SONG OF THE DAY: “Who Needs You” by The Orwells

The Orwells are an American rock band from Elmhurst, Illinois, a western suburb of Chicago. The members include Mario Cuomo (vocals), Dominic Corso (guitar), Matt O’Keefe (guitar), Grant Brinner (bass), and Henry Brinner (drums). Their debut album Remember When was released on August 7, 2012, through Autumn Tone Records. Their first EP, Other Voices, was released on June 24, 2013, on National Anthem Records. The band’s second EP, Who Needs You, was released on September 10, 2013, also through National Anthem.

The Orwells formed when all the members were in high school at York High School in Elmhurst, IL. Corso and Cuomo are cousins and the Brinners are twin brothers and all of the members of the band have been family friends for years. The band was discovered in late 2011 by Aquarium Drunkard blogger Justin Gage, who signed them to his Autumn Tone label imprint. They graduated high school early in 2013 to pursue their musical career. The Orwells were named one of the most criminally overlooked artists of 2012 in MTV’s annual list. Their single Mallrats (La La La) has been reviewed by the popular music website, Pitchfork They performed at Lollapalooza in August 2013. The Orwells released their second album, titled “Disgraceland,” on June 2, 2014.

The song “Who Needs You?” was featured on the August 6, 2013 episode of NPR’s All Songs Considered. Co-host Bob Boilen said of the group, “You can’t say The Orwells without saying ‘young’,” and called the song his summer anthem.

On November 5, 2013, The Orwells appeared on Later… with Jools Holland. On November 22, 2013, Arctic Monkeys announced that The Orwells would be their support at nine American concerts in January and February 2014. The Orwells performed on Late Show with David Letterman January 15, 2014. Their performance was enthusiastically received, so much that Letterman and others called for an encore. The band did not respond, partly because guitarist Matt O’Keefe had broken all of his strings and physically could not play. After waiting for the Orwells, the house band reprised the Orwells’ song and Paul Schaffer parodied the way that Mario Cuomo had lain on his back, thrashing.

On March 24, 2014 the band announced their new studio album Disgraceland through social media outlets as well to their email subscribers. The album was released on June 3, 2014 and includes singles such as “Who Needs You?” and “Dirty Sheets.”