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The Capstan Shafts

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  • Years Active: 2000s


Biography All Music Guide

All Music Guide:

The Capstan Shafts is the guise prolific songwriter Dean Wells has been recording under since 1999. Hailing from Lyndonville, VT, Wells has most often been compared to Guided by Voices' Robert Pollard, and with 18 releases in eight years on various labels, the association could stem from his productivity as much as from his sound. Though Environ Maiden, released in October 2007 on Rainbow Quartz, did much to heighten his profile in terms of consumer awareness, Wells continued to mostly eschew the traditional approach of playing live to promote his catalog, instead choosing to hole up at home to make more albums. After the release of his next home-recorded album, Fixation Protocols in 2008, Wells played his first show with a band at CMJ in the fall of that year. In 2009, he doubled that number with gigs in September and December. Somewhere along the way Wells decided it was time to shift from the bedroom to the studio, and to become a real band. To this end he began working with Matt LeMay of Get Him Eat Him (and author of rave reviews on Pitchfork of previous Capstan Shafts releases). The end result was the 2010 album Revelation Skirts. To translate the new richer, more traditional sound to the stage, Wells hired a four-piece backing band and began playing frequent shows, including a well-received performance at 2010's SXSW festival.