After Years Of Performing, Lake Street Dive Reaps Sold-Out Shows

The members of the band Lake Street Dive have been making music together for nearly 10 years — but only recently have experienced commercial success. For many years, they toured and sometimes played shows without any audience members.

Lake Street Dive And The Chemistry Of Harmony

Lake Street Dive's latest album is Bad Self Portraits. i i

Lake Street Dive's latest album is Bad Self Portraits. Jarrod McCabe/Courtesy of the artist hide caption

itoggle caption Jarrod McCabe/Courtesy of the artist
Lake Street Dive's latest album is Bad Self Portraits.

Lake Street Dive's latest album is Bad Self Portraits.

Jarrod McCabe/Courtesy of the artist

More With Lake Street Dive

Listen to the Story: On Songwriting

Listen to the Story: Sold-Out Crowds

Lake Street Dive is two men and two women, all in the neighborhood of 30, who met at the New England Conservatory of Music. As a group they use jazz instrumentation, more or less — trumpet, stand-up bass, guitar, some drums — but they play pop and soul, and draw a big following doing it. In fact, a video of them performing on a Boston street corner has been viewed more than 2 million times.

"If you put background vocals on anything, people are excited about it," drummer Mike Calabrese says, referring to the lush vocal arrangements that dominate the band's latest album, Bad Self Portraits. "There's something about humans singing in harmony that is just inherently joyful."

The members of Lake Street Dive spoke with NPR's Steve Inskeep throughout Monday's episode of Morning Edition, touching on their early shows (in which the other bands were sometimes the only audience members) and how they found their pop sound after an experiment with free jazz. Hear more of their stories at the audio links.

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