All around campus, posted signs say “The End is Coming,” but the self-described modern rock ‘n’ roll band formerly known as Owl Fly South is debuting its new beginning as The End of Summer.
Frontman and guitarist Braeden Henderson met drummer Oliver Dobrian and bassist Jake Stein through their first class together at UCLA in 2010. Later, keyboardist Baxter Bailey joined the trio and formed Owl Fly South.
With Henderson, Dobrian and Stein’s background as ethnomusicology students and Bailey’s background as a music history student, the group has prior experience in music and performing.
The band recently chose to change its name to The End of Summer because of artistic and logistical reasons.
“The practical considerations were the fact that the band name was a little difficult to get across, and people were always mishearing it so it became an albatross on our shoulders,” Henderson said.
They advertised the name change through vague “The End is Coming” posters plastered all over the UCLA campus and Westwood, which included QR codes linking to the band’s website.
Bailey, a recent graduate, took part in the band’s decision to guerrilla market its new name.
“We wanted something kind of vague that would peak people’s interest, that wouldn’t give away anything and just kind of make people wonder what was going on,” Bailey said.
The group was artistically inclined to change the name in order to more aptly elucidate what the members make music about: impermanence and the loss of childhood that can’t be relived, Henderson said.
“I would say the band’s music actually affected the name change more than anything,” Stein said. “Because Owl Fly South was (the name) back when the band was influenced by Wilco. It’s pretty much followed Braeden through being a songwriter.”
Henderson, the band’s premier songwriter, said he finds inspiration for his songs from these concepts.
Henderson draws his songwriting inspiration from older influences such as Bruce Springsteen but modifies the sound to make it more modern and approachable. He tries to include modern elements by adding instrumental effects for a washy and reverb-like sound.
Henderson said he also emulates certain aspects from other bands such as the psychedelic sound of Tame Impala and the sincere songwriting of Springsteen.
The inspiration for the band’s songs is evident in its first big single, “Bride and Groom.” The single is part of their Owl Fly South Video EP, for which they will be releasing a new video every month on the music blog Free Bike Valet to build up to their September album release.
After launching the band’s name change on social media sites, The End of Summer received welcoming responses.
“We had all our Facebook pictures up, choreographed, and we launched a new video series by a blog in Santa Monica, and it seems that people are responding pretty well to it,” Bailey said.
The End of Summer chose to release “Bride and Groom” as the single for its uplifting sound that captures the band’s spirit and incorporates the idea of death and impermanence.
The song has a light, upbeat melody that builds up throughout the song, leading up to Henderson’s voice. Although the song’s tone and the meaning behind it are contradictory, it was something the band wanted to express, Henderson said.
The band shot their video EP with help from supportive friends from Hollywood who filmed them with no budget. The group decorated the set itself, borrowed lenses and recorded from 6 p.m. to 5 a.m. in the midst of December.
The End of Summer’s rising popularity will get a boost from its performance at Ecochella on Friday, and Eat|See|Hear on May 17, as well as other scheduled performance dates.
“Live performance is really where the quality of being a band comes together,” Henderson said. “That’s really where being in a band happens – where you can actually go and tell the world the message you’re trying to put across.”