Inspired by James Joyce’s short story of the same name, Two Gallants formed in 2002 when singer/guitarist Adam Stephens and drummer/vocalist Tyson Vogel began performing around the San Francisco scene. Collaborating since the age of twelve, the duo released two self-released EP’s while playing shows anywhere people would listen.
Their first official studio recorded album, The Throes, was released in 2004, and remastered in 2006 before being pressed to vinyl. The album was good enough to catch the attention of folk/pop/rock record label Saddle Creek, best known for releasing the majority of Conor Oberst and Bright Eyes work. Saddle Creek signed Stephens and Vogel in 2005.
This lead to a instant rise in popularity for Two Gallants, who played their first show overseas the same year, before releasing What the Toll Tells early the following year. The band supported the release with a flurry of tour dates, covering the United States and Europe twice over.
In September of 2007, Two Gallants dropped their self-titled third album, following up their June EP release of The Scenery of Farewell. It received generally positive reviews, but would lead to an eventual break-up of the band.
After a five year hiatus, the band returned to the studio in 2012 with their newest album, The Bloom and the Blight, on ATO Records, a label founded by Dave Matthews (of Dave Matthews Band), his manager, and two others, which has released efforts by the likes of 311, Primus, John Butler Trio, and My Morning Jacket.
“We had taken time off, and we did different things, played in different bands. And in doing those things, being apart and redefining ourselves in that way, we were able to come together with a fresh approach,” explains Stephens on the band’s Facebook page.
The Bloom and the Blight looks to explore new paths for the duo, who during their five-year separation took time to work with other bands, as well as deal with some tough life situations. Stephens and Vogel believe it’s brought the two even closer together, as the duo look to expand on their deep history and pave the way to new territories, with the help of a new birth on ATO Records.
Fans have been waiting anxiously for new material, and the response to The Bloom and the Blight has been overwhelmingly positive. Says Vogel: “We had a hiatus of a few years, and each of us went through things that we had to go through. This record breaks the silence.”
Download the new album on iTunes buy just clicking the link.
Dean Goranites | associate editor