The Envy Corps

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The Envy Corps
Origin Ames, Iowa, U.S.
Genres alternative rock, indie rock, experimental rock
Years active 2001 (2001)–present
Labels Vertigo, Tempo Club
Associated acts To My Surprise, Canby, Teenage Attorney
Members Brandon Darner
Micah Natera
Luke Pettipoole
Scott Yoshimura
Past members Peter Bovenmeyer
Derek Powers
David Yoshimura

The Envy Corps are an American alternative rock band from Ames, Iowa. The band is known for their atmospheric-meets-pop sound, attracting comparisons to Radiohead, Doves, New Order, Dinosaur Jr., and Modest Mouse. Its members are Brandon Darner (guitar), Micah Natera (keyboards, guitar), Luke Pettipoole (vocals, guitar, piano) and Scott Yoshimura (drums).

In a review of their critically acclaimed 2011 release It Culls You, Christina Smart of called the Envy Corps "the best band you've never heard of." [1]


Formation and Soviet Reunion (2001-2004)[edit]

The Envy Corps were formed in October 2001 by Luke Pettipoole, and originally included members Derek Powers on drums, Peter Bovenmyer on bass, and David Yoshimura on guitar. In 2003, the original rhythm section departed and were replaced by temporary members, while Yoshimura assumed drumming duties. This lineup proved short lived, and Powers and Bovenmyer eventually resumed their original posts, helping Pettipoole and Yoshimura place finishing touches on the band's debut album. In late 2004, after the release of the now rare Soviet Reunion, the band was divided again. Soon thereafter Yoshimura's brother Scott took position behind the drumkit and former To My Surprise frontman Brandon Darner was conscripted as the new lead guitarist.

Dwell (2005-2009)[edit]

The band spent 2005 working feverishly on the first fruits of the new lineup. I Will Write You Love Letters If You Tell Me To EP was self-released in April 2006. The album garnered them increased attention and an extended stay on the CMJ Top 200 chart, as well as an opening slot for The Killers on their fall US tour. Based on the success of the EP, the band signed with the Mercury Records imprint Vertigo. In March 2007, the Story Problem EP was released on iTunes and double 7" in the UK, culling four tracks from Love Letters and serving as a teaser for the upcoming album. The band spent several months in 2007 working on their major label debut, Dwell, at a studio - Sound Farm Studio & Recording Environment - tucked away in the remote farmland of their home state, choosing then to mix the record in the London borough of Brixton.

Dwell was originally slated for release during the Fall of 2007, but the onstage stroke of guitarist Darner at a London club show in August delayed the album. Within two weeks Darner rejoined his comrades on their UK tour with Editors, but immediately thereafter the band retreated to Iowa to allow Darner to further recover. At the end of 2007, bassist David Yoshimura left the band and moved to Japan. Dwell was eventually released in the UK on April 28, 2008, and digitally in the US on July 8, 2008.

The song "Story Problem" was featured on the soundtrack of the British romantic comedy film Run, Fatboy, Run starring Simon Pegg.[2]

Kid Gloves EP and It Culls You (2009- )[edit]

The Envy Corps ended their relationship with Vertigo Records in late 2008, and soon thereafter added live guitarist/keyboardist Micah Natera as a permanent member. In February and March 2009, the band recorded material for a new EP entitled Kid Gloves, which was released June 9 and included the single "Screen Test". In June 2010, the band began pre-production on their proper follow up. Sessions with Omaha engineer A. J. Mogis at ARC Studios resulted in a full length entitled It Culls You, which features new songs such as "Make It Stop", "Ms. Hospital Corners", "Fools (How I Survived You & Even Laughed)" and "Give It All Up".

The band's music was featured on Entourage in July 2010.

In October 2011, The Envy Corps began streaming It Culls You, the much-anticipated follow-up to 2008's Dwell, from their website. The digital release was without much fanfare: in an interview, guitarist Brandon Darner said that he was acutely conscious of "PR schemes" that generate "artificial excitement," and he wanted fans to discover the record on their own time and "let it sink in for a while."[3]

Upon its physical release, the album was a critical success. While a few critics disparaged the album for being "forgettable,"[4] many critics have praised the album for its sonic ingenuity and commended the band for "[perfecting] the melodic rock they are best known for." Mike Antonich noted that the album warrants repeated listens, writing that the album's "brilliance has only grown with each repeated play."[5] Likewise, Joel Frieders called the album "gorgeous" named it one of his top 10 albums of 2011.[6] Moreover, expressing a nearly ubiquitous critical sentiment, Christina Smart wrote that the album "deserves to be on everyone's [top 10] list."

The band took part in the inaugural Hinterland Music Festival on July 31, 2015 in central Iowa.[7] On May 28, 2017 the band officially announced through their Facebook page that they have begun working on new music.[8]




  • Humble Hero/Lurking In the Shadows (2002, Bi-Fi Records)
  • Gregory Rumes (2003, Bi-Fi Records)
  • I Will Write You Love Letters If You Tell Me To (2006, self-released)
  • Story Problem (2007, Vertigo Records)
  • Kid Gloves (2009, Tempo Club)


  • "Wires & Wool" (2007, Vertigo Records)
  • "Rhinemaidens" (2007, Vertigo Records)
  • "Story Problem" (2008, Vertigo Records)


Unreleased songs[edit]

  • "Yellow Streak" (2011)


  1. ^ Smart, Christina. "Album Review: The Envy Corps - It Culls You."
  2. ^ Run, Fatboy, Run (2007), retrieved 2017-11-03 
  3. ^ Lawler, Joe. Des Moines Metromix. "Q&A with The Envy Corps' Brandon Darner.
  4. ^ Carter, David. Pop 'Stache. "The Envy Corps - It Culls You."
  5. ^ Antonich, Mike. Now It's On. "Album Review: The Envy Corps 'It Culls You.'"
  6. ^ Frieders, Joel. Syffal. "The Envy Corps - It Culls You - Album Review."
  7. ^ "The Envy Corps on Hinterland and its new album | Cityview". Retrieved 2015-09-05. 
  8. ^ "The Envy Corps". Retrieved 2017-11-03. 

External links[edit]