What better inspiration for a musician than travel? Ben Becker began writing music while studying at NYU. According to Beatcrave.com
, he had just spent some time living on a farm in Sweden. Regardless he took the material back to his native Pasadena and coined his songs-in-development after the famous, neighboring Craftsman-style building. He recorded and released a self-titled album in mid-2010 viaBandcamp
; the record was mastered by Paul Gold, who had previously worked with Animal Collective and Dirty Projectors. Becker began performing the material live with three other musicians: bassist Keith Karman, guitarist Ben Cassorla and drummer Brian Mclaughlin. Tracks like "Bonny Doon" and "Central Park" were widely circulated and the band frequently received comparisons (from outlets likeSome Velvet Blog
, Stark Online
) with chamber-indie-rock acts like Grizzly Bear and Sufjan Stevens. According to a Groupee.com interview, Becker said
he reached out to producer Phil Ek (Built to Spill, Fleet Foxes) about working on the band's sophomore effort. He also indicated
in an interview with Bestnewbands.com that he planned to make a more band-oriented effort, especially after working with the quartet for such an extended period of time. To date the group has performed mostly in California and New York.