As EDM has steadily grown in popularity in the US, it seems Colorado in particular has been a hot-bed for new up-and-coming acts. Among these are Savoy, the electronic dance trio that formed in a UC Boulder dorm, steadily making their way to the top.
Following the Made in America festival that took place in Philadelphia over Labor Day weekend, we crunched the numbers to see which acts were growing the fastest in terms of plays, views and new fans, and Savoy came out as number one. The opportunity to play the Jay-Z-curated festival couldn’t have come at a better time, as the band released their latest seven-song EP Supertrail just a few days before, and are scheduled to take on Red Rocks Amphitheater this coming Friday.
Ben Eberdt, Gray Smith and Mike Kelly, all 26, met in 2004 and bonded over their passion for music. Eberdt and Smith produce, while Kelly plays percussion. The boys grew up listening to rock, and took an interest in jazz and blues, but it was when they started going to clubs Kelly said, “We noticed dance music had a certain energy to it.” They started off attempting to bridge the gap between the grunginess of rock n’roll and that energy, and developed their sound as they began digitally and manually mixing.
And it seems to be working. Downloads of the Supertrail EP are already numbering in the tens-of-thousands, and in the week following release the band increased their number of Facebook likes by more than 920 percent in comparison to the week before. In that same timeframe they saw more than 40,000 plays on SoundCloud, which comes out to more than 10 percent of their total, and their number of downloads on the site are in the top 99th percentile of all time.
The band has built their reputation on staging high-energy live performances, with spectacular lazer displays, live drums and singers. Which is why they made the decision to release the EP as free download. They are focused on allowing as many people as possible to listen to and get to know their music, and the ultimate experience happens when you see one of their shows.
Savoy made the move from Boulder to Brooklyn about two years ago. “Boulder is such an incubator for good music, it was a great place to get started,” said Kelly, explaining that the large number of young students in the area helped built energy and enthusiasm as they started building their fan base. Of the decision to relocate to the East Coast he said, “eventually we wanted to move to a more urban environment and get our inspiration there.”
Over the summer, their agent let them know they had been offered a slot at Made in America, and it seemed almost meant-to-be considering that their performance at Electric Zoo scheduled for the same date had fallen through just a few hours earlier. “It was awesome, we got to debut a lot of material there,” said Kelly of the festival performance. “It went over really well and fans were really enthusiastic.”
Next stop is Red Rocks, the famous outdoor stage in Morrison, Colorado. Landing a headlining spot at this venue is no small potatoes. Open since the early 1940s, this stage has hosted everyone from Nat King Cole to the Grateful Dead. EDM acts that headlined here in 2012 include Skrillex, Bassnectar and Pretty Lights, some of the biggest names in the genre.
The road to Red Rocks has been gradual, but the band has known always known where they were headed. “Ever since we started, we’ve set goals,” said Kelly, letting on that one of the first goals they set as a band was to one day headline here. As they are about to take the stage at the 10,000-capacity venue, the boys are definitely feeling the pressure, but seem hell-bent on making it a memorable performance. Not surprisingly Kelly concluded, “We are pretty pumped.”
Liv Buli is the resident data journalist for music analytics company Next Big Sound. Buli is a graduate of New York University’s Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute and her work has appeared in Newsweek Daily Beast, The New York Times Local East Village, Westchester Magazine and more.