Getting to Know Atlas Genius

How an Unlikely Hit Scored These Aussies One Big Record Deal

Atlas Genius

There’s something undeniably infectious about Atlas Genius. The Adelaide, Australia, four-piece — made up of brothers Keith, Michael, and Steven Jeffrey and friend Darren Sell — formed just last year, but the guys are already looking down the pike of a promising musical journey. Their bouncy indie anthem “Trojans” has gained them a healthy following of international fans, and they recently signed an impressive major label record deal with U.S. label Warner Bros.

Call it an overnight success story if you must, but frontman Keith Jeffrey sees it a little differently. Raised on a steady diet of pop and rock by two “Beatles fanatics,” the Jeffrey boys have been listening to, playing, and pursuing music for most of their lives. In fact, leading up to the success of “Trojans,” the brothers had nearly abandoned their music-making dreams, ready to throw in the towel in exchange for a more lucrative career path. “We were at a point where we didn’t think music could be our job,” Keith told me, en route to a show in upstate New York. “I was studying architecture, and Michael was studying economics; we thought music was a bit of a pipe dream. Ironically, shortly after that, “Trojans” was picked up by Neon Gold [Records].”

It’s no surprise, though. The band’s sound — a potent mix of Phoenix’s dynamic guitar rock and Foster the People’s earworm-y lyrics — is perfectly primed for summer mix tapes. On their recently released Through the Glass EP, tracks like “Back Seat” skip along by way of a funk-tinged bass line and Keith’s lilts and sighs. Later, “Symptoms” opens with a swelling mix of keyboards and acoustic guitars, calling to mind fellow Aussie act The Temper Trap.

Nowadays, Atlas Genius is making its way across the States on a nation-crossing tour supporting London’s Animal Kingdom, and according to Keith, the overseas love is nothing short of overwhelming. “I think it was only when we got to America that we started to really feel the momentum,” he said. “It’s a really exciting thing.” Atlas Genius plays SOhO Restaurant & Music Club (1221 State St.) on Friday, August 17, at 9 p.m. Call 962-7776 or visit for tickets and info.


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