In the Fall of 2008, singer / songwriter Kennon Talley had been working on a songwriting project he called “A Semester Set Free” in which we wrote and recorded a new piece of music every week for three months. As many of these tracks began circulating online and amongst members of the rich Denton music community, Talley began searching for musicians to help him expand and further explore the project. Around the turn of the new year, he was met with drummer Josiah Hampton, keyboardist Jordan Stephens and bassist Aaron Stoner who, as a group, began take hold of the project, and would eventually rename it Western Giants.
The band recorded their first “self-titled” studio EP in the Spring of 2009 which included a few of the tracks from the original “A Semester Set Free” collection–reworked and re-purposed as the springboard for the band’s transition away from the Denton folk scene. The record was released regionally and received well. My Denton Music suggested, “Western Giants are quickly establishing themselves as an alt-country force in the Denton music scene, the Americana twang and swirling keyboards of their debut E.P. gave way to a more straightforward indie rock feel.” The band immediately followed up the release with a regional Summer tour with local friends This Old House–now known as Sundress–pushing the band out of their North Texas, musically spoiled comfort zone.
After a lineup change near the end of that summer which saw bassist Aaron Stoner replaced by Ben Fisseler, the band immediately started working on the follow up to their first studio effort. A few short months later, the band entered the studio again. The product of those sessions, “Long Live the Live Long Day” was released in March of 2010 at Denton’s second NX35 music festival again receiving local and regional acclaim. Prior to the band’s performance, the NX35 blog posted, “‘Long Live the Live Long Day’ strips the country-rock conventions of the previous EP in favor for more atmospheric instrumentation and wide-open arrangements that resemble movements more than the standard verse-chorus-verse format… Throughout, the band sounds like they could be playing your living room, and Kennon Talley’s thin but inviting voice sings like he’s whispering secrets right in your ear.” and Oklahoma City’s Independent Clauses said “I could dedicate more words to Long Live the Live Long Day, but I don’t need more than this: Western Giants plays a mix of mellow country and dreamy, lazy indie that will leave you speechless”
Immediately following the NX35 performance, the band experienced another lineup change as bassist Ben Fisseler left. He was later replaced by Keaton Thomas, who is currently performing with the group. The band has since done a few more regional tours with local friends and has begun to record it’s still yet-to-be-titled first studio full-length album set to be released Spring 2011.