Eyes on the road, alternative pop rock band the Driver Era is here, and they might just be the next big thing. Formed by brothers Rocky and Ross Lynch in 2018, the Driver Era first burst onto the scene with their debut single, “Preacher Man,” last March. Now, they have one EP, five singles, four killer music videos and a recently-released debut album.
But wait — don’t these brothers look a little familiar? You might recognize Ross Lynch as Harvey Kinkle from Netflix’s reimagination of “Sabrina The Teenage Witch,” “The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina.” Or perhaps you saw him in the 2017 biographical drama “My Friend Dahmer” as notorious serial killer Jeffery Dahmer. Take your memory back even further. Yep, 23-year-old Ross also starred as Austin Mood in Disney Channel’s “Austin and Ally,” which ran from December 2011 through January 2016.
As for Rocky, the Driver Era is hardly his first foray into musical success. Along with his brothers, Ross and Riker; his sister, Rydell; and family friend, Ellington Ratcliff, Rocky was part of the pop sensation R5, which toured the world to screaming crowds of fans in the early 2010s. The band went on hiatus last year, but that was only to make room for the brothers’ new project. Though the Driver Era is technically comprised only of Ross and Rocky, their former band members still accompany them during live performances.
The Colorado natives noted that their new band name, the Driver Era, is meant to represent where they are in their lives. It is reminiscent of the past but also encapsulates the idea of the present and moving forward. It signifies heading somewhere. And that is exactly what this band is doing.
Although they’ve managed to build up a substantial fanbase, even headlining their own tour this year, they hadn’t quite made it into the mainstream. Well, until now. Within the last few months, major media outlets have begun to take notice of the brothers, with the two of them landing interviews with the likes of “Teen Vogue,” “Cosmopolitan” and “Inked,” just to name a few. Their growing popularity is no surprise, though. The duo’s laid back, fun-loving attitude and fresh take on pop music would leave anyone wanting to know just about everything about them.
Obviously hailing from a musically-inclined family, it makes sense that they would have a strong passion for music. The two note that they take influence from a variety of different musicians, including Prince, Stevie Wonder, and the Beatles. They even noted Broadway classics such as “Phantom of the Opera” as a source for inspiration, looking to the musical’s songs’ interesting chord progressions in particular.
Not to mention, the duo write and produce the majority of their songs independently. This is what makes the brothers so refreshing. They talk about music from a technical standpoint, with such passion and vigor. It’s clear that a lot of thought is put into every aspect of their music-making process.
What really sets the Driver Era apart from many of the other up-and-coming artists in the pop music industry, however, is their commitment to doing something different and innovative with their sound. Most important of all, they don’t confine themselves to just one genre or style.
When discussing their writing process, Ross noted, “The point is just to write the best song possible, and don’t worry about fitting in to whatever category.” And that is exactly what they do — experiment with each and every song they write. Because of this, no two of their songs sound the same, making it nearly impossible to get bored when listening to their music.
One of their more recent hits, “Welcome to the End of Your Life,” has more of a classic alt-rock feel, almost reminiscent of late ‘90s Weezer. Their sound could easily be described as a groovy, retro journey through the decades, but it is not limited to that alone. Elements of classic rock ’n’ roll, jazz, R&B and even gospel can be found within their work. They have a song for just about everyone and every mood you could have. Looking for a laid back, beachy song to drive around to on summer nights with all your windows down? Then “Afterglow” is for you. But, if you’re more in the mood for a straight pop song with jazzy brass instrumentals, then put on “Feel You Now.” With the Driver Era, each track is unexpected in the best way possible.
Up until recently, their most recent release was the music video for their single, “Low.” Although the song was written close to a year ago, it started to receive radio play within the last few months — yet another reminder that the Driver Era is breaking their way into the scene. The track’s low-fi hip-hop beats and reggaeton California vibe are accompanied by a gritty video of the two brothers performing a bank heist.
It is clear that the world is going to be seeing a lot more of the Driver Era, especially with the recent release of their debut album, “X,” which is a fun, wild ride through genres just like their previous releases. In the meantime, do yourself a favor and download their music that is available to stream to your summer playlist, and put it on repeat.