Earlier this month, Vancouver dour-pop quintet the Organ announced that it was breaking up. In a December 7 press release, Mint Records publicist Yvette Ray said:
The band announced their decision today, with the following statement: "The Organ are breaking up. We want to thank our friends, fans, and family for all the support you gave to us. Thank you. Shelby, Jenny, Katie, Debora, and Shmoo."
In a short space of time, The Organ gained rapid exposure with the release of their first EP, Sinking Hearts; and a live show that has spirited them on stage with some of the most significant bands today. A critical and popular favourite, The Organ wrote melodic and introspective music based on layered interplay among their instrumentalists - Debora Cohen, guitar; Ashley Webber, bass (later replaced by Shmoo); Shelby Stocks, drums; Jenny Smyth, Hammond organ - and the intimate and doleful lyrics of their lead singer, Katie Sketch. In 2003, The Organ signed a co-record deal with both Mint and 604 Records. As a result, their debut record, Grab That Gun, was released on May 25th, 2004.
The Canadian press and indie publications across the U.S. praised The Organ's dream-pop inflected music. The Organ rapidly grew a live following, aided by and resulting in the band playing prominent European festivals in 2005, alongside The Cure, "!!!" and The Ravonettes (Route Du Rock) and Cat Power (Le Inrocks Festival, Paris). The Organ set their sights on the UK, braving dingy Brit venues to win further fans to the cause. Grab That Gun was licensed to London independent label Too Pure, April 2006 and they quickly won over UK fans and critics alike.
Through the Organ's live appearances in Europe, Katie Sketch was discovered by the international fashion world, and has since been seen in a variety of magazine spreads, including a recent twelve page spread in the UK edition of Vogue.
We are very sad to say good-bye but we wish the band all the best in their future endeavors.
Here's the band's video for "Memorize the City", which features lots of local scenery:
I never understood the constant Smiths comparisons the Organ got. I just don't hear it at all. Surely I'm not the only one to notice how much the Organ sounded like Martha and the Muffins, minus the saxophone (not to mention the hooks)?