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UNC students and alumni play in local indie rock band

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Lauds is a Wilmington-based indie rock band featuring UNC students and alums. Photo courtesy of Mary Hannah.

Members of Lauds, an indie-rock band from Wilmington, share a love of music, their hometown and UNC basketball.

When the release show for their  EP "II" was scheduled for the same night as the men's basketball Final Four game between UNC and Duke, lead singer, guitarist and UNC Class of 2011 alumnus McKay Glasgow, said the band was too anxious to watch the game. 

“So, we played the show and immediately sprinted across the street to this shack oyster bar to watch the last 10 minutes of the second half,” lead guitarist and UNC Class of 2021 alumnus of the graduate school Holt Evans III said. “The guys in the band are already some of my best friends and to have that moment with them and watch the game was so much fun– high-fiving each other, screaming.”

With the beat of the drums and the strum of a guitar, the band released their first single in 2019 and plans to return to their Chapel Hill roots. 

Holt Evan III's younger brother, UNC senior Boyce Evans, plays keyboard and third guitar. Bassist Gavin Campbell and drummer Ross Page are also members of the band. 

While subgenres like “dream pop”, “shoegaze post-punk” and “jangle pop” have been used to describe Lauds’ music, they call themselves simply “guitar music,” Holt Evans III said.

Inspired by late 1980s and early 1990s rock from the United Kingdom, as well as Krautrock from the 1970s, Holt Evans III said Laud's sound is similar to bands like My Bloody Valentine and The Cure. 

“(Our sound) is catchy — it doesn’t rock too hard but it finds a nice middle ground in between rock and pop,” Boyce Evans said. 

The band, who released two EPs in the last year, is currently in the works of writing and producing their first studio album. They work with Fort Lowell Records, a Wilmington-based indie-rock record label. 

James Tritten, who owns Fort Lowell records with his wife Tracy, said he started working with Lauds after their song “Don’t Mind” featured on the Fort Lowell produced album called “Grow: A Compilation in Solidarity with Black Lives Matter,” which was released as a 2020 fundraiser. The band has continued to elevate its talent and skills following each release.  

“Everything they ever do – I just think it's been absolutely amazing, just stellar,” he said. “And it just gets better. Every release they put out I'm always taken aback by how wonderful it is.”

The band said they feel connected to Wilmington through music.

“It being a really beautiful place by the ocean really factors into a feeling we put into a lot of our music,” Holt Evans III said. “McKay and I surf a lot. We spend a lot of time on the water, so that’s a really nice place to contemplate life, a lot of our songs are similarly contemplative.”

Glasgow wrote the song “Sandpiper” from their debut EP inspired by walks on his dock in the area where he grew up, and the sounds of sandpiper birds that are native to Wilmington.  

“That song’s sort of about remembering and coming back to a place that you know really well,” Glasgow said. “There's even kind of ambient noise of the dock.”

Outside of music, being current and former UNC students and watching Tar Heel basketball have brought the band even closer. 

“It’s definitely something that unites all of us outside of the music,” Holt Evans III said. “I think that it’s so important for bands to have relationships outside of music and I think that it factors into a sense of kinship and brotherhood”

Holt Evans III said his dad — Holt Evans II — serves like the band’s dad as well, helping them record in his house with his collection of old-school recording technology.

“My role is just trying to get the best-recorded versions of their songs and occasionally have some input into their arrangements,” Holt II said. “Obviously I'm prejudiced, but I haven't heard anybody around here doing what they're doing.”

Lauds hopes to continue to grow and be able to play at larger venues across the state. 

“I mean, it's an obvious brotherhood between them,” Tritten said. “It's a beautiful thing to watch.”

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