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Live Report: Dear Boy + Storefront Church at El Rey


Ben Grey (Dear Boy) live at the El Rey Theater, Los Angeles, CA. By Vincent Walter Jacob

Los Angeles-based band Dear Boy released the highly anticipated Forever Sometimes full-length album on September 16. The band played their biggest headline gig to date at El Rey on Friday, and we were there to capture it thanks to my cat Ziggy! I can also announce that we are extremely excited to have them on our podcast soon.

They are a perfect example of how an act can achieve recognition for their music on their own. As far as we know, there was no Tiktok dance, no playlist payola involved in their journey. As they emerged from the LA underground, they paid their dues and slowly but steadily grew a loyal fan base until they caught the attention of a prominent label, in this case Last Gang Records.

Dear Boy is inspired by late '70s / early '80s post-punk, as well as early '90s British pop. It's cold, but there's something inviting about it. Both their influences and their heartbreaking lyrics contribute to the coldness of their sound. Their work is haunted by the idea of goodbyes. Their repertoire shows loss and heartbreak throughout. But don't get me wrong, it's also an incredibly warm record, since they invite us to share in their pain with them.

"Since we were producing it ourselves, we wanted to infuse as much of our shared personal history into the details as we could," says Ben Grey (Vocals/ Guitar). "The underground train you hear before 'Swan Dives' is the Northern Line, which we would ride every day when we first started Dear Boy in London. The acoustic at the end of 'Heaven Moves' is from the very first demo recorded in Keith's bedroom. 'Unbecoming' features a quote from the 40’s that goes; 'The people of the state of California expect us to do our best…' Something my Dad would say to me all of the time when I was a kid… There isn’t a moment on this album that doesn’t feature something important, unique or special to us. It’s the most personal record any of us could have imagined making." Los Angeles-based Dear Boy is made up of best friends. Ben Grey (vocals / guitar), Austin Hayman (guitar), Keith Cooper (drums) and Lucy Lawrence (bass / vocals).

35mm film Gallery by Vincent Walter Jacob:

Digital Gallery by Julien André:


Lukas Frank (Storefront Church) live at the El Rey Theater, Los Angeles, CA. By Vincent Walter Jacob

I’m glad we arrived in time for the opener. Storefront Church was not just an appetiser. We were treated to a mind-blowing and nerve-racking performance, led by theatrical and seemingly possessed singer Lukas Frank. Although you may not know him, the LA native singer has been a very busy musician since the age of 18. Before launching Storefront Church, Lukas Frank toured with bands such as Portugal, The Man. The young and beautiful figure of this dandy man contrasts with the deep barytone voice and his tortured persona. Don't be fooled by his choir boy allure, there is something dark and neurotic lurking behind.

Storefront Church released its debut album, As We Pass, on Sargent House in May 2021. Highly recommended.

35mm film Gallery by Vincent Walter Jacob:

Digital Gallery by Julien André:

- Vincent Walter Jacob


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