Last September, Boynton Beach indie band Your Umbrella performed at Propaganda, the group's first show at a serious local venue. Frontman/songwriter 22-year-old Daniel Demosthenes, backed by 17-year-old drummer Mike Taylor and 22-year-old bassist Douglas Anderson, presented 11 of the songs that he's been writing and developing since 2006.
A handful of those songs appears on Your Umbrella's studio album A Test for Your Heart, a slow-paced group of 11 melodic tunes that touch on melancholy topics such as hometown nostalgia ("Old Dirty Knees") and complicated romantic relationships ("I Drew Lines" and "No Reason Why"). Demosthenes' deep-voiced earnestness recalls that of Son, Ambulance's Joe Knapp, especially on the hopeful love song "Madeline."
Occasional surprises in the music, such as distorted guitar blasts and heavy drumming on "Death Present," attest to the frontman/guitarist's claimed influences of My Bloody Valentine and Sonic Youth. Demosthenes, who is also passionate about jazz, grunge, and new wave, says he wants to leave the door open to change the band's sound and even allow for a possible "revolving body of members" around key members in the collective style of Broken Social Scene. The name Your Umbrella, he says, "is representative of the creative process" in the sense that various genres and members all fit under the title. For example, Anderson, the original bassist who now lives in Connecticut, is still a member, as is his replacement on bass, 19-year-old Lay Grullion.