The hazy charm of Cheerleader first shimmered into existence at a Hartford, Connecticut middle school. Here, Joe Haller and Chris Duran cut their musical teeth in Duran’s parents’ basement, and their friendship and musical chemistry sparked a connection that survived the 2000s and colleges in separate states. Reconnecting in their hometown in 2012, Haller and Duran decided it was time to devote themselves to their music. “We sort of realized that, crazy pipedream or not, we owed it to ourselves to give it a shot,” Duran says.
On a whim, the duo moved to Philadelphia to start compiling new material. In 2013, Joe Haller and Chris Duran self-produced and recorded a three-song demo in their apartment in downtown Philly under the name Cheerleader. To their surprise, the release of that three-song demo on SoundCloud led to features in NME and Nylon, some radio play, and a slew of SxSW invitations. Doors were opening quickly, but the duo was suddenly faced with the technical challenges of recreating their music live with only two members. Haller and Duran already knew local studio manager and multi-instrumentalist Josh Pannepacker from Philly’s music scene, while mutual friends introduced the new trio to Carl Bahner (drums) and Paul Impellizeri (bass).
The newly minted five-piece spent the rest of 2014 honing their live show and completing the songs that would comprise their debut LP, recorded in Los Angeles with ten-time Grammy-nominated producer Mark Needham and released on May 19, 2015. “Mark was actually at one of our very first New York City shows,” explains Haller. “It was crazy talking to a guy like that about the lo-fi songs we recorded in our apartment at 3 am.”
Like the best debut efforts, Sunshine Of Your Youth strikes a delicate balance between the intimacy of the early demos and a lavish ambience worthy of rock musicians with several albums under their belts. From the new wavey bounce of “New Daze” to the open-road anthem of “Do What You Want” to the closing lullaby “Little Bird,” the band stays true to their sunny, optimistic name throughout, delivering a record full of hope, wonder, and undeniable warmth.
Toured with The Hold Steady in the UK, Knox Hamilton, Colony House, Life In Film, and The Wombats.
Played The Great Escape Festival (UK), Xponential Fest, SXSW and Firefly Festival.
The Sunshine of Your Youth reached #1 on sub-modern alt chart. (2 weeks).
New single “A Million Ways” out x date.