10 things you need to know about post animal

Joe Keery aka Steve Harrington from Stranger Things has a band. Meet the eclectic Chicago six-piece that’ll take you on a trip to the upside down and back again with their psych rock.

by Frankie Dunn
07 September 2016, 2:30am

Post Animal are a rock 'n' roll band from Chicago. Dalton Allison plays bass, Jake Hirshland plays both guitar and keys (simultaneously?), Javi Reyes, Joe Keery and Matt Williams all play guitar (because one guitar player is never enough) and Wes Toledo keeps things ticking on drums. Impressively, and like all the greatest bands, everybody sings.

As with most new fans of the band, it was Netflix's Stranger Things that first brought Post Animal to our attention. "Steve's hair brought me here," admits a viewer on YouTube, crediting the discovery to guitarist Joe who plays bad-boy-turned-good Steve, Nancy's "stealthy, like a ninja" boyfriend. New synth gods S U R V I V E, creators of the show's iconic soundtrack just released it across two volumes alongside their own album, RR7349. But of course that wasn't enough. We wanted more and so happily fell into this Post Animal psych rock hole while stalking and found it to be really, really great. Already drawing comparisons to Tame Impala and Mac Demarco, we're hearing elements of The Shins and The Beatles across their latest The Garden Series release too. In fact, if you listen carefully you can almost hear the synth of the Stranger Things theme tune towards the end of killer single When I Get Home. But perhaps we're listening just a little too hard.

The floppy hair is there irl too, and Joe's bandmates have the awesome locks to match. Rows and flows of angel hair dance as the boys perform, the six of them pulling in inspiration and influences from all angles with awesome results. You shouldn't like things because people tell you you're supposed to, so don't keep this curiosity door locked any longer, press play and learn all about your new favourite band...

1. The six of them have only been playing together for the past few months.
"Big Matt and Dalton are childhood friends from Danville, IL. After moving to Chicago Jake joined up, some recordings were made and the band name was made official. Over the course of about a year after that we partnered up with Joe, Wes, and Javi by way of jobs or mutual friends or their other bands, and that's how we got to today's lineup. We've had the name for about two years now, but we've only been in the six-piece form for a few months, and that has definitely informed our writing and live-playing styles."

2. Pre-Post Animal, Matt and Dalton and Jake all fell head over heels with each other through the mutual desire to make a classic country EP.
"After that everyone was so talented and felt like a part of the crew pretty much immediately. It was a no-brainer every time."

3. The name probably means either 'after animal' or some kind of animal postal delivery service.
"It is closer to the former, but we rarely vocalise it so it's kind of open for interpretation. The words came up in conversation a couple years back and stuck."

4. If it was the latter, they're set on what animal they'd want to receive.
"No question: the Chicago dumpster rat. They're big 'n' mean, and always there when you need em."

5. They love being a part of the Chicago music scene.
"At the moment we couldn't imagine doing what we do anywhere else. There's a tonne of camaraderie and diversity among the independent artists around here, everyone is friends or excited to get to know one another. Crowds are as supportive as other bands, and the big local groups like Twin Peaks, Whitney, The Orwells, Ne-Hi, White Mystery, etc. all work to bring attention back to the local scene. There are also shows constantly and it's just a lot of fun!"

6. With so many members, inspiration comes from all musical angles.
"A huge part of our inspiration comes from classic musicians like Sabbath, ELO, Fleetwood Mac, Klaatu, Nazz, America, Stevie Wonder, Joni Mitchell, Abba— groups that don't shy away from melody, but also know how to milk a groove or a heavy bit when it's needed. There's so much good modern stuff we pull from too, like Ty Segall/Fuzz, Wand, and the whole Australian wing (Pond, Tame, Mink Mussel Creek, King Gizzard, etc.). We really love La Luz, Uncle Acid, Mac, Melody's Echo Chamber, and Mild High Club too."

7. They're very inspired by their physical environment.
"We just finished recording a new full length at our friend's lake house in Michigan, and the room we used along with the water all around us played a big role in the sound, especially compared to our previous releases, which were all tracked in Chicago."

8. The strangest thing that has happened post release of a certain Netflix series is...
"Dalton cut his hair a few inches, and now he's got a real perky bob-like haircut and it's been a big adjustment but it's quite handsome and we are getting used to it."

9. Talking of which, they've all got very impressive hair. Here's the low down.
"Lettuce is key. Dalton has that fresh bob, as mentioned. Matt's got yields of golden flows, but Javier has the short curls, like drips of frozen caramel. There's Joe, strands splashing toward the sky, and Jake, plummeting downward like a dark-brown waterfall. Can't forget Wes, hair bold and true like Humphrey Bogart, and with an attitude to match."

10. If their discography were a soundtrack, they reckon it could go either sci-fi action or Tom Hanks dog buddy movie...
"Total Recall... or Turner & Hooch!"


Text Frankie Dunn
Photography Kristina Pedersen

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