Secondhand Sound are excited to announce their debut album Best & Worst of Times, out October 1st on Sound Division Records. Comprising two sets of best friends from both coasts, the Nashville-based foursome have built a rapidly growing fan following with their mastery of big melodies and anthemic hooks, cheeky charm and tear jerking introspection. Having already released a series of singles and EPs over the past three years, with their debut LP Secondhand Sound has made a landmark creative leap. Today the band shares the new single “Armchair Quarterbacks”, featuring backing vocals from their friend Samia. The song warns anybody stuck in a small town or suburban cul-de-sac to escape if they’re lucky enough to get the chance, or risk getting stuck. “I’ve been dreamin’ of gettin’ out of these streets” sings lead vocalist Sawyer John Estok. “This small town baby / I think it’s gonna kill me”.
Listen to “Armchair Quarterbacks”: Here
Fueled by unbreakable personal bonds and laser-guided vision, Secondhand Sound have fast proven a marvel, fusing classic songcraft and authentic storytelling with enthusiastic energy and timeless pop smarts. Written by lead singer/guitarist Sawyer John Estok over the unprecedented past year of isolation, their latest songs are imaginative, widescreen, and unforgettable, detailing the trials and tribulations of contemporary coming of age with rich detail, sharp wordplay, and a strikingly universal perspective.
Estok and drummer Collin Plank (known to his friends as simply “Plank”) grew up in Urbana, MD, a suburban census-designated place located in Frederick County about 30 minutes’ drive from DC or Baltimore. The two were an anomaly in their hometown, young guitar players with a passion for music shared by few if any of their high school peers. They set about looking for a singer, bassist, and drummer but ultimately began recording in Plank’s dad’s music room on their own, with Plank on drums and Sawyer playing guitar and singing his own songs in front of another person for the first time ever. In 2018, Sawyer and Plank set off for college in Nashville, though they both already had an idea that they’d rather be focusing on their music. “We had agreements with our parents that we’d at least try college,” Estok says. “And that’s turned out pretty much how I thought it was going to.”
As if by divine providence, Sawyer almost instantly encountered bassist Teagan Proctor and guitarist/keyboard player Cam Schmidt while playing Mario Kart in the dorm room across the hall from his own. Like Sawyer and Plank, Teag and Cam had arrived in Nashville as best friends, with roots that went back even further their own. “Our families are pretty much one big family. We did everything together – vacations, weekly dinners, the whole bit. I’ve known Cam since he was literally born,” Proctor says. “I was there in the hospital when he was born. Our families were that close.” The four musicians became fast friends, bonding over their shared passion and dreams of the future.
The new quartet quickly began scrapping to play as many shows as possible, working their way from a Nashville pizza shop to house shows to hugely influential local venues like The End and EXIT/IN. Determined to get tour experience under their belts, they traveled the East Coast, including shows in NYC, DC, and VA. A westward journey made it all the way to Anaheim, Ca, a trek highlighted by a show in Campaign, IL to a room of eight people.
By 2020, all four members of Secondhand Sound had decided to leave their respective schools in order to fully devote themselves to the band. The global pandemic put the brakes on their immediate plans, locking them down at home like the rest of the world. For Estok, the worldwide pause provided his first real opportunity to assess where Secondhand Sound had been and what he hoped it to be moving forward. “It forced me to really sit down and look at where the band was going,” Estok says. “For me, 2020 was about deciding what kind of voice I wanted to take as a songwriter. And what kind of perspective I wanted to depict.”
Brimming with self-assurance, imagination, and a seemingly infinite songbook, Secondhand Sound is set to take on the world.