Small Southern California band’s unique style gets a lot of attention


Music has always been a huge part of my life. My sister plays the cello, my dad and I play guitar, but I also like to play a few instruments on the side. Whether I’m in the car, at school or relaxing at home, I always have some form of music playing in the background. Growing up, I was exposed to many different genres of music: ’70s, ‘80s, rock, etc. Now it’s all I listen to. But since no current bands really play music like that anymore, I usually only listen to songs from those decades. Until recently. Earlier this year, I started listening to Spendtime Palace. They’re a band of five tight-knit friends from Costa Mesa, California: Elijah Chavis (Eli) on guitar, Daniel Fowlie (Dan) on lead guitar and lead vocals, Brandon Knickerbocker (Krando) on drums, Sean Flores on bass and Michael McClannahan (Toast) on synth/piano. When I first heard of them, I wasn’t sure I’d like them. Their name was confusing, and I thought their music wouldn’t be what I was used to. I tried listening to a song, then found myself listening to the whole album. Each member brought something so different to the table, yet they were able to create a mix of everything I like.

The group originally formed in 2012, from elementary school into high school, but have just recently caught a lot of attention. When they were starting out, they all decided on Playdate as their band name, but later made that the name of their first album. The idea for Spendtime Palace came from their close friend and director Josh Ovalle. When he was younger, he wrote a poem about a place where you can go and do what you love: your Spendtime Palace. In July of 2017, the band worked together with Josh and his good friend Finn Wolfhard, an actor best known for his roles in IT and Stranger Things, to make their first music video “Sonora,” which just recently reached 2.5 million views on Youtube. When the band was first created, only half of the members could play an instrument, and none of them could sing.

Their music creates a vibe that is fun and thrilling for anyone watching and/or listening. If you’re studying for an exam, their music can make a focused atmosphere, but also give you the motivation to finish the task at hand. It’s a perfect balance between calming, relaxing music and new, engaging music.

Another thing I love about this group is they treat their fans as friends. After listening to them for a while, I decided to buy a shirt from them. With it I received a handwritten note thanking me for the support and also saying that they hoped to see me in Austin for their December show. The group puts a lot of thought into their lyrics/music and are able to connect with the audience on a deeper level, making sure they are happy and always having fun.

Although Spendtime Palace is relatively new to the music industry, they’ve already developed a large fan base and made their mark on the music scene. Their music is for everyone and can be appreciated by many different genres.

I’m excited to see where this group goes and how much they will grow over the next few years. There is no doubt that I will be at their December show, wearing my new Spendtime Palace shirt.