Though their debut album would like to suggest otherwise, Soft Reeds really aren’t bastards. Born of a twelve-year labor of heartache and love, Soft Reeds is the brainchild of Ben Grimes (formerly of Astralwerks’ The Golden Republic), a Chicago native whose roots grip firmly in the ’77 Berlin sounds of Brian Eno, David Bowie and Iggy Pop, while embracing the richness of American indie rock. Originally started in 2007 as Grimes’ post-TGR solo project, Soft Reeds became a full band in 2009, and released the critically acclaimed ‘Soft Reeds are Bastards’ in 2010.
The band features a diverse group of players, anchored by the talented rhythm section of drummer Josh Wiedenfeld, an Austin, TX native who moonlights as a wizard of studio production and arrangements, and bassist Beckie Trost, a fellow Chicagoan and childhood friend of Grimes. Filling out their sound are Kansas City natives and sonic magicians Dan Talmadge, on keys and guitar, and saxophonist/multi-instrumentalist extraordinaire John Mitchell. Together, they fashion a wall of sound that resonates behind Grimes’ signature vocals, which are often compared to the likes of Bryan Ferry (Roxy Music) and David Bowie, yet manage to stand uniquely apart.
Soft Reeds continue to reap the benefits of Kansas City’s tight-knit music community, while building an impressive national and international reputation following high-profile appearances at SXSW and CMJ, buzzworthy headlining shows in Brooklyn and NYC, and several major television placements. With the help of a great label, The Record Machine, and with a new album in the works for 2011, they will continue to forge ahead with their uniquely artistic indie-rock sound, relying on their strength of collaboration, a unique sonic vision, and a shared interest in the roots of art and popular music to find new and beautiful ways to bring you aural delight.