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Western Education

Children of the 1990s, Western Education grew up in a time when Nirvana was classic rock and the Strokes were already elder statesmen. Formed by lead singer Greg Alexandropoulos, who also plays keys, Georgio Broufas on guitar and backing vocals, and producer Will Hunt on bass, the trio -- along with original drummer Mark Ragusa, who left the band in 2015 -- crafted a mix of earnest, passionate rock in the vein of turn-of-the-millennium angular indie and emo rock. In 2011, the bandmembers met at the University of Massachusetts in Lowell and bonded over a shared love of the Killers, the Strokes, and Franz Ferdinand. That early-aughts ilk influenced much of their initial sound, but Alexandropoulos' vocal delivery owed more to the dramatics of Panic! At the Disco's Brandon Urie than that other Brandon from the Killers -- more yearning plea than cocky showman. After self-producing a pair of EPs in 2012, they received local New England radio airplay, were shortlisted as one of the best new bands in Boston in 2013 (by The Boston Phoenix), and were semifinalists in the 35th annual Boston "Rock 'n' Roll Rumble," sharing that title with former competitors like the Dresden Dolls, Lemonheads, and Morphine. Western Education's debut, Let Your Secrets Out, was released in 2014 and was produced by members of the Color and Sound and Pray for Sound. Mixing styles and genres, the album included the singles "Rivals" and "I Can't Heal." The band -- this time with new drummer Devin Vaillancourt -- returned in 2016 with the Restless Dreams EP, which featured the singles "Skin Deep" and "Different Animals." On Restless Dreams, they bridged the gap between their synth- and emo-rock influences, incorporating darker post-punk tones similar to Interpol and Bloc Party. In the years that followed, they set to work on their next full-length, releasing the propulsive single "Coat of Arms" in 2018 and a cover of Miley Cyrus' hit single "Midnight Sky" in 2021.
© Neil Z. Yeung /TiVo
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