It all started in 2016 with a seed that was planted with “such a bad flyer” placed in a campus music building in Madison, WI. Thompson Springs drummer Jacob Bicknase and singer Matt Smith recall the origin story of the group while exchanging some playful smirks. The two are not only bandmates but also roommates in Logan Square. Bassist David Thrift and guitarist Cook (filling in for Jeff Sullivan) joined the band after meeting at various gigs once the guys made the move to Chicago, a scene that David describes as “thriving,” especially for genre-bending acts like Thompson Springs who meld sounds from genres like country, Americana, indie rock, and folk.
Thompson Springs’ sound features breezy acoustic guitar melodies that can swoop you up and carry you away along with the airy vocals. And yet, alternatively, electric riffs and solos can yank you into a harder, grungier space with minimal vocals, but feature sonic jams galore. The bands’ eclectic catalog is one you can find yourself easily meandering through to unwind, or to get hyped up by some classic rock sounds that crash and bang with a fresh twist. This sonic duality is something to be admired by anyone who’s ever tried to write a song.
The band and their sound have now settled their roots in Chicago, and their new home has grown on them. Since arriving on the scene, the guys have garnered some regional success with their first two EPs Artifacts (2016), and Fond Regards (2017), including recording a jam-packed PBS 30-Minute News Hour session in 2019 featuring a Velvet Underground cover (which you should go check out), and Detroit Public Radio (WDET) made comparisons of their songwriting approach to that of Kurt Vile.