Okay, so full disclosure: I happen to know the dudes in Settle pretty well. But that's kind of inevitable, given that the scene in the Lehigh Valley is seriously limited, thus allowing us to cross paths many times over the last half-decade. I've also worked with lead singer Nick Rose, went to high school with bassist Chris Burcin and shared many a bill with the band in my former days of being a rock and roll superstar. So duh, we're hardcore BFF's. This is all irrelevant, though, because regardless of whether or not I'm friendly with the guys, I'd still love their band anyway.
Hoping to become the first successful band to make it out of the Valley since...well, ever, Settle releases their debut LP At Home We Are Tourists via Epitaph Records on May 19. The band inked with the venerable indie label after impressively winning MTVU's Best Music On Campus contest in 2006 and quietly selling over 20,000 records by themselves. They recorded At Home last year with producer Adam Lasus (Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, Yo La Tengo) and the result is undeniably impressive. The album's a dizzying concoction of Moog-driven escapades, serene ballads and power-pop blasts, and the whole thing's available now on iTunes for dirt cheap. Grab it now (or start with sampling "Naked At A Family Function" above) and you can say, "I knew them when..." Here's to hoping our area becomes known for birthing someone other than Jonathan Taylor Thomas and this guy.