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Australian quintet Dappled Cities (known as Dappled Cities Fly on their first album) blend the playful grandiosity of the Flaming Lips and Grandaddy with the chillier sonic explorations of Sigur Rós, for a sound that at times recalls the mixture of pop song smarts and progressive pomp that both Genesis and their former leader Peter Gabriel perfected around the turn of the '80s. The band's roots are in the suburbs of Sydney, Australia, where teenage school friends Tim Derricourt (guitar and vocals), Dave Rennick (keyboards, guitar, and vocals), Alex Moore (bass), and Hugh Boyce (drums) formed a quartet called Periwinkle that played neighborhood all-ages shows and school functions. Once the bandmembers were all of legal age in 2001, the group moved into Sydney's competitive club circuit, changing its name to the deliberately silly and pretentious Dappled Cities Fly. Several years of local and regional gigs, coupled with a handful of singles and EPs, led to the release of Dappled Cities Fly's debut album, A Smile, in the fall of 2004. Following that album, several changes took place within the band: adjunct touring keyboardist Ned Cooke was promoted to a full member of the band, the group signed to the Australian label Speak and Spell Records, and the bandmembers shortened their name to the somewhat less affected Dappled Cities. Their first release under the new name, Granddance, was released in November 2006 in Australia; Speak and Spell reissued A Smile on the same day. A U.S. release of Granddance was planned for March 2007.
Dappled Cities (formerly "Dappled Cities Fly") are a five-piece indie rock band from Sydney, Australia.
The band first came together as teenagers in the northern suburbs of Sydney in 1997. Dave Rennick and original drummer Hugh Boyce were soon joined by Alex Moore on bass and Tim Derricourt on guitar. Throughout the band’s existence, keyboards have been gradually introduced both on record and in a live setting. The keyboards are played by Ned Cooke, who replaced temporary member Mark Bradshaw in 2006.
The band played at various all-ages shows and charity benefits before they reached legal age to play in the licensed venues in the Sydney CBD. This period saw the band play at venues such as the Hopetoun (now defunct), the Excelsior and The Bat and Ball. The band members moved to the inner suburbs of Sydney and after various name changes settled on Dappled Cities Fly, chosen because its inappropriateness as a band name made them laugh at the time although the band "have regretted it ever since".
Over the early years, the band made several extensive tours of Australia and also toured New Zealand in 2004. In 2006 the band performed in London and at various shows in the United States, including South by Southwest, where they played again in 2009 and 2010. From 2006-2009, the band did a number of extensive tours of America and Canada. This included shows at venues such as the Crocodile Club in Seattle, Mercury Lounge in New York and the Troubadour in Los Angeles.
Dappled Cities regularly headline their own shows in Australia. Their frequent live shows draw a regular following of fans and the band became popular supporting international acts touring eastern Australia. The band's early single and EP releases were critically well received and played Australia-wide on various radio stations. Their first album, A Smile, several years in the making, was released in late 2004 and was featured as album of the week on radio stations FBi and Triple J, in most of the Sydney street press and in various other media. The Sydney Morning Herald reviewer Bernard Zuel wrote of A Smile that it "weaves between lo-fi indie rock, oddly bent pop and a kind of big-emotion, big-gesture music that seems refracted through a vaguely hallucinogenic mirror".
In 2006 their second album, Granddance, recorded at Sunset Sounds and Senora Studios in Los Angeles, was released. The album's cover artwork has the band's name as Dappled Cities, without the word "Fly"; however, as Tim Derricourt explained to The Drum Media magazine, this was done mainly for artistic reasons, and did not amount to a formal name change for the band. Although this was accurate at the time, they have officially dropped the Fly from their moniker as of 2009, simply calling themselves Dappled Cities. In late 2007 the band recorded and released a cover version of "November Rain", played with local Sydney band Red Riders, with whom they had toured earlier in the year.
On 27 February 2008, a bulletin on the band's MySpace page announced that Hugh Boyce had left the band. In the following months, the band announced the arrival of their new drummer, Allan Kumpulainen.
Dappled Cities' third album, Zounds, was released in Australia on 15 August 2009. An American release followed in early 2010. The album received many positive reviews. Pitchfork gave the band 7.8 and noted that "Dappled Cities haven't quite acquired a big reputation outside their homeland yet, but it seems likely they will". The band spent time throughout this period in New York and London while also doing a number of tours around Australia. Dappled Cities continued to work on their live show during this period and received a number of glowing reviews. One reviewer noted that "every element of the Dappled Cities performance was well thought out, with the visual aesthetics on stage complementing the music to perfection".
The band recorded their fourth album throughout September 2011 at Megaphon Studios in St Peters. The recording was done with the assistance of Jarrad Kritzstein and the album released in July 2012.
The band played as the supporting act at Death Cab for Cutie's "Codes and Keys" tour at the Palace Theatre in Melbourne, Australia.