What: A Henderson bedroom project preparing to bust out into some bigger spaces.

Backstory: Dylan Bartel, 19, and Zachary Wylie, 18, pals since their percussion-section days in the Foothill High band, began a deep-dive co-listening project during last year’s COVID-19 lockdown—exploring the music of Kaytranada, The Microphones, Nick Drake and dozens more—and gradually began recording tracks of their own. “It was basically just coming over to my house and us messing around with stuff,” Wylie says.

The “Gang”: Inspired by Gorillaz, the pair created six characters—Maxwell, Mogue, Eli Prod, Lyle Deadwax, Cash William and Sewer Kid—each of whom has a separate sound, and a song named after them. The result, February’s 20-minute eponymous EP, sounds both lo-fi and futuristic. It’s “a bunch of different sounds and genres” made “cartoony,” Bartel says.

Next up: Work has begun on a full-length follow-up, featuring the same characters, now interacting with one another, and plans for a first full-on public performance. “For live stuff, we’re stripping the songs down to their essence, using less synths,” Bartel says. “It’ll be more raw, but it fits what we’re doing now.”

MAXWELL GANG distrokid.com/hyperfollow/maxwellgang/maxwell-gang

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