The Unlikely Candidates are making their return to Syracuse as direct support to Jimmy Eat World.
One listen to The Unlikely Candidates, and it’s clear that the Fort Worth, TX alternative rock mavericks create their own scene. One song vaults from stadium anthem into a piano ballad, while the next twists from syncopated singalong into a contemporary grunge-influenced pop song. Boundaries don’t apply to the quintet—Kyle Morris (vocals), Brent Carney (lead guitar), Cole Male (guitar), Jared Hornbeek (bass), and Kevin Goddard (drums). Influenced by everything from Oasis, The Strokes, and Led Zeppelin to romantic poetry and the writing of Tao Lin, the group consistently craft unpredictable, unbreakable, and undeniable alternative pop rock music powered by gritty attitude, danceable swagger, and indie flair.
Hailing from Texas, the boys immediately separated themselves since uniting in high school. Breaking from the typical musical traditions associated with the Lone Star State, they turned up with an alternative style of their own. They challenged the status quo and carved out their own niche in Fort Worth.
No matter where they are, they’ve clung to a sound that’s simply The Unlikely Candidates.
As lead singer Kyle explains it, “In Texas, it’s all folk, blues, and country. That’s just how it is. By playing alternative music, we never quite fit in. We’d be playing small shows across from the largest honkytonk bar in the state. Since we weren’t part of anything else around us, we could focus on being ourselves and making our own little world for music. The isolation actually helped compress and solidify the vision. We never got comfortable. That fire hardened the group. You can hear it in the music. Nothing is off limits. It’s become easier for us to move on instinct.”
That instinct continues to serve them well as they bulldoze their own path. Flaunting outsider wisdom and big screen-worthy hooks as oversized as their home state, these outliers have struck gold with hits like like “Oh My Dear Lord” (Danger To Myself EP), which has over 13 million worldwide streams, and “Your Love Could Start A War” (Bed of Liars EP), which has over 15 million worldwide streams. The band’s current breakout single “Novocaine” is a game changer for the five-piece. Within the past couple months of release, the catchy, stadium worthy track has clocked in over 7 million streams to date and is climbing the Alternative radio charts.
The band has logged countless miles on the road alongside everyone from Young The Giant, The Dirty Heads, Fall Out Boy, and Brick & Morter. Their live show has been known to uplift every crowd with the band’s high energy antics. While on tour most recently, Kyle broke his foot by jumping off a speaker from the stage. As they say, “The show must go on,” and he continued to perform the band’s signature firework set while wearing a peg-leg crutch (in true rockstar fashion!). As they’ve grown as a band, the boys have earned acclaim from the likes of The New York Times, AXS, Esquire, Nylon, Alternative Press, Baeble, and more. Additionally, the band’s music has been featured on HULU’s Veronica Mars, ABC’s American Idol, FOX’s The Four, NFL’s Super Bowl 2018 playoffs, and ESPN’s 2018 Indy 500.
The truth is, The Unlikely Candidates’ sound is still too big and bold for any scene, with steeple-vaulting vocal acrobatics and fiery falsetto’s, cobmined with heavy-hitting syth melodies, undeniably catchy lyrics, and feel good beats. It’s ultimately meant to resonate on a much grander and more dramatic scale.
“We want to find this middle ground between catchy singable songs and themes that people can apply to their lives,” Kyle leaves off. “If there isn’t depth on a subconscious level, I don’t feel like I’m doing my job. I want listeners to walk away with something deeper. There are big themes, but there are big hooks too.”
There’s no scene for that. But The Unlikely Candidates are ready to pioneer a new one, and everyone is starting to catch on.