The Format

Self-described as a "desert pop" band, the Format materialized around two friends, vocalist Nate Ruess and multi-instrumentalist Sam Means, in the early 2000s. Taking influence from '60s music to craft their own spirited indie pop melodies, the Arizona-based pair were barely in their twenties when they laid down a five-song EP with producer Bob Hoag. Next thing they knew, the first track from that EP -- the aptly titled "The First Single" -- found its way onto local radio and became a minor hometown hit. By the spring of 2002, the Format had caught the attention of various major labels and chose to ink a deal with Elektra. They wrote songs together via acoustic guitar, and their debut full-length, Interventions and Lullabies, was issued in October 2003. But when Elektra was later absorbed into Atlantic Records, the album -- a solid effort of breezy and summery, catchy tunes -- got lost in the shuffle.

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