The year is 2013. Tumblr and Vine are still thriving platforms. Videos of people doing the Harlem Shake fill the internet. “Sweater Weather,” the perfect alt-pop song preaching summer nostalgia and a love/hate relationship with California, is all over the airwaves. The single made it to number one on the Billboard Alternative chart and went 2x platinum. But what ended up happening to The Neighbourhood, the band behind the song and the perfectly black-and-white artsy Tumblr aesthetic video?
As it turns out, they’re still creating incredibly catchy yet unique music. The band, also stylized as The NBHD, formed in Newbury Park, California in 2011. The NBHD was originally composed of lead vocalist Jesse Rutherford, guitarists Jeremy Freedman and Zach Abels, bassist Mikey Margott and drummer Bryan Sammis. In 2014, Sammis left the band and was replaced with drummer Brandon Alexander Fried.
What’s interesting about The NBHD is their ability to mix genres, like most popular artists today. While many of their songs still have the classic guitar riffs of the alternative scene, there is also a clear influence of purely pop lyrics and chorus lines along with heavy trap beats that gather inspiration from modern R&B and hip-hop.
While this genre-mixing is somewhat normal by today’s standards of popular music, what’s perhaps most impressive is that The NBHD has been creating this type of music since the band’s very beginning with their EP “I’m Sorry…” released in 2012.
This EP included the popular “Sweater Weather,” which quickly shot to the top of the charts and instantly made the band one to watch. The EP also included the track “Female Robbery,” also released as a single. “Female Robbery” is a clearly alternative song with heavy R&B influence, perhaps embodying The NBHD’s sound even more accurately than the more popular “Sweater Weather.”
The year 2013 marked the release of the band’s first full album titled “I Love You.,” including the singles mentioned previously mentioned. The NBHD released two more singles for the album entitled “Let It Go” and “Afraid,” the latter of which reached number four on the Billboard Alternative chart.
In 2014 the band dropped a mixtape entitled “#000000 & #FFFFFF” (which stands for the HEX color codes for black and white). The mixtape certainly had heavier R&B and hip-hop influences, not only in the sound of the music produced but in the wide array of hip-hop features including G-Eazy, French Montana, DeJ Loaf and others.
“Wiped Out!” was the band’s second studio album and was released in 2015. The single “R.I.P 2 My Youth” was released prior to this album and reached number thirteen on the Billboard 200 chart. This album echoed the sentiments and sounds of “I Love You.,” with more of an emphasis on the band’s alternative California sound rather than the mixtape’s hip-hop heavy vibe.
Throughout late 2017 into early 2018, The NBHD released two separate EPs titled “Hard” and “To Imagine.” They followed these releases with the release of their self-titled third studio album which included some tracks from the two EPs. The tracks that weren’t included in the album were put into another EP entitled “Ever Changing.” On Nov. 2, 2018m the band released a full album entitled “Hard To Imagine The Neighbourhood Ever Changing,” which featured all songs from the previous EPs and album as well as new ones.
The NBHD’s comfortable use of genre-mixing, catchy choruses and use of features allows the band to stand out amidst the thousands of other alt-rock groups that exist. Whether listening to their newer releases or opting for some old classics, playing their music really does make it a beautiful day in The Neighbourhood.