Eisley has been one Texas’s favorite indie bands of the past ten years; while they may be Texans, their whimsical, fantasy-laden songs go far past the borders of our beloved Lone Star State.
Born and raised in Tyler, Texas, four of the DuPree family’s children, Chauntelle, Sherri, Stacy, and Weston (along with family friend Jonathan Wilson) began making music together as a band in 1997, going by the moniker “The Towheads” before they settled on “Moss Eisley” (named after the famous fictional city depicted in the Star Wars films). Their father, Boyd, has been supporting and managing Eisley ever since their inception. Even in their early days, the band showed impressive songwriting skills, taking notes from key influences such as rock staples The Beatles and Radiohead. Moss Eisley played mostly in small clubs in Texas, opening for acts such as Ester Drang and Midlake, gaining a loyal following across the great state.
Moss Eisley changed their name to Eisley when they were signed to Warner Bros. Records in 2003 to avoid potential legal hurdles with Lucasfilm. Eisley soon received radio airplay of their already-hit song “Telescope Eyes” on 102.1 The Edge, further boosting their regional popularity. The band was sent straight out to play dates with Coldplay, also playing sets at major music festivals across the globe. Their heatseeker debut album Room Noises was released in 2005, coinciding with Jonathan Wilson’s replacement by 15-year-old DuPree cousin, Weston DuPree. Eisley continued on as a working band, touring extensively as support and headliners, releasing 5 EP’s and 3 full-length albums along the way. Their most recent effort is a full-length album entitled The Valley (released March 1, 2011), which charted well on Billboard.
My first impression of the indie quintuplet Eisley was circa 2001 at a show in a concert space at a church in Garland, Texas. I bought their unnamed EP on CD-R and had them sign it (they mentioned during the set that they “left their real CD’s in Tyler”). Over a year later, my bandmates and I were given the rare opportunity to open for [Moss] Eisley at a small gig in Lewisville, Texas. The DuPrees were incredibly nice, and played an amazing set—I haven’t seen them since, but I can’t imagine either factor has changed.
Eisley is currently on the Turning Tides Tour in support of The Valley. They make their final tour stop in Dallas here at the Granada Theater on Saturday, June 4 (their younger sister, Christie DuPree, will be opening up the show). Check out the brand new music video for their single “Smarter” below, then get tickets for their show next weekend righty here!