If there’s one new Santa Barbara band worth getting to know in the upcoming year, it’s Uncle Uncle. The young act is primed for a positive year ahead — and you, their listener, will be, too.
The band kicks off 2019 with a New Year’s Day release of its Jawbone Wells EP and a show at SOhO Restaurant & Music Club on Friday, January 4. Within slightly over a year of its 2017 formation in Isla Vista, the four-piece has garnered a rather loud buzz of appreciation and adoration among Isla Vistans, Goodlanders, and Santa Barbarans eager for new indie-rock music.
Jawbone Wells clues you in to what’s on offer: guitar-driven poems of casual wisdom and laid-back confidence, all road-trip ready and hard-driving. Songs such as the title-track opener and “Nira (I’m Alive)” resonate with heart and a forward-looking feel. Blending the wise woe of Jeff Tweedy and Jason Molina with the Zen slackerism of Mac DeMarco, it’s music you can rock to thoughtfully. “There’s moments of happiness and sadness and introspection — all those feelings are welcome there,” said lead singer and rhythm guitarist Kevin Cappon. “I like to think there’s something genuine to our music that people are attracted to.”
The band also features current and former members of other excellent area acts (The Oles, Pookie), allowing each member a kind of creative catharsis. Cappon didn’t write his first song until after he graduated UCSB in 2017; songwriting, and having a band, always felt like “a forbidden fruit.” The band’s name, Cappon said, is an expression of a group no longer surrendering to doubts, acquiescing to an insistent musical calling. Though they’ve “got a long way to go,” Cappon sings on the EP’s namesake single, in many ways, it seems they’ve already arrived, at least locally. A recent Mercury Lounge show saw the venue unusually packed to the brim, with uncommonly widespread outbursts of dancing and wide smiles. “It was like a really awesome hangout,” said bassist and producer Dom Burnham.
Check out their EP when it drops January 1, and catch them at SOhO on January 4 before they get bigger.