Today’s “Featured Bonnaroo Artist” is indie rock band, Colony House. These Tennessee natives just made their Grand Ole Opry debut (5/9) and will be at Bonnaroo performing in “This Tent” on 6/17. The band is made up of brothers Will and Caleb Chapman, as well as Scott Mills and Parke Cottrell.
They have dubbed their latest album, The Cannonballers, a “love letter to Tennessee,” as much of the writing was done while they were forced to stay home during the height of the pandemic. “We got to see the seasons change and experience our home again for the first time in a long time. I think I was falling back in love with Tennessee,” frontman Caleb Chapman says, “I started revisiting some old memories and old relationships in my head that pertained to certain geographical locations as well as just emotional places I had spent my most formative years.”
As for their debut on the Grand Ole Opry, Chapman also shares, “The Grand Ole Opry has always been the musical heartbeat of Nashville and is a dream come true for anyone who gets the privilege of playing that iconic stage, especially for a bunch of born and raised Tennessee boys like ourselves. My grandpa used to drive to Nashville from Paducah, Kentucky, when he was my age and sit in his car outside of the Ryman. He would listen to the Opry through the venue’s cracked windows, dreaming of the day when he might have the chance to sing his own songs on that stage. It goes without saying, but this really does mean the world to us, and we are very grateful for this incredible opportunity.”
Cannonballers, which dropped in Feb, marks the band’s fourth full-length release: their three previous studio collections take listeners on a journey through stories of loss, grief, and heartbreak while welcoming them into the hope that comes on the other side. Their 2014 debut, WHEN I WAS YOUNGER, included the single “Silhouettes,” which became the #1 most played track on Sirius XM’s Alt Nation for four months straight.
The album’s title track, “Cannonballers” is imbued with a bit of folklore, inspired in part by the story of the Wabash Cannonball, a cursed train that transported hoboes to the afterlife—and the local roller coaster at the now-defunct Opryland USA that was named after it. “In short, it’s a look at how we are all afraid of the inevitable and would do anything to live forever, even though we live our lives in contradiction to this: we get frustrated behind cars that go the speed limit, we spend money we don’t have, we don’t like slowing down, we are always on the run—either running away or trying to play catch up.”
The band’s surf-rock hit, “You Know It,” went viral on Tik Tok, and has amassed 100 million streams across all platforms to date, after being featured as the soundtrack to Samsung Mobile’s nationwide ad campaign.
Colony House has performed their songs for worldwide audiences with two appearances on both Late Night with Seth Meyers and CONAN, as well as The Today Show, VH1’s “Morning Buzz,” and MTV Live. They have also been part of several festival lineups including Shaky Knees, Austin City Limits, Firefly, WonderBus, and Lollapalooza.
We’re so glad they’ve finally made it to Bonnaroo and Nashville.com highly recommends you be at THIS TENT on 6/17 to see this “land locked” indie surf rock band, we will.