Buttercup, a life-affirming art-rock band from Texas, has written hundreds of original songs that NPR calls “jangly art rock for the left side of the brain.” Since 2004, the band has released 7 full length recordings and a DVD documentary. They have toured the US, and have shared the stage with Jonathan Richman, Elliott Smith, Rhett Miller (the Old 97s), Ian Moore, Jad Fair, The Apples in Stereo, Salim Nourallah, and Willie Nelson.
Buttercup is a trio of distinct personalities: singer Erik Sanden, guitarist Joe Reyes and bassist odie. The three joined forces in 2003 and have remained the best of friends. In this way, Buttercup is a real band, like U2 or the Osmonds, with long term membership (original members) and a large body of work. Erik Sanden functions largely as a frontman: he is terribly handsome, nigh-literate and his humor tends towards the absurd. Joe Reyes is famous for his unwavering smile, generous nature and, oh yeah, for his Grammy. Odie, a Texas treasure, brings unconventional voicings, deep sartorial sense, and rock-and-roll-animal power both to the bass and to his cooking (he has been known to craft high quality sandwiches on stage).
Buttercup’s live show blends visual art, performance art and installation. For example, the band often takes “phone calls” from a red rotary phone that has been rigged to function as a microphone. These conversations heighten the drama and narrative already wound into the show. The band once staged a live talk show with celebrity guests and comedic interviews. That night Sanden handled a snake on stage. On three separate occasions Buttercup delivered a signature piece, Audience of One, where individual audience members were led into a back room (all by their lonesome) and therapeutically prescribed songs depending on their specific musical needs. These unusual shows lead their fan base, affectionately called the “Buttercult”, to expect the unexpected.
The band has most recently recorded a full-length record of what Tiny Mix Tapes calls “minimalist pop” with producer Danny Reisch, scheduled for release in 2016. Their side project, Demitasse, was recently picked by NPR as one of the top bands to see at SXSW in 2015 and their song “Comfy Coffins” was featured on All Songs Considered. Currently, Buttercup is already deep into the recording of yet another record, Battle of Flowers, of louder original rock songs also slated for release in 2016. On this project Buttercup is joined by the Navaira brothers, Diego and Emilio Jr., sons of Tejano legend Emilio Navaira. Battle of Flowers is being mixed by Larry Crane (Elliott Smith, Death Cab for Cutie, Sleater-Kinney) in Portland Oregon and is slated for a summer 2016 release on Bedlamb Records.
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