Josh Hoyer & Soul Colossal’s combination of soul, funk and R&B is in a word, electric. Best displayed in their high-energy live show, the blend of Hoyer’s honest lyrics and his soulful (sometimes in-your-face) vocals merge with his top-notch band to create an undeniable chemistry.

The magic of their live show caught the attention of producer Ken Coomer (Wilco, Uncle Tupelo), who joined with the band to record their third full-length album. Their most ambitious project to date, Running From Love was recorded at Nashville’s historic Sound Emporium, and once again features Hoyer’s trademark vocals and the band’s signature groove. The album was released on April 8, 2016,  and is available on vinyl, CD and digital formats.

Hoyer formed Josh Hoyer and Soul Colossal in 2012 in famed blues town Lincoln, Nebraska. The award-winning five-piece band includes some of the area’s most revered and accomplished musicians. Joining Hoyer (keyboards/vocals) is Benjamin Kushner (guitar), Mike Dee (sax), Kennith “Memphis” Shepherd (drums), and James Fleege (bass). Inspired by the sounds of Stax, Motown, New Orleans, Philly and San Francisco, the band continuously crosses musical boundaries both in style and era, and joins forces each show with a common goal – to have the crowd dancing so much they forget even their smallest troubles.

The hard working band completed several national tours in 2015 and 2016, playing more than 150 shows in 32 states each year, including opening for George Clinton/Funkadelic, Charles Bradley, Booker T Jones, and Muscle Shoals Revue. Their year-round tour schedule took them from coast to coast, including several major summer music festivals.

"If James Brown and Otis Redding had a love child, it would be Josh Hoyer. The Lincoln, Nebraska, soul shouter, and his band of merry soulsters, Soul Colossal, deliver a sound so big, so funky, so wring-the-sweat-out-of-you energetic that it reaches through the speakers and shakes you until you start moving to its groove." - No Depression



Here’s an origin story that certainly isn’t run of the mill. Having never met or even spoken, Hamburg, Germany-based drummer and producer Lucas Kochbeck and Lincoln, Nebraska-based ex-Eagle Seagull front man Eli Mardock were introduced via email by mutual friends who knew they’d be a musical match-made-in-heaven. After exchanging some songs and listening to each other’s various projects and albums, the two strangers found an instant connection. Eli flew to meet Lucas at his Hamburg studio, and 3 weeks later, from a cloud of smoke, blood, sweat, tears, and booze, the two emerged with 17 songs and a new band: The Kiez. 

You might ask yourself: what exactly is The Kiez (pronounced Keetz), and what does it mean? The Kiez is local Hamburg slang for the Reeperbahn, or Red Light District. But in the greater German language, it also means one’s “'hood”, or “barrio”; it’s the place where you belong, your home away from home. 

So, it is an apt name for this band, who could be described by their own lyric: “People like you and me / we are the kind, we do wrong right”. Likewise, in their sound nothing is out of bounds: lo-fi electronics, fuzzed out soul, garage-rock infused dance beats and shoe-gaze guitars. And the result is a surprisingly focused and fully realized collection of songs full of coy swagger, teen malaise, and garage psychedelia. Taken together as a whole, it is one of the best pop albums you’ll likely hear all year. 

Aided by their combined production experience, Lucas and Eli have crafted sonic textures ranging from overdriven bass to quirky synths and organs, dreamy background vocals, and the rolling pidder-padder of garage rock drums. The songs themselves are just as notable for the lyrics, which capture a wide range of moods and emotions: the boredom of youth, the deep gratitude of real love, the electric up and down moments of a one night stand, and a general us-versus-the-world sort of attitude. Mardock’s lyrics are full bravado (“you think that you know me, but you don’t / you think that you could, but you won’t”) and caustic one-liners (“You can dance, but you don’t get the music / you move to the noise but it don’t move you”). 

In the end, there is a manic nature to songs that comes across as oddly loveable. Because, at its core, The Kiez is pop band. But, like the best party-inducing pop, there is always a hint of insight towards the ineffable.