Dream-prog duo

Columbus’ The Receiver at Blind Bob’s

By Gary Spencer

Photo: Casey and Jesse Cooper, known as The Receiver, will perform July 11 at Blind Bob’s

To paraphrase a line from ’70s TV sitcom “The Partridge Family,” the family that plays together, stays together. And that seems to ring true for Columbus, Ohio, brothers Jesse and Casey Cooper, who play music under the name The Receiver.

“We grew up playing music,” Casey says. “Our mother started us both on piano at an early age, around 5 or so, and naturally that expanded to other instruments. Jesse began playing percussion and drums, and I moved on to trumpet all through high school.”

Several years later, those seeds gave birth to The Receiver, in which Casey handles lead vocals, bass guitar and keyboards and Jesse tackles drums and backing vocals.

“I began writing songs in college for an electronic project, and after I graduated in 2004, Jesse and I expanded on them,” Casey says. “We added bass guitar and drums, along with developing the songs a bit more to make them more appropriate for the live performance setting. We played our first show in the summer of 2005, and we’ve been at it ever since.”

In 2006, the duo released their debut album, Decades, a record filled with swirling synths with a shoegaze feel but tempered with straightforward vocals and melodies. The overall effect takes the listener on a smooth, airy ride that’s at the same time infectious, appealing and adventurous.

“The best way to describe it, I think, is ‘dreamy, progressive pop,’” Casey suggests. “We’ve been labeled dream-pop, as well as dream-prog. But I think it’s a combination of the two. Some big inspirations for us would be Mew, Blonde Redhead, Air, Pink Floyd and Radiohead. Our music tends to be dreamy, sort of a head-in-the-clouds aesthetic, very layered in synth textures. But we also incorporate bits of progressive elements, such as unique time signatures, atypical song structures, tone clusters in harmony and a lot of interacting melodies.”

The band continues this trend with magnificent results on their fourth full-length album, All Burn, released by U.K. label Kscope just last month. The band considers the release of this album a major milestone in its history—not bad for a band from little ol’ Ohio.

“They’re a bigger indie label that focuses on post-progressive rock,” Jesse explains.

“Our recent signing with Kscope is, in my mind, our biggest milestone yet,” Casey continues. “They are based in London, and they’re great at what they do as a label. It’s gratifying to know that a talented and hard working label respects what we do enough to release it. So I’m very excited about this new relationship with them.”

According to the band, All Burn is more than just an aesthetic experience—it carries a universal message.

“The album, lyrically speaking, is all about the different peaks and valleys in relationships,” Casey explains. “The songs express the highs, lows and aftermath of a relationship breakdown. It also wrestles with the idea of repairing the damage or just abandoning the relationship and moving on. It’s content that most everyone can relate with.”

From Ohio to London and back again, The Receiver is ready to show audiences here and abroad what the band is all about in live performances. So what should concertgoers expect from The Receiver in the flesh?

“Our live show is somewhat more focused and punctual compared to our studio recordings,” Jesse says. “It’s a bit more stripped on stage since there are only two of us”.

And The Receiver is no stranger to performing onstage in the Gem City. In fact, they love it.

“We’ve been playing Dayton as long as we’ve been a band,” Jesse says. “We started with The Pearl, then The Nite Owl, which is now Blind Bob’s. We always love playing Dayton. People here love their live music, and the shows are always well attended. It honestly feels like a second home for us.”

As for the future of the band, The Receiver plans on touring and spreading the word about their newest efforts, and making it available to anyone who wants a piece of their live experience.

“We are extremely proud of our new album, and we want people to hear it,” Casey says. “It’s dreamy, melodic, textured and a nice 40-minute escape. Our live show will provide these elements, but with a bit more energy and urgency. And if the fans and listeners want to take it home with them, we have it available on 180g vinyl as well as CD.”

The Receiver will perform Saturday, July 11 at Blind Bob’s, 430 E. Fifth St. Bonesetters, Big Time Pharaohs and Ken’s Motorbike are also on the bill. Show starts at 9 p.m. Admission is $5 at the door for patrons 21 and older. For more information, please visit thereceivermusic.com or facebook.com/thereceiver.


Reach DCP freelance writer Gary Spencer at GarySpencer@DaytonCityPaper.com.

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Gary Spencer is a graduate of Miami University and works in the performing arts, and believes that music is the best. Contact him at GarySpencer@DaytonCityPaper.com

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