Music

These selections are the forthcoming LP Old Gold Devils produced by Park States and Beau Sorenson (Superchunk, Tune-Yards).  If you'd like to hear it in its entirety, you can do that


Photos

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Biography

Way back in 2010 Rapid City, SD's Jason Ward (Raj Dawson for you anagramists) began making music under the moniker Mystery Pills that Consequence of Sound said “sounds like the bedroom recordings of a collaboration between The xx and Wolf Parade’s Dan Boeckner, with the slinky guitars and insistent rhythms of the former, and heartfelt, wild-eyed delivery echoing the latter.”  

Over the years those comparisons have held up, even as the one-man lo-fi approach has moved out of the bedroom into larger sonic landscapes thanks to the contributions of Benjamin Lemay (bass), Luke Gorder (drums), Noah Harris (keyboards), and multi-instrumentalist Nathan Hurst, all of whom have served time playing in the band’s sporadic appearances in record stores, VFW halls, ad-hoc venues, and dive bars from Spearfish, SD to Minneapolis, MN. Despite being camped in a rock-and-roll desert between the Black Hills and the Badlands, the group has managed to catch shows with the likes of BRONCHO, Screaming Females, Bad Bad Hats, and Blues Control when they stopped for gas.  

Tired of depressing Google alerts about accidental overdoses and people getting duped into ingesting expanding foam dinosaur toys, the group was more bucolically rechristened Park States in 2017, a year that saw the completion of an EP produced by Wayne Connolly (The Vines, Youth Group) that was released May 25, 2018 on New High Recordings, and an LP produced by Beau Sorenson (Superchunk, Tune-Yards), due Oct 26 on Ward’s DIY imprint Tigers Against Crime


Highlights

As Mystery Pills:

  • 2012: Included on Boston Phoenix's list of 50 Best New Bands in America

  • 2014: Anti-Pattern (mixed by Stuart Sikes (The Walkmen, White Stripes) included on Tender Loving Empire's Friends and Friends of Friends Vol 6 Compilation

  • 2015: Seventh Avenue featured in American Family Insurance "Dreams" radio ad campaign, airing in 11 states