Based in Austin, Texas, The Sour Notes consists of members Jared Boulanger (vocals, guitar, piano), Amarah Ulghani (bass, synth, drums) & Erin Howell (drums, bass). They are known for experimenting in many different music genres and have shared the stage with such diverse bands as The Dandy Warhols, Of Montreal, Foxygen, Future Islands, We Are Scientists, Marnie Stern and Daniel Johnston.
The Sour Notes formed initially as the moniker for singer-songwriter Jared Boulanger’s solo recording project while living in Houston, Texas. Upon finishing what would later be his debut album The Meat of the Fruit in 2008, Boulanger asked long-time friend Chris Page to join him in creating a performing band in Austin. There, they met drummer Travis Hackett and bassist Brandi Dipietro through mutual friends and after having played only eight shows together, recorded The Sour Notes’ second album, Received in Bitterness in the laundry room of their East Austin home, using just two microphones.
In Winter 2009, the band hit the road on their first East Coast tour just before releasing 7-inch single “Never Mix, Never Worry”, which displayed a new direction for The Sour Notes’ characteristically evolving sound. Later that year, bassist Brandi Dipietro left the band, causing The Sour Notes to incorporate live electronics with sequenced bass parts into their live performance. Shortly after, keyboardist Elaine Greer joined the band during the recording of their third album, It’s Not Gonna Be Pretty, which was released in January 2010 to much critical acclaim. Following an East Coast tour in support of the album, The Sour Notes were selected as an official showcasing artist at the 2010 SXSW Music Festival, opening for We Are Scientists at the Official SXSWi Closing Party and Daniel Johnston’s only Austin, Texas show that summer.
The band spent the remainder of 2010 touring with numerous additions to the band, including Amarah Ulghani, Kelly DeWitt, Erin Mikulenka and Taylor Steinberg. The Sour Notes played over 60 shows in and around the US that year, including the Free Press Summer Fest in Houston, Pitter Patter Fest in Toronto and the CMJ Music Marathon in New York City. At the turn of 2011, The Sour Notes released 7-inch single Hot Pink Flares and their fourth album Last Looks, which featured orchestral group Mother Falcon, who performed on the album. The band then set out on another East Coast tour and were invited to play at the 35 Conferette in Denton and the 2011 NXNE Music Festival in Toronto.
2012 brought the release of split 7-inch record Wait//White on DIY label No Play Music with fellow Austin band Marmalakes and the U.S. television series Shameless featured The Sour Notes songs “Do-ers & Say-ers” and “One Fell Swoop” during its second season premiere on Showtime. The band added guitarist Rene Chavez and drummer Justin Selman and were selected as official artists for SXSW and NXNE 2012. That summer, the band re-released their remixed/remastered fourth album, Last Looks on vinyl and toured the East Coast after adding Jessica Kim on keys and Erin Howell on drums.
In March 2013, The Sour Notes we’re first round picks at SXSW and played 8 shows in Austin during the festival. In June, the band released cassingle In The Meanwhile and toured the East Coast, road-testing songs from their upcoming album Do What May. Based on fan voting, The Sour Notes we’re selected to open for The Dandy Warhols as a part of Red Bull’s Sound Select program in Austin that Summer.
Upon wrapping up recording on Do What May in February of 2014, The Sour Notes embarked on a West Coast tour in support of the album, making appearances at SXSW and The UMS in Denver. After over 2 years of prep work, lineup changes, touring & promotion, The Sour Notes released their fifth album Do What May on a rainy September night at Cheer Up Charlies in Austin. The album received glowing reviews and featured many guest musicians around Austin, including Sabrina Ellis (Sweet Spirit / A Giant Dog), who sang on the title track. In November, The Sour Notes were invited to perform at Fun Fun Fun Fest in Austin, where they played an exclusive aftershow with Foxygen at Red 7.
The Sour Notes are scheduled to release a new EP titled Darkest Sour in early 2015.