If you get the chance to experience a KOLARS show in-person, be prepared to abandon all expectations. The husband-and-wife duo—Rob Kolar and Lauren Brown—are eye-catching from the moment they step on stage, often dressed in sparkly ensembles, each drenched in their fair share of glitter. The real shock, though, comes when instead of settling behind the drum set, Brown mounts it.
She performs “tap dance drumming,” a style originated by the percussionist where instead of leaving her lower half dormant during playing, she taps on top of a drum. It’s one of the signature styles of the band, who were named one of Bandsintown’s Big Break artists earlier this year, and something that initially attracted attention to their act in 2016, when they banded together.
They held that attention with their 2017 self-titled debut, which received widespread critical acclaim. The LP consists of eight captivating tracks, each one unique yet threaded together by the pair’s unique sound, which consists of what they call “Desert Disco, Glam-a-Billy, Space Blues, and R&Beyond.” Their live show even earned them praise from Mike McCready of Pearl Jam, who called the two “one of [his] new favorite artists.”
Now, KOLARS are preparing for a fall tour across the US, kicking off next week in Colorado. Before they get going, we caught up with the rising stars for an exclusive look at the music that’s been on heavy rotation for them recently. Check it out below, and don’t forget to track KOLARS to be notified when they come to your city—and trust us, it’s a show you won’t want to miss!
"Saw these guys recently and loved the live energy and atmosphere. They are bringing back what made people fall in love with rock n' roll in the first place. Elton is a fan, the Boss is a fan, we are fans. You probably will be too."
"These guys and girl have been at it for a while and always write some great melodies. Last time we played with them at SXSW Rob jumped in the mosh pit. Love the lo-fi retro production on this one which sounds like it could have been recorded on a 4 track in the 80s."
"This song captures that rush of falling in love in such an exciting and infectious way. We recently saw them with Shakey Graves at the Hollywood Bowl and fell in love with their yearning alt-country-noir. Always love seeing a band who has developed their own unique sound."
"We have long been huge fans of this band. We did a festival with them in Hamburg, Germany and they blew our minds. This is a new tune off their ‘Best Of’ album (which should probably be a box set)."
"We just spent a week recording at Bedrock Studio in LA and we did a cover of this one for the new album. We had a party at the studio, invited a bunch of friends to sing on it and filmed it for an upcoming music video. Always loved this song even though it never really got much attention when it came out. We gave it an upbeat rock and roll makeover."
"This band is a huge influence on KOLARS. We adore the guitar riff (and tone) on this one and love the fact that this was one of the earliest multi racial bands. One of the best songs of the disco era. Ty Segall did a cool cover of this one recently."
"Occasionally you discover a great pop song which also perfectly captures the struggles we face in culture and society. This is one of those. We recently toured with Guster and heard this one in soundcheck and immediately got hooked. Great people. Great songwriters."
"We recently did a tour with Shakey and had a ball. He’s one of our favorite singers out there. His new album is some of his best work and this song is a great example why. Just hope he adds this one to live set one day."
"We were eating breakfast buffet at a hotel on tour somewhere in the middle of nowhere and suddenly on the TV popped Lizzo in her unabashed glory. We became instant fans. We are pumped as hell to be doing Bumbershoot with her this year. This song is hilarious and impossible not to move to, a welcome breath of fresh air in a culture which has been doing a lot of man hating lately."
"Joy has sung with us many times on stage. We love her voice and her songs (and her outfits). This songs is a perfect reflection of that indecision and inner conflict that comes with heart break."