If life is a collection of moments, it needs a soundtrack that's as fluid and dynamic as the experiences it encompasses—and with their first full-length Bloom & Breathe, the New Brunswick, New Jersey five-piece Gates fit that role. After releasing two well-received EPs (2011's The Sun Will Rise And Lead Me Home & 2013's You Are All You Have Left To Fear) the band painstakingly began work on their new album, which features sonic ideas that span the past seven years, yet fit together in a remarkably cohesive way. Moreover they manage to represent the vast scope of emotions that all of us struggle with as we try to survive milestone moments in our lives, and inspire awe as much as they make us question the meaning behind life itself.
Guitarist Dan King, bassist Mike Maroney and drummer Daniel Crapanzano were playing in a previous band and decided they wanted to start a new project in 2011. Eventually they hooked up with guitarist Ethan Koozer—who had moved to New Jersey from Nebraska—and guitarist/vocalist Kevin Dye, who had recently relocated to the East coast from Michigan. "Those two members were from completely different parts of the country as opposed to the three of us who were living in Jersey, and I think that really helped us have this aesthetic that's based on all these different influences," King explains. "When we started writing together it was clear that we were all coming from different places but we still had a lot of common ground."