Who’s topping the charts, going viral, and ruling our earbuds? Every week, EW introduces the freshest music talent you have to hear now. Below, get to know Dan Luke & the Raid, whose raucous brand of rock you need to hear.
Listen If You Like: The Beatles at their “Helter Skelter”-heaviest, early My Morning Jacket, Pavement
The Backstory: Dan Luke & the Raid frontman Dan Shultz, 21, grew up in a musical household outside of Bowling Green, Kentucky. His brothers Brad, 35, and Matt, 33, perform in the town’s best known — for now, if Shultz has his way — rock export, Cage the Elephant. “It was an interesting environment,” Shultz says with a laugh. “We were rambunctious.” More than a decade younger than Matt and Brad, Shultz was just 10 when they decamped to Europe to start their own career. And when another Shultz brother, Jeremy, left home shortly after that, Shultz suddenly found himself in quieter hallways. “There were times where it was lonely,” he admits. “My dad lived out in the country and there wasn’t a ton to do. I would sit with a guitar in my hand for hours and watch TV and learn the songs in commercials.”
Shultz eventually linked up with drummer Kendrick Brent, a jazz- and funk-devotee and high school classmate who, along with Shultz, formed the foundation of what would become Dan Luke & the Raid. The group is now a quintet — it also includes bassist Dylan Graves, guitarist Patrick Stewart, and keyboardist Anthony Joiner — and they’ve just dropped their debut single, the groovy “Black Cat Heavy Metal. (EW is thrilled to premiere the song’s music video below.) The tune recalls a particularly wild night of partying — and pays homage to Muhammad Ali’s legacy. “There’s a line, ‘Passed out on the curb where legends die that is inspired by a night I was hanging out with my brother Matt and the band Twin Peaks,” Shultz explains. “We were in Louisville, [Ky.], the night Muhammed Ali died and we realized it was the place he was born. It felt surreal … realizing one of our hometown childhood heroes was gone.”
Why They Rule: The group’s clangy music feels somehow both retro and futuristic. Shultz’ influences stretch from the Beatles and Modest Mouse to Grandaddy and the Brian Jonestown Massacre — and each artist is represented subtly on the style-blending “Black Cat Heavy Metal.” But Shultz’ hopes for the band are less sonically rooted. “I’ve been watching the way music moves people since early on,” he says. “My whole goal is to write songs and create something that’s true to me and make somebody feel or relate to that feeling.”
What’s Next: The band plans to release their debut EP later this summer and they’ll spend the month of August opening for UK singer-songwriter Declan McKenna. From there, attention turns immediately to their first full-length. “We’ve got seven more [songs] in the works,” Shultz promises.
Stream the “Black Cat Heavy Metal” music video above. Follow Dan Luke & the Raid on Spotify here. All confirmed tour dates are listed below.
8/5: Detroit, MI @ Magic Stick
8/6: Columbus, OH @ A&R Music Bar
8/8: New York, NY @ Studio at Webster Hall
8/11: Toronto, ON @ Mod Club
8/13: Niagara Falls, NY @ The Rapids Theatre
8/14: Rochester, NY @ Montage Music Hall
8/15: Cambridge, MA @ The Sinclair