The Maccabees' Orlando Weeks is a man of few words

The Maccabees' Orlando Weeks is a man of few words
Photo courtesy of the artist

The Maccabees haven't quite reached the British Invasion status of Mumford and Sons, but the Brighton, England-based indie rock band is well on their way to conquering the hearts and stereos of the U.S. hip set everywhere. The band's third album, Given to the Wild, was released in January 2012, and has since garnered critical acclaim in the U.K., including a nomination for the 2012 Mercury Prize.

They're the newest British sensation not to have a banjo in hand or a larger-than-life soul voice (see: Adele, Emeli Sande, Amy Winehouse, etc.). Refreshingly, this is sensitive, soaring music that sails comfortably along the waves in a post-Bon Iver world. Given to the Wild summons the influences of indie greats Arcade Fire, with its swelling orchestral choruses and lead singer Orlando Weeks' quiet contralto.

Similar to his singing style, Weeks is soft-spoken, and it's a stretch getting any depth of feeling out of him as he chats over the phone with Gimme Noise ahead of the band's gig this evening at the Varsity Theater.

And it's too bad, because the U.S. might be ready for the Maccabees now. The band closed out 2012 as the supporting act for the Black Keys for their November and December dates, and the boys are finally crossing the pond with their tunes. The Maccabees are beginning 2013 with their most significant headlining tour to date, traveling through Canada, the Midwest, East Coast, and some of the south before you heading to Mexico.

"This is our first ever real headlining tour, so the whole thing, I feel, is pretty special," said Weeks. "I think we're just really excited for all of it."

Pretty special? Less than a week after their Minneapolis show, the band is slated to perform on Letterman on February 15. It'll be their first U.S. television appearance, and Weeks sounds both excited and alarmed.

"I have absolutely no idea how it happened. I couldn't tell you," laughs Weeks awkwardly. "It's a big deal. We really enjoy coming to the U.S., and I think the more people we get to play to, the better."

With 2012 being such an epic year for the Maccabees, the band is doubtlessly feeling the pressure to keep the momentum going. The band is being touted in the U.K. as the next big thing, and they're not taking the praise for granted.

"It's been a rewarding feeling," says Weeks gratefully of the success of Given To The Wild. "All the kind of effort and attention to the detail and everything with making a record... It gave us so many new opportunities. It took us to places we'd never been before. It feels like it exceeded our expectations."

The Maccabees will be performing at the Varsity Theater Friday, February 8. Tickets are $15. Doors at 8 p.m. 

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