The West writes music to dance to. The Seattle-based dance-rock band’s sound is inspired by the primal and necessary human desire for movement.
Formed in 2010 by Anthony Darnell and Blakes drummer, Bob Husak, The West churns out keyboard and harmony-laden dance music with a modern twist on styles reminiscent of New Order and Yaz, with a hint of LCD Soundsystem. The band is comprised of Darnell (guitar/keys/vocals), Husak (drums), Reed Griffin (guitar/producer), Adrienne Clark (keys/vocals), and Jon Swihart (bass/vocals).
The West’s EP, Don’t Make a Sound, gained airplay on Seattle’s KEXP and earned the band some press around town. The follow up and debut album, In Low Light, was a full-length LP self-released in February of 2013. The West can typically be found performing in the greater Puget Sound area at venues like Nuemos, The Crocodile, and Tractor Tavern.
The project began—as so many musical endeavors do—in a drummer’s basement. In 2010, Darnell, who was at the time unemployed and acting with fringe theater troupe The Satori Group, found himself increasingly in need of a musical outlet. He began making music with Husak to fulfill that urge. The two spent hours upon hours writing tracks and recording demos in exploration of dance-pop. The driving concept was a shared fascination with the power of dance music to alleviate anxieties, wash away worry, and lift spirits.
The project took shape around this idea and expanded to include Reed Griffin, Husak’s close friend and former Blakes producer, as a guitarist and in-house producer. Looking for a fuller sound, the three welcomed Darnell’s wife and collaborator in The Satori Group, Adrienne Clark, as keyboardist. The full lineup solidified after the band met Boulder, Colo. transplant, Jon Swihart, and he took on the role of bassist.