Molehill has been described by Jesse Menendez (WBEZ Chicago) as “combining elements of progressive rock with pop sensibilities and emotionally charged lyrics, this band delivers a symphonic listening experience.”
In Spring 2018, two members of Molehill were hospitalized within 9 days of each other. First, drummer Devin Staples lost consciousness in the middle of Walgreen’s and was rushed to the ER and successfully treated for a blood clot in his lungs. One week later, lead singer Peter Manhart found himself in the ER with a broken elbow after colliding with an SUV on his bicycle. Both band members are fortunate to have mostly healed up since these incidents, but it was a scary time for the band.
This is just symptomatic of the wild 8 year ride it’s been for this Chicago-based quartet that pride themselves on work ethic and grit. 2 months after these ER visits, the band flew to Brooklyn to record a new EP with Justin Gerrish (Vampire Weekend, Mark Ronson, Glasvegas).
The Hostage EP is the next step in Molehill’s evolution. It retains the anthemic vocal melodies and dark thoughtful storytelling of the group’s origins while adding a new love of synth-heavy pop production. Molehill’s story is a group of guys on a journey, navigating egos and emotions and fears and insecurities to develop a process and sound that brings out the best of what they have to offer as a unit. After Manhart joined with drummer Devin Staples, bassist Trevor Jones, and keyboardist Greg Van Zuiden in 2010, alternative rock with funk and classical music influences was the focal point around which the group coalesced.
After the guitar-heavy LP Equinox (2012), their next two EPs, Tin God (2015) and Hearts on Fire (2017), touched on a variety of styles, everywhere from rock anthems to a style best described as “west coast funk meets Gregorian Chant.” Also, over the years, they had all the ups and downs of being in an independent rock band – refining their songwriting process, van breakdowns, empty shows, packed shows, sleeping on basement floors and, through it all, sticking it out together.
Molehill has toured across the U.S. and Canada performing at Summerfest, Canadian Music Week, and many other festivals and clubs. Their music has been featured on radio stations across the country, including 6 consecutive weeks on X1075 in Las Vegas, and has been featured in the Chicago Tribune (Front page of A+E section), AltPress, IndieShuffle, and others.
Hostage is a place for the band to take a breath and share something with the world. It’s a new step in the band’s journey, one new step of many.
The Hostage EP will be released as a series of singles beginning on February 1st, 2019.