We Were Promised Jetpacks

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We Were Promised Jetpacks
Immergut Bands-We Were Promised Jetpacks235.jpg
We Were Promised Jetpacks performing at Immergut Festival 2013 (Germany)
Background information
OriginEdinburgh, Scotland
GenresIndie rock, post-punk revival
Years active2003–present
LabelsFat Cat Records, Big Scary Monsters
Associated actsFrightened Rabbit
MembersAdam John Thompson
Sean Charles Smith
Darren Kenneth Lackie
Past membersStuart Michael McGachan
Michael Palmer

We Were Promised Jetpacks are a Scottish indie rock band from Edinburgh, formed in 2003. The band consists of Adam Thompson (vocals, guitar), Sean Smith (bass), and Darren Lackie (drums). Stuart McGachan (keyboards, guitar) was a member of the band from 2012 to 2015. On 2 July 2019 Michael Palmer (guitar) announced that he was leaving the band.

The band's debut album, These Four Walls, was released on 15 June 2009 on Fat Cat Records. In October 2011 the band released their second full-length album, In the Pit of the Stomach. They released E Rey: Live in Philadelphia, a recording of the last show of their 2012 tour, in February 2014.[1] The band's third album, Unravelling, was released in October 2014.

In March 2018 the band began recording their fourth album.[2][3] The album, titled The More I Sleep The Less I Dream, was released on 14 September 2018.

The band has cited label mates Frightened Rabbit and The Twilight Sad as influences, alongside Biffy Clyro's early material.[4][5]

Thompson also cited Scotland itself as a major influence on their music: "It's rainy and miserable in Scotland and there are lots of angry people. In a way, that's a big part of why our music sounds the way it does. It's music that sounds sort of like that".[6]



We Were Promised Jetpacks formed in Edinburgh, in 2003. The band played their first gig at their school's "battle of the bands" competition, which they won. The four-piece eventually relocated to Glasgow:

"There was a time when we first moved to Glasgow (we grew up and went to school in Edinburgh, then three of us moved to Glasgow and one of us to Stirling) and started playing proper gigs in proper venues. Playing in Edinburgh before was weird as we were underage, so ended up playing some odd nights. Which was cool, but when we moved to Glasgow we were of drinking age and we started playing places like Sleazy's and whatnot. We felt like a proper band."[7]

In September 2008, the band supported Frightened Rabbit during their tour for The Midnight Organ Fight. The band signed to Fat Cat Records after the label listened to some tracks on their MySpace following a recommendation from future label mates Frightened Rabbit.[8][9]

These Four Walls[edit]

On 15 June 2009 the band released their debut album, These Four Walls, and performed the album in full at King Tut's Wah Wah Hut. The album reached No. 27 on the US Billboard Heatseekers chart.[10] Between late 2009 and early 2010, the band toured America, with support from Cincinnati-based band Bad Veins. Their early 2010 tour also included support from Brooklyn-based band Bear Hands and Washington natives The Lonely Forest. In March 2010, the band released a new EP, entitled The Last Place You'll Look. In October 2010 the band toured in North America to open for Jimmy Eat World. On 15 October 2010, their song "Quiet Little Voices" was featured on the Persian-language political satire show, Parazit, on Voice of America[11] and their song "An Almighty Thud" was featured in the opening sequence in Sons of Anarchy episode, "Turas", on 2 November 2010. On 7 December 2010, the single "It's Thunder and It's Lightning" from the album These Four Walls was played on season 8, episode 11, "Darkness on the Edge of Town" of the CW network's successful television series, One Tree Hill, and on season 1, episode 8 of the Showtime series, "Shameless". Their song "Quiet Little Voices" is also featured in the 2011 comedy Hall Pass[12] with Owen Wilson, as well as on a fictional radio station in The Crew (video game). The band recorded four of the album's tracks ("Roll Up Your Sleeves", "This Is My House, This Is My Home", "An Almighty Thud", and "Ships With Holes Will Sink") for a 30 June 2010 Daytrotter session. The track "Keeping Warm" was also featured in the trailer for the 2013 coming-of-age comedy-drama, The Kings of Summer.

In the Pit of the Stomach[edit]

We Were Promised Jetpacks performing in Dundee in May 2012.

In July 2011, the band announced their second album, In the Pit of the Stomach, and released the track, "Act on Impulse". The album was released on 4 October 2011. It was met with general approval from music critics, and achieved an overall rating of 7.3/10 at[13] AnyDecentMusic? based on 23 reviews.


The third album, Unravelling, was released on the 6 October 2014 in the UK and 14 October in the US. The album was 11 tracks long with a combined length of roughly 48 minutes. The album was recorded and mixed at Chem19 Studios in Glasgow, Scotland.[14]

The More I Sleep The Less I Dream[edit]

After the band revealed that they changed labels to Big Scary Monsters, they announced their fourth album, and it was released on 14 September 2018. As the members matured, the band collectively feared losing the playfulness that made them indie rock critic's favorites.[15] Instead of fighting that dread, the band channeled it into the most refined, mature record to date. The band members have been playing together since their teenage years, and were all turning 30 which influenced the process and sound of the music.[15] The album was recorded in early 2018 with producer Jonathan Low (The National, Sufjan Stevens, Kurt Vile, the War on Drugs) at Minor Street in Philadelphia and Long Pond in New York's Hudson Valley. Prior to that it took them a while to write the right songs, as they essentially wrote an album and decided they didn't like any of it; threw the material away to make the album that was released.[16]. The band's official press release on the album describes the album as: "The More I Sleep The Less I Dream marks a new chapter in We Were Promised Jetpacks' career. It's about going back to the heart of who they are, a high school band that never stopped. It's about four people who have grown up together, making a conscious choice to keep writing music and seeing where that takes them".


Studio albums[edit]

Title Album details Peak chart positions
US Heat
US Indie
These Four Walls
  • Released: 15 June 2009
  • Label: Fat Cat
In the Pit of the Stomach
  • Released: 4 October 2011
  • Label: Fat Cat
25 167 153 5 24
  • Released: 6 October 2014
  • Label: Fat Cat
45 8 48
The More I Sleep the Less I Dream
  • Released: 14 September 2018[20]
  • Label: Big Scary Monsters
"—" denotes album that did not chart or was not released



  • "Quiet Little Voices" / "Let's Call This a Map" (May 2009)
  • "Roll Up Your Sleeves" / "Back to the Bare Bones" (June 2009)
  • "It's Thunder and It's Lightning" / "Ships With Holes Will Sink" (November 2009)
  • "Medicine" / "Building Buildings" (September 2011)
  • "Human Error" / "Ink Slowly Dries" (December 2011)


  1. ^ "We Were Promised Jetpacks Tease 'E Rey' Live Album With Fuzzy Trailer". SPIN. Retrieved 3 January 2015.
  2. ^ "Talking Music and Miscellany with We Were Promised Jetpacks [INTERVIEW]". Bowery Boogie. Retrieved 7 March 2018.
  3. ^ "We Were Promised Jetpacks Announce New Album". We Were Promised Jetpacks Official Facebook Page. Retrieved 7 March 2018.
  4. ^ John Siwicki. "We Were Promised Jetpacks". ComfortComes. Retrieved 12 November 2013.
  5. ^ Grabow, Henning. "Interview: We Were Promised Jetpacks – "We won every tournament we went in for!"". NBHAP. Retrieved 24 June 2013.
  6. ^ "Interview HN". hearnebraska.org. Hear Nebraska.
  7. ^ Hughes, Rich (13 April 2009). "Introducing: We Were Promised Jetpacks". The Line of Best Fit. Retrieved 12 November 2013.
  8. ^ "Fatcat Records | Home". Fat-cat.co.uk. Retrieved 12 November 2013.
  9. ^ "Interview: We Were Promised Jetpacks rocket on". The Scotsman. 25 December 2009. Retrieved 11 November 2018.
  10. ^ Heather Phares. "We Were Promised Jetpacks - Awards - AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved 3 January 2015.
  11. ^ "Parazit 25-part 1 Oct 15 (season two)". YouTube. 25 December 2009. Retrieved 12 November 2013.
  12. ^ "Hall Pass (2011)". IMDb.com. Retrieved 3 January 2015.
  13. ^ "Reviews of in the Pit of the Stomach". Anydecentmusic.com. Retrieved 19 October 2011.
  14. ^ "We Were Promised Jetpacks". Wewerepromisedjetpacks.com. Retrieved 3 January 2015.
  15. ^ a b "'The More I Sleep The Less I Dream' - We Were Promised Jetpack unravel ambitious new LP". 19 July 2018.
  16. ^ "We Were Promised Jetpacks Announce First New Album in Four Years, Share "Hanging In"". www.undertheradarmag.com.
  17. ^ Peaks in Scotland:
  18. ^ "Chart Log UK - 2011".
  19. ^ a b c "We Were Promised Jetpacks - Billboard".
  20. ^ "The More I Sleep the Less I Dream by We Were Promised Jetpacks". Itunes.apple.com. Retrieved 2 September 2018.

External links[edit]