Chief’s story is a bit of a bi-coastal fairytale. Currently based in Santa Monica, this quartet first became friends in Los Angeles before moving to New York City, where Chief was officially born. After re-connecting at NYU, the West Coast beckoned them back to work on their album, Modern Rituals, which was released this month on Domino Records. According to Evan Koga, singer, songwriter, and guitarist, “Our BPM is a little bit slower here [on the West Coast].”

With catchy drums, melodic chord progressions, and a beautiful layering of vocal harmony, Chief manages to successfully create a “dreamy indie rock” genre.

Listening to such tracks as Night & Day or Mighty Proud invokes the deepest sense of wanderlust, and that’s exactly what the band aims for. “I listen and it immediately feels natural to see myself driving down the Pacific Coast Highway,” explains guitarist Danny Fujikawa, “… but at the same time, maybe it would feel the same way if I were walking through New York.”

Favorite track: You Tell Me, featuring a rare vocal appearance by Danny Fujikawa.


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