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Israel Nebeker (vocals, guitar) and Ryan Dobrowski (drums) are Blind Pilot.
Friends since college, Israel and Ryan have traveled many a mile to get to where they are today literally. Last year, Israel and Ryan embarked on a West Coast bike tour. This wasn’t a tour where they road bikes, and had a van hauling the equipment. They hauled everything on their bikes. No gas. One hundred percent leg-powered.
With big signs on the back of their bike trailers that read “BLIND” and “PILOT”, a lot of concerned motorists screamed about the “PILOT” leaving the “BLIND” guy behind. Playing little towns that don’t often get shows by “touring bands” they were able to share their brand of music with people who weren’t particularly familiar with indie pop, or indie anything. But they found that heartfelt lyrics and beautiful music appeal to just about everyone. In fact, they completely sold out of their EPs.
They returned to Portland anxious to complete their first full-length album. The long road to this album has paid off in spades.
Blind Pilot sounds something like a wistful mix of The Shins with a bit of Iron & Wine folksiness. But these comparisons don’t give a full representation of the unbelievable beauty of this album. As Willamette Week’s Casey Jarman proclaimed, “Front man Israel Nebeker sounds like a less theatric version of James Mercer: every bit as sincere and captivating, with vocal control and style to spare. And this band has songs coming out of its ears: deep, clever guitar-driven tunes fleshed out with soaring horn arrangements. Listening to and thinking about these songs has kept me awake at night lately.” [bio]