Fresh off the release of their new Matthew E. White produced album 'Moonlight Anthems' and an album release tour across the United States, Super Doppler have set their sights on keeping rock n roll alive. Bridging melodic psychedelic pop with country-funk grooves, twangy dueling guitars, and a proclivity for layered vocal harmonies and horn drenched arrangements,
Super Doppler has created their own genre-defying retro style.
All born and raised in Norfolk, VA, Super Doppler began their journey as a loose collective of high school friends with a common interest in late nights and loud music. Desperate to escape the impending reality of the 9 to 5 workday, the group decided to hit the open road and play for anyone willing to listen. No matter how dark the basement or lonely the bar, it was here in the farthest fringes of the music industry that these ragtag renegades would make their stand.
4 years and 500+ shows later, the band has released their new album 'Moonlight Anthems' (June 2017), their debut record under the "Super Doppler" moniker. Produced by fellow Virginia wunderkind Matthew E. White of Spacebomb Records, 'Moonlight Anthems' showcases the shared retro influences of the six-piece band; more specifically, a group of high school friends turned bandmates that includes two sets of brothers, Michael and Bryan Adkins (guitar and drums, respectively), and fraternal twins, Neal and Cole Friedman (keyboards and bass, respectively), alongside long-time comrades Harry Slater (guitar) and Tyler West (percussion).
'Moonlight Anthems' is the debut under the name “Super Doppler”, and it finds them building off the wave of critical success garnered by their eponymous ‘Major and the Monbacks’ 2015 debut. Pop Matters hailed that album’s “propulsive soul energy,” while The Huffington Post described its sound as “Chicago meets the Grateful Dead meets The Band,” and RVA Magazine raved that it had “not only revived, but given a psychedelic face-lift to the soundtrack of the dancehalls of the ’50s and ’60s.” The record offered but a taste of Super Dopplers’ ecstatic live show, which began to draw sell-out crowds across the region and earned the band a slew of high profile festival slots everywhere from Firefly to Floyd Fest in addition to support dates with Charles Bradley, Os Mutantes, Antibalas, and more.
“Everybody’s got their own influences that they’re individually bringing to the table,” says Michael. “Creating a song for us is all about condensing that into a cohesive whole. Our only guiding principle, really, is that if it sounds cool, we like it.”
When it came time to record their second album, as far as the band was concerned, nobody sounded cooler than Matthew E. White, a fellow Virginia native who first caught their ear with his production work for Richmond’s Natalie Prass. White took on the role of mediator and mentor for the band, which he was surprised to find had such a fully realized sound already. The clarity of their vision enabled him to take a more holistic, big picture approach to capturing their songs.
Album opener “There, There” sets the record’s tone perfectly, with bouncing piano, swirling organ, and psychedelic guitar all coming together in a chipper, harmony-rich earworm that seamlessly blends the sounds of the British invasion with sunny southern California. “Moonlight Anthems” and “You Only See Me (At Night)” channel the funky Americana of Big Pink, while “We Are Doing Fine” and “Here Comes The King” recall The Fab Four at their most playful, and “You Should Know” and “Happiness” take cues from the rich vocal layering of bands like CSNY and the Beach Boys. On “The Clap,” high-tempo R&B meets southern rock, and prog influences creep into the breezy soul of “Condition.” Far from feeling scattered, though, the ornately detailed arrangements and lush orchestrations enable the songs to play out as a remarkably cohesive collection.
“It’d be difficult for anyone to pinpoint a specific musical identity or pigeonhole what we do into a set genre,” reflects Michael. “With us, the diversity is the point.”