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An arcane indie rock band with psych and powerpop overtones from Miami Beach are an unlikely bunch to be named after a Monty Python sketch, yet the musical collective Ex Norwegian indeed are. Their expansive ensemble’s effortlessly catchy songs span across a constant stream of DIY releases via various indie labels. Their large catalogue is due to the prolific songwriting of mainstay Roger Houdaille, whose influence by the music of the 60s & 70s results in a wide range of styles – from retro slacker garage jams, to quirky, deconstructive pop songs. Always gaining enthusiastic critical praise, they have remained somewhat elusive to the mainstream indie scene.

HISTORY

Launching at the 2008 CMJ Festival in NYC, the band was an instant buzz with their first single “Something Unreal” and debut album Standby, which was described as “…an incredibly eclectic mix of powerpop, shoegaze, indie rock, and even hints of stoner rock” by Dan Goldin of Exploding in Sound. The original power trio of Roger Houdaille, Nina Souto & Arturo Garcia split after the second record Sketch, released in early 2011; but by year end, Roger reassembled the band with original vocalist Michelle Grand and Brazilian guitarist Lucas Queiroz. This led to a third album House Music (2012), which featured guest drummer Eric Hernandez (of Wrong). Shorty after, bassist Giuseppe Rodriguez gets recruited – just in time for a brief US tour. The 2013 follow up, Crack, begins their association with the South Florida record label Limited Fanfare (The Sh-Booms, Astronautalis & Rickolus), but tensions within the group led to a radical shift as evident on 2014’s ambitious Wasted Lines. Recorded in L.A. with co-producer Fernando Perdomo (Linda Perhacs, Cait Brennan), the albums surprise collaboration between the two old friends and guest lead vocalist Lucia Perez may have been a radical departure for long time loyal fans, but nevertheless managed to attract new listeners. Things reverted in 2015 when the group convened with Pure Gold, an inspired collection of obscure covers and a few originals. A tour quickly followed, the highlight being recording a session for Daytrotter, which gave a glimpse into the sound and material for the next record. Released in late 2016, Glazer/Hazerr is described as a “love letter to classic rock ‘n’ roll based pop” by UK’s Shindig Magazine. A low-key release, Tekstet (Subtitled) along with a 40-track covers album quickly followed in 2017 leading up to 2018’s No Sleep.

NO SLEEP

The ninth album arguably takes the band back to the beginning, crafting straightforward pop/rock songs with effective arrangements and quirky lyrics with strong melodies. The main trio of Roger, Michelle & Giuseppe will be touring later this year to support the release.

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Michelle Grand

Vocals/Guitars

Nicaraguan-American belle with the band on and off since the very beginning

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Giuseppe Rodriguez

Vocals/Bass

Cuban-American goon squad king joined the Ex's on the 'Original Copy' tour, Spring 2012

past personnel and guests*:
Lucas Queiroz (2011-2016)
Andres Bedoya (2015-16)
Adam Rhodes (2012-2017)
Kevin J Sgarro (2012)
Taylor Vega (2013-14)
Lucia Perez (2013-14)
Nicole Marcus (2014-15)
Arturo Garcia (2008-2011)
Nina Souto (2008-2011)
Billie G (2008-2010)
Alex Ibanez (2012-2013)
Emmanuel Canete (2016-17)

*dates subject to memory

©2018 Ex Norwegian