Indie Pop Duo Bogan Via Started a Band and Fell in Love
Almost the same moment Bogan Via started out as a band, they started a relationship.
Esther Martinez Bogan Via
As a duo, Bret Bender and Madeleine Miller possess two distinctly different personalities and voices, and that contrast fits their high-energy synth pop. Often compared as a "sunnier Beach House," the couple splits vocal duties. It represents a healthy duality -- Miller's falsetto complementing Bender's baritone, washed over with subdued hip-hop beats and perky synths.
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The name comes from bougainvillea, the bush with paper-thin flowers found all over Phoenix. The band name is purposely misspelled for easier memorization. As did Miller, you may remember these whispy magenta and amber blossoms growing in your backyard. And as natives, Bogan Via are naturally finding their place in Phoenix's music scene, even when it isn't always easy.
"We've made some friends. It just seems like you think you know all the bands in town," Bender says. "And then it's like there's 50,000 bands I've never heard of."
But Miller is quick to list her favorite local acts. "I'm a really big fan of Sareena Dominguez. I love her. She's beautiful. I've really gotten into [Common Wall Media labelmates] Gospel Claws recently 'cuz they have this one song that's really awesome. Every now and then I'll see someone playing at a show . . . and it's just good stuff."
"It feels like there's just more and more all the time," Bender adds. "You [start to] wonder why you're on a label and someone else isn't."
"For sure!" Miller says, adding: "We've had really good experiences so far. No one has been mean to us."
Some of their biggest help in the Valley music scene has come from local one-man-band-slash-synth-guru YUS, who remixed their song "Purple Catacombs" and has "become a friend," Miller says.
"He came to one of our shows and seemed to really like us," Bender says "We didn't really know anything about his live act. He kept coming to shows and being really nice and eventually I got out to see him play. He always seems to be looking out for us."
"He's just a really nice guy," Miller chimes in. "He told Jeremiah Gratza [local promoter and head of President Gator Records] to listen to us. Through that, Jeremiah has just been this incredible help to us. He's gotten us so many shows; he's kinda taken us under his wing, so YUS was like our first super-fan. He helped us out a lot."