in order to allow listeners to interpret them in their own way.[58]

Band members[edit]

  • Josh Taylor – lead vocals (2016–present)
  • Brett Kramer – drums (2016–present)
  • J. Tyler Johnson – bass guitar (2017–present)


Studio albums[edit]

List of studio albums, with selected chart positions
Title Details Peak chart positions


Now, Not Yet 15 46

Compilation albums[edit]

Title Details
  • Released: May 17, 2019
  • Label: RCA
  • Format: 12″

Extended plays[edit]

Title Details
  • Released: April 24, 2017
  • Label: Self-released
  • Format: Digital download
In Florescence
  • Released: May 1, 2020
  • Label: RCA
  • Format: Digital download


Title Year Peak chart positions Certifications Album


"The Fall" 2017 3
"Aawake at Night"
"Still Feel" 2018 7 21 Now, Not Yet
"Arrow" 2019
"Runaway" 29
"Pure Gold"
"OK OK?"
"What's Wrong" 2021 26 [b] TBA


  1. ^ 3 is recognised as a single by iTunes, but promoted as an EP by the band[14][65]
  2. ^ "What's Wrong" did not enter the Rock Songs chart, but peaked at number 38 on the Rock Airplay chart.[68]


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  4. ^ "Colour (EP) by The Moderates". iTunes Store. Retrieved March 17, 2019.
  5. ^ 50 Songs in 7 Months on YouTube
  6. ^ 7 months of my life in 5 minutes on YouTube
  7. ^ a b Monger, James Christopher. "Half Alive Artist Biography by James Christopher Monger". AllMusic. Retrieved June 13, 2019.
  8. ^ "half•alive - New Music, Playlists & Latest News - BBC Music". BBC. Retrieved June 13, 2019.
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  36. ^ a b "half alive Chart History: Alternative Songs". Billboard. Retrieved January 24, 2020. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
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  38. ^ a b Blistein, Jon (March 15, 2019). "Watch Half Alive's Mesmeric Late-Night Debut on 'Kimmel'". Rolling Stone. Retrieved March 17, 2019.
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  42. ^ Ryan, Gavin (July 18, 2019). "New Music Releases for 19 July 2019". Noise11. Retrieved July 18, 2019.
  43. ^ Shaffer, Claire (July 19, 2019). "Half Alive Release Jubilant New Track 'Pure Gold'". Rolling Stone. Retrieved July 20, 2019.
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  45. ^ "Beats 1 on Twitter: 'Another #WorldRecord incoming...'". Retrieved August 1, 2019 – via Twitter.
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  64. ^ "Now, Not Yet Cassette (Limited to 100) - half•alive". Retrieved August 17, 2019 – via Half Alive's web store.
  65. ^ "half•alive on Twitter: 'our debut EP - 3 is now available on Spotify / iTunes / Apple Music.'". November 14, 2017. Retrieved December 7, 2018 – via Twitter.
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