Oh Captain My Captain
Oh Captain My Captain
The seeds of OH CAPTAIN MY CAPTAIN were planted the summer of 1998 in Portland, Oregon when two high school students, Jesse Bettis (vocals/guitar) and Josh Spacek (guitar), began practicing together and subsequently formed the first in a long list of bands. Jesse describes his early musical influences, saying “I cut my teeth on a lot of music that was popular at the time like Weezer, Radiohead and the Eels.” Adding “Josh, on the other hand, grew up listening to bands like the Beatles, the Beach Boys and Herman’s Hermits, along with lots of other older stuff.” The two began the project that would become OH CAPTAIN MY CAPTAIN in 2003 but eventually lost half of their band to other endeavors.The current incarnation of OH CAPTAIN MY CAPTAIN was assembled in 2007 when Spacek met drummer and Bladen County Records owner, Joe Bowden, who brought along long time friend and fellow Alaskan native, Alex Ellis from The Builders and the Butchers to take over bass duties. The group played their first show together in the basement of Portland’s seminal house club, the 1414 house. Momentum quickly picked up as the band began opening for larger acts such as Portland music pioneers, Quasi, as well as Loch Lomond, the Builders and the Butchers, Dead Trees and more.
The last year has proved to be one of great growth and maturity for the band as they prepared to record their debut full length, Recklessly She Split the Sea for Bladen County Records. OH CAPTAIN MY CAPTAIN began tracking most of the album live at Miracle Lake Studios in Camas, WA, where Skyler Norwood (Blind Pilot, Talk Demonic, Horse Feathers, Loch Lomond) produced and engineered the recordings. Later, the band called in friends; Annalisa Tornfelt, Nathan Langston, Ian Krist and Mike Kitson to provide the textures of strings, vibes, bells and toy piano to Recklessly She Split the Sea.
Recklessly She Split the Sea captures a band with a knack for sonic theatrics. Bettis’ vocal melody lines are unexpected and comforting while the slight psychedelic choppiness of the instrumentation adds a layer of drama and anxiousness to the songs on the band’s ambitious debut. OH CAPTAIN MY CAPTAIN maintains a solid ground in classic rock with all the proper updates and relevance causing Portland area critics like the Willamette Week to take notice and write: “Evoking three different branches of the pop family tree- the Beatles, Queen and Radiohead- OH CAPTAIN MY CAPTAIN offers distinct vocals and a gripping live show.”