DWNTWN 2016 cARTel Outdoor stage

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The world of pop music is littered with stories of awkward beginnings, but in the case of Los Angeles synth pop outfit DWNTWN, the meeting of founding members Jamie Leffler and Robert Cepeda takes uncomfortable beginnings to a whole new level. “I was dating Robert’s brother,” explains Leffler. “And then when he and I broke up I pretty much immediately started a band with Robert.” The band, which initially started as a heartbroken lark back in 2010, eventually became a full-time pursuit. Over the course of four years Leffler and Cepeda went from recording twee folk experiments into their iPhones to making resplendent indie-pop that sounds as warm and intoxicating as the city they both call home. On the band’s new EP, the self-titled DWNTWN, their music comes into even sharper focus—heartfelt daydreams distilled into pitch-perfect 3-minute confections. The kind of music made for late-night makeouts, winsome self-reflection, or better yet—endless sun-filled drives with the top down.