Lone Tree: The sound of tomorrow from the youth of today

Lone Tree

Straight outta pretty much everywhere, Lone Tree is a group of exceptional young talent that you don’t want to miss. The diverse background and influences of the band give them a unique and mature yet playful sound. A little bit of rock, a little bit groovy and naturally plenty of African influence, it’s been intriguing and exciting to listen along as Lone Tree finds and creates their perfect and evolving sound.

Based in Nairobi, the band is made up of siblings Patrick and Teresa Sanders (guitar and vocals respectively), Silas Piper (rhythm guitar), Ben Matsaert (bass) and Gabe Gebremedhin (drums). Across these performers, they have roots from the U.S., Bolivia, Eritrea, Ethiopia, U.K. and Belgium. With ages ranging from 15-18, the sophisticated sound is an impressive indication of what’s to come.

Recently released EP Refuge hold six tracks that wonderfully introduce the sound and style that is in store for the future of Lone Tree.

The first track, If You Want, has a great instrumental opening to set the mood. Come Back to You and Don’t Wanna Go So Far show diversity in beat and rhythm, while setting the vibe of modern folky electronics. 

Just over the midpoint of the EP is Woman, undoubtedly the most successful track of the EP, and just two seconds in you’ll hear why. The instrumental opening slows down the traction of the songs, while setting the most emotive mood yet. It’s the kind of music that could provide meaning in completely different ways to each individual person, yet it will definitely make you feel something. Slowly, it brings back the energy and speed of the previous tracks, but it maintains an incredible, standalone track. It’s unique and creative, yet still accessible. 

Refuge is a wonderful EP, introducing Lone Tree to the world, and I’m excited to see what’s next. I spoke to lead guitarist Patrick Sanders about their latest EP and the drive behind their unique sound.

Hey guys. First up I’d just like to thank you for taking the time to answer some questions for our readers at IAMUR. We are loving the EP Refuge and I’m keen to hear what you’ve got to say about it! To start with, what brought you all together as a group?

Thanks for taking the time to interview us. We started as a three piece group initially. Myself (Patrick Sanders), Gabe Gebremedhin, and Silas Piper. We had never thought of really taking the whole band thing seriously because all we really did was just jam and screw around with our instruments. Though through that jamming we really got better as musicians and we decided to make it into something. I guess that something being Lone Tree.

Between all of you, there’s such a huge, varied background. How have your diverse roots influenced your sound?

I guess that varies between all of us but for me it’s really influenced the way I think about music. I hear all these sounds from around the world and the commonalities between them and it really shows the universal nature of music and an interconnectedness of sound and the listener.

What triggered the name change from Refuge (now the EP title) to Lone Tree?

It was essentially a call back to our previous name Refuge. Lone Tree really just represents a part of home and particularly our roots in Kenya. Might have something to do with our home studio being on Lone Tree Road 

The original name “Refuge” was said to represent “escaping from shallow, inauthentic music.” How does this ring true for your EP?

Somewhat. I guess we will always carry that meaning in someway or another but the EP is more focused on the idea of Home and longing, while also being heavily inspired by the collaboration element and experimental angle into other genres.

Can you talk me through the creative process of producing Refuge?

Before Refuge came to fruition we were adamant on compiling a debut EP. Initially we had around 5 songs that were in consideration for it but in late 2021 we befriended Nairobi singer Bensoul and producer and solo artist Mutoriah. In only our first song writing session together, we had written a couple songs completely. Just a week later we went into studio. Adding those few songs to an already existing number of tracks, Refuge was created.

What emotions and thoughts do you hope to evoke from your listeners through this EP?

I hope the listener hears the love and sorrow these tracks are about and resonates with the lyrics in whichever way they interpret them.

Woman has gotten a fantastic response on Spotify. Why do you think this track in particular has connected with listeners?

Honestly I think it had been due to the way our African audience reacted to the track. It was our first real dabble into afrobeat and trying to fuse psyche rock and afrobeat for the first time. Call it Afropsychedelic.

Your gig at The Basement in Nashville, TN was your first live gig for a US audience. How did it feel playing in such an iconic, musical city, and of course for those in the band with American heritage, how did it feel playing for this audience?

It was an amazing feeling. Nashville has always been my personal favorite city to play in just because of that vibrant energy that you feel throughout the city. It’s really a special place for music of any kind.

Speaking of live gigs, have there been any on stage disasters that have brought you closer as a group, or just made for a good story?

I wouldn’t say there’s been disasters but there’s a funny story from a few years back that involves someone stealing my guitar on stage and starting to jam with the band while I stood in the audience. Shout out to Ole Staveteig!

Your sound definitely has a myriad of different musical influences. If you could collab with any other artist, who would it be?

I’d love to collaborate with King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard. I’m loving what they’re doing with the new wave of psychedelia. A dream collaboration would also be John McLaughlin.

It’s so great to see a group of young, passionate musicians making waves on the scene. What drives you to make the music that you do?

What drives me to make music is my love for it. I see the band as a carrier of music to new generations and hopefully an influence that continues a tradition of creative freedom. Because the modern music industry is currently lacking freedom of creativity, but we think that can be rekindled. But my love for music runs deeper than that. Music is what makes me feel the most alive and is what makes me feel my truest emotions. It’s the same for everyone in the band. Therefore we want to dedicate our lives to it.

Following that, do you have any advice for other young musicians who are hoping to break into the music scene?

My only advice would be to play what you love and be genuine to who your are or who you want to be. That’s the only way you’ll find satisfaction within music.

Thanks so much for your time and congratulations on a brilliant EP release. What’s coming up next for you guys?

We have a long lineup of shows coming up this month which is quite exciting. We just got back from our East Coast tour so we’re riding that momentum. And we are also recording our debut album in the month of October.

Listen to more from Lone Tree on Spotify

Readers can find Lone Tree directly on their website, Instagram, Tik Tok, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

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