The Districts: The Coolest Small Band From the “Coolest Small Town”
I’m hanging out in the pool room of my fraternity house during lunch one day, jamming out to some of the best R&B tunes of the early 2000s – a scene that has become pretty familiar over the years. One of my brothers comes in, jacks the aux cord and says, “Trust me dude, I think you’ll like these guys.” He describes them to me as this small, local band from his hometown out in Lancaster that goes by the name of The Districts. He initially heard about them through his cousin, who happens to be best friends with the band’s drummer. The first song he plays, “Funeral Beds”, comes in slow with a little harmonica intro – I’m already hooked.
The band hails from Lititz, PA, which has been self-dubbed “America’s coolest small town”. This title must be pretty accurate if the town is anything like these guys. They have an alternative-folk sound that is complemented by the vocalist’s rough and natural voice. You can tell they’re not using state-of-the-art recording equipment, but I think it really adds something to their sound: I feel like I’m getting a live performance every time I listen to one of their songs.
The Districts formed back in 2009, and released their debut full-length album, Telephone, in 2012. This album quickly got them the attention of Fat Possum Records, who saw their potential and signed them on in 2013. A year later, The Districts would release their third, self-titled EP. With over a million total plays on Spotify, the band is quickly becoming a prominent indie rock band.
On The Districts website they describe themselves in three sentences, the third of which suits them perfectly: “We write honest music and are passionate about doing so”. The honesty and passion are so clear in their recordings, but perhaps even more obvious in some of their live recordings. Specifically, they did a few HotBox Sessions back in 2012 after the release of their first full-length album. Check out their performance of one of my favorite songs, “Funeral Beds”.
This video perfectly captures the band’s passion and intensity for playing music they love. It’s also an incredible live performance. You can find their most recent EP on Spotify, and you can find their original full-length album, Telephone, on bandcamp. Definitely give these guys a listen, and definitely expect to be seeing and hearing more of them in the near future. I’m calling it now – they’re gonna be big.