Just outside of Nashville in Hermitage, Tennessee, Toby Haydel grew up listening to independent rock; from Wolf Parade to MGMT, he found himself drawn to bands whose musical structures made sense of an ever-changing chaos in the world around him. In 2012, he began dabbling with his own creation of the sounds that underscored these years of acting as a beacon of positivity in an underground scene, and realized his passion for igniting optimism through song.
After enrolling in Trevecca University, Toby met Cody Garrow, Preston Hunt, Graham Scott, and Cobey and Chauncey Arner, a group of talented instrumentalists who shared a desire to create sounds that emulated the humanity of the world, while remaining undeterred in their positivity and spirit. Soon after they met, they began recording a scroll of songs that Toby had sketched out on Garage Band, and together they created Phin to breathe life into their collective musical interests.
Since their inception in 2013, the band has soared to the top of Nashville’s independent music scene with a layered rock sound, boasting original thought and a sparkling showcase of hope in such young and resilient musicians. With a tight instrumental chemistry and lyrics that serve up a healthy dose of uncomplicated metaphor, Phin has carved out a necessary space in today’s musical sphere; they combine pop sensibilites with a needed resurrection of generational hope. Their connectedness seems to be universally understood by the city, as they recently came out on top of the Music City Mayhem Contest sponsored by Lightning100, winning a slot at this year’s Live On The Green.
The band cites both Sam Cooke and MGMT as influences, a juxtaposition that translates with melodic ingenuity in their release of 2013’s “Those Killers” EP. But with a comprehensive vision of how soul music penetrates synthesis, how pauses underscore noise, the six-piece band has created a sound that is not only catchy in its rhythms and the rawness of its delivery, but also one that resonates on various levels of contentedness and anticipation.