Ink

Lewis Del Mar: Childhood friends are hitting experimental-pop stardom

Lewis Del Mar's Max Harwood, Danny Miller talk about their start

The Kansas City Star's Timothy Finn chatted with Lewis Del Mar's Max Harwood and Danny Miller in the green room of the Madrid Theatre before taking the stage for Ink's Middle of the Map fest. Video by Shane Keyser
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The Kansas City Star's Timothy Finn chatted with Lewis Del Mar's Max Harwood and Danny Miller in the green room of the Madrid Theatre before taking the stage for Ink's Middle of the Map fest. Video by Shane Keyser

Lewis Del Mar is a duo, the music alchemy that erupted between singer/guitarist Danny Miller and drummer/producer Max Harwood. The boyhood friends started working on music projects in grade school in Washington, D.C. In 2013, they moved to Rockaway Beach in Queens and started their experimental-pop duo, which mixes live music with various electronic sounds and samples.

Their first break came in 2015, when their debut single, “Loud(y),” climbed to the top of a Hype Machine chart. The song has since generated more than 8 million hits on Spotify. In October, Lewis Del Mar released its self-titled debut album, which includes the song “Painting (Masterpiece),” now nearing 10 million Spotify hits.

“Painting” is a bubbly, electro-pop tune with invigorating hooks and beats, a song that invites immediate comparisons to the sounds of bands like Phoenix. Elsewhere, on tracks like “Tap Water Drinking” and “Malt Liquor,” the music takes darker and more experimental turns, drawing comparisons to bands like Alt-J and Foals.

Live, the duo performs with supporting musicians, re-creating the dynamic sounds of its recordings. After watching Lewis Del Mar open for Børns at a show in Buffalo, a reviewer at liveinlimbo.com wrote: “As far as openers go, they were top-notch. I would mark them as a band to watch in the future and who knows? You may see them headlining … in no time.”

Which, with just one full-length in its discography, is what Lewis Del Mar is doing at Ink’s Middle of the Map Fest.

Lewis Del Mar performs Thursday, May 4, at the Madrid Theatre as part of Ink’s Middle of the Map Fest. The Zipper Club and Anna Wise are also on the bill.

Timothy Finn: 816-234-4781, @phinnagain

Middle of the Map tickets

A variety of ticket options are available for the Ink’s Middle of the Map Fest, May 4-6: A three-day pass is $75, a three-day VIP pass is $125. A Thursday pass is $20. Friday and Saturday passes: $35 for general admission, $65 for VIP. Jason Isbell and De La Soul headline Friday and Saturday. Tickets are available now at middleofthemapfest.com.

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