The Thermals

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The Thermals
The Thermals current line-up (left to right): Westin Glass, Kathy Foster and Hutch Harris
The Thermals current line-up (left to right): Westin Glass, Kathy Foster and Hutch Harris
Background information
OriginPortland, Oregon, United States
GenresIndie rock, lo-fi, punk rock
Years active2002–2018
LabelsKill Rock Stars, Saddle Creek, Sub Pop
Associated actsHutch & Kathy, All Girl Summer Fun Band, Forbidden Friends
Past membersHutch Harris
Kathy Foster
Westin Glass
Jordan Hudson
Ben Barnett
Caitlin Love
Lorin Coleman
Joel Burrows
The Thermals in 2009 at a rock festival in Germany

The Thermals were an American indie rock band based in Portland, Oregon, United States. The group was formed in 2002. With influences heavily rooted in both lo-fi, as well as standard rock, the band's songs were also known for their political and religious imagery.[1]


The Thermals came together in 2002 with Hutch Harris and Kathy Foster, former band mates, and most notably in the folk duo Hutch & Kathy. Their first album, More Parts per Million, was released in 2003 by Sub Pop Records. The album was recorded and performed entirely by Hutch Harris, who played every instrument. The first live line-up was Harris with Kathy Foster on bass, Jordan Hudson (also of M. Ward and The operacycle) on drums and Ben Barnett on guitar [2] Their follow-up album Fuckin A was mixed by Death Cab For Cutie member Chris Walla.[3] During that period Ben Barnett left the band and Hutch Harris took over the role as guitarist.

Their third album The Body, The Blood, The Machine won the group much recognition and acclaim, appearing on multiple top album lists for 2006 such as NPR, The AV Club and Pitchfork.[4] Jordan Hudson dropped out of the band during the recording of their third album. Kathy Foster took over percussion duties in the recording studio, which Lorin Coleman performed on tour. The album was[5] produced by Brendan Canty of Fugazi.[5]

The Thermals' fourth album Now We Can See, was released on the label Kill Rock Stars and produced by John Congleton. Again, Foster worked as the percussionist on the album. Westin Glass joined the group as a drummer after the album was finished and is the current percussionist.

The Thermals fifth album, Personal Life was released September 7, 2010.

The Thermals' cover of the song "Little Boxes" was used as the opening song for Weeds season 8 episode 8, "Five Miles From Yetzer Hara" which aired on August 19, 2012, their song "Here's Your Future" from "The Body, The Blood, The Machine" having been previously used in the second episode of the third season ("A Pool and his Money" August 20, 2007).

In October 2012, former guitarist Joel Burrows died from complications from a car accident.[6]

On January 31, 2013, The Thermals signed to Saddle Creek Records and planned to release their new album Desperate Ground on April 16, 2013.[7][8] In March 2013, The Thermals were named one of Fuse TV's 30 must-see artists at SXSW.[9]

On January 6, 2016, The Thermals announced the release of a new studio album titled We Disappear. It was released on March 25, 2016 via Saddle Creek records.[10]

On April 9, 2018, the band announced[11] that they were officially disbanding after 16 years.

Band members[edit]

Final Lineup[edit]

  • Hutch Harris - vocals, guitar (2002–2018)
  • Kathy Foster - bass, vocals (2002–2018)
  • Westin Glass - drums, vocals (2008–2018)

Former members[edit]

  • Jordan Hudson - drums (2002–2005)
  • Ben Barnett - guitar (2002–2003)
  • Caitlin Love - drums (2006)
  • Lorin Coleman - drums (2007–2008)
  • Joel Burrows - guitar (2007)



Studio albums[edit]

Title Album details Peak chart positions
US Heat
US Indie
More Parts per Million
  • Released: March 4, 2003
  • Label: Sub Pop
Fuckin A
  • Released: May 18, 2004
  • Label: Sub Pop
The Body, the Blood, the Machine
  • Released: August 22, 2006
  • Label: Sub Pop
Now We Can See 191 5 20
Personal Life
  • Released: September 7, 2010
  • Label: Kill Rock Stars
180 1 30
Desperate Ground 1 39
We Disappear
  • Released: March 25, 2016
  • Label: Saddle Creek
11 36
"—" denotes album that did not chart or was not released

Singles and EPs[edit]

Year Title UK

2003 "No Culture Icons" Sub Pop
2004 "How We Know" Sub Pop
2007 "A Pillar of Salt" Sub Pop
2008 "Returning to the Fold" Sub Pop
2009 "When I Died / Thao & The Get Down Stay Down" Kill Rock Stars
2009 "Now We Can See" Kill Rock Stars
2009 "We Were Sick" Kill Rock Stars
2010 "Canada" Kill Rock Stars
2010 "Separate / So Hot Now" Kill Rock Stars
2010 "I Don't Believe You" Kill Rock Stars
2010 "Never Listen To Me" 84 Kill Rock Stars
2011 "Not Like Any Other Feeling" Kill Rock Stars
2013 "Born To Kill" Saddle Creek
2013 "Desperate Ground Demos" Saddle Creek
2016 "Hey You" Saddle Creek
2016 "My Heart Went Cold" Saddle Creek

Live albums[edit]

Year Title Label
2007 Insound Tour Support 2.0 Insound
2008 LIVE at the Echoplex - December 7, 2007 Kufala Recordings


Year Title Label
2003 The Wonder of the Underground Pressed On Plastic, Vol. 1 Meow Meow
2004 Sub Pop: Patient Zero Sub Pop
2006 To Elliott: From Portland Expunged Records
2006 Terminal Sales Vol. 2: This Delicious Sub Pop
2007 Bridging the Distance: a Portland, OR covers compilation Arena Rock Recording Co.


  1. ^ "The Thermals Interview". Archived from the original on 2012-06-07. Retrieved 2013-05-12.
  2. ^ "More Parts Per Million". Retrieved 2013-05-12.
  3. ^ "Fuckin A info". Retrieved 2013-05-12.
  4. ^ "Thermals Award info". Archived from the original on 2013-05-14. Retrieved 2013-05-12.
  5. ^ a b "Thermals Interview". Retrieved 2013-05-12.
  6. ^ Lannamann, Ned (2012-10-29). "Goodbye, Joel Burrows of the Minders and the Thermals | End Hits". Retrieved 2013-05-12.
  7. ^ Minsker, Evan. "Thermals Detail New LP, Sign to Saddle Creek". Pitchfork. Retrieved 1 February 2013.
  8. ^ Thomas, Fred (2013-04-15). "Desperate Ground - The Thermals : Songs, Reviews, Credits, Awards". AllMusic. Retrieved 2013-05-12.
  9. ^ "30 Must-See Acts at SXSW 2013 - Photos - South by Southwest - Festivals - Fuse". 2013-02-28. Retrieved 2013-05-12.
  10. ^ Minsker, Evan. "The Thermals Announce New Album We Disappear, Share "Hey You"". Pitchfork. Retrieved 24 February 2016.
  11. ^ "The Thermals Twitter ನಲ್ಲಿ: "We are officially disbanding! After 15 years and 7 records, we feel our band has reached far beyond our initial expectations and goals, and are stepping away from it while we still cherish it."". 9 April 2018. Archived from the original on 2018-04-09. Retrieved 23 September 2020.
  12. ^ "The Thermals - Billboard".
  13. ^ "The Thermals - Billboard Heatseekers".
  14. ^ "The Thermals - Billboard Independent".
  15. ^ Peaks in UK Physical Singles Chart:

External links[edit]