by Jeff Niesel
(Originally Posted 7/2/2014)
The story behind the formation of Somekindawonderful, a Cleveland pop/rock band that currently has a huge hit on its hands with the infectious synth-pop/soul single “Reverse,” sounds so incredible, it’s hard to believe it’s true. The band came together last year after Los Angeles-based singer Jordy Towers randomly met guitarist Matt Gibson and drummer Ben Schigel at the North Olmsted bar Aces Depot. Towers was a solo artist who had been signed to Interscope, which he says “wasn’t a pleasant experience.” He had left the label and wanted to get away from L.A. for a minute so he went to visit family in Strongsville. And that’s when he met Gibson and Schigel.
“We stumbled into the bar,” he recalls via phone as the band was driving to a Pennsylvania tour stop. “Matt was playing his guitar and Ben was whistling into a beer bottle. I started humming along with the melody that Matt was playing on his guitar. That ended up being ‘Reverse.’ It was serendipitous to say the least.”
The guys went back to Schigel’s Spider Studios where they recorded the tune, an infectious pop number about the blossoming of a relationship that’s told, as its title suggests, in reverse. The song has been in heavy rotation at stations such as KYSR/Los Angeles, KNDD/Seattle, KTCL/Denver and WLKK/Buffalo. The Passion Pit remix recently debuted on Entertainment Weekly’s website and Billboard magazine has run a feature on the band in its “Bubbling Under” section. The song now has nearly two million streams on Spotify, Pandora and Soundcloud, and it’s at the top of the iTunes Alternative Chart. The tune tells the story of a guy who cheats on his girlfriend with the girl who becomes his girlfriend.
“The girl the song is about is the girl I am with now,” says Towers, a former rapper who turned his talents to singing and songwriting a few years ago. “That’s why I say I’d do it again in the song. It’s a true story. I always loved the movie Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. That movie tears your heart out. If you think of a relationship, it’s sad to think of the beginning when it ends. That’s my favorite film and ‘Reverse’ pays homage to that movie.”
All the songs on the self-titled debut were written in Cleveland; Towers says that leaving L.A. to write and record in Northeast Ohio helped him recharge and refocus.
“Sometimes, you just have to leave your surroundings,” says Towers. “In L.A., I used to do the same things, talking to the same motherfuckers everyday. You get out of your comfort zone and go to a place where you don’t know anyone, the only person you know is yourself. I got to know myself on this record. It was a real blessing. Ben creates that environment too.”
The success is long overdue for Schigel, a fixture on the local scene who’s been playing and producing music since he launched the hard rock act Switched in the late ’90s.
“What sets this band apart is that we finally found the right pieces to the puzzle,” says Schigel, “from the singer to the guitar player to the drummer. Everything came together. When we first met Jordy, it was crazy to meet somebody who sounded great and was eccentric and put all his emotion and energy into everything he did. It was the first time we saw somebody who could sing like that.”
The band has a few festival dates and other gigs lined up this summer and launches a fall tour with New Politics and Bad Suns in October.
Update: The band has just issued the never-before-released track "Rhinestone Melodies" and is slated to perform at House of Blues on Nov. 20 with New Politics and Bad Suns. It's a stop on the band's extensive 34-date tour.