Kelly Trom and Morgan Butler
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While roaming through club booths at the Week of Welcome (WOW) showcase, incoming students were able to discover some new music, courtesy of KCPR — Cal Poly’s student-run radio station — which presented three California-based indie rock bands at the University Union (UU) Plaza stage Sunday.
Recreation, parks and tourism administration junior Connor Griffith, a KCPR disc jockey who goes by “Kid Chameleon,” played music between sets. Last year, KCPR presented Proxima Parada and Swan Thief, but this year, they brought in some new blood, he said.
“A main goal of KCPR in general is to introduce people to new music, and this showcase was expanded off of last year,” Griffith said. “It started off local, and we want to keep some of it local, but we also wanted to expand it to bring in new bands that people haven’t heard.”
Griffith has started playing a lot more local music on his on-air radio show, Incense and Peppermints. The first band of the showcase, Pleasantly, was requested by one of Griffith’s listeners recently.
Pleasantly originated from music sophomores Thomas Sypkens and Kevin Hegyi. The two met on the Cal Poly music department’s Facebook page and discovered they had the same taste in music.
“Our style is cathedral pop,” Sypkens said. “It’s not a genre yet, but we are getting there. Imagine you are sitting in a cathedral and you have all these huge harmonies. It is very floaty and makes you feel good about yourself.”
Hegyi and Sypkens started writing music together months before the band was complete with electrical engineering freshman Dan Potts on drums and computer science sophomore Javier Torres on keys. The band is excited to start writing collaboratively, Sypkens said.
The group’s upbeat, positive sound reverberated through the UU Plaza as the members played their first show together.
“It went a hell of a lot better than I thought it would,” Hegyi said. “It was cool playing for a bunch of people walking by, and I think some people enjoyed it.”
Bringing a Northern California vibe to the stage, San Francisco-based band sea knight was up next. The band, which has a melodic, folksy feel, consisted of haunting vocals, drums, guitar, bass and violin on occasion.
A lion from the Chinese Student Association danced to sea knight’s songs from their album, Where Are You, adding to the showcase’s eclectic variety.
Indie folk rock band Second Cousins closed out the showcase. Originally from San Diego, Second Cousins describes their sound as old, folky rock ‘n’ roll with a modern twist.
The four band members have been playing together for two years.
“It started with Tim and I writing songs and sharing them,” vocalist Austin Burns said. “It was the first relationship I had where I felt they had way better input than I would have thought of originally. Maybe not way better, but it was a really healthy musical relationship, and then it spurred into this.”
Until Second Cousins’ next performance on Oct. 22 in San Diego, you can listen for them on KCPR.
Video by Morgan Butler