Since 2015, indie rock band The Doozers have been one of Detroit’s best-kept secrets, though the secret is still out. The group performed as part of the 2019 Mo Pop festival and booked many local shows, to undeniable feel-good beats.
The colorful world of The Doozers is made up of Sean Donnelly (guitar and vocals), Melanie Kelley (bass) and Kyle Garland (drums), who have all known each other since middle school. The band formed after all attending the Rochester School of Rock, initially as a quartet with Charlie Belleville on guitar.
“Sean picked up the name from the 1980s TV show fragglerock“, says Garland Metro timetables. “The little green construction workers on the show are called Doozers. Sean introduced the name to the rest of the group and it stuck instantly.”
The Doozers seamlessly blend elements of early 2010s indie, shoegaze and surf rock to create a warm, refreshing and familiar sound. There is a richness in the band’s melodies, while keeping a minimalist approach. Garland cites artists like the Strokes, Foals, Arctic Monkeys, MGMT, Tame Impala, Cage The Elephant, Mac Demarco and Joywave as influences, to name a few.
The band’s latest single, “Great Barrier Reef,” has over 26,000 streams on Spotify, and is the perfect song for early spring, though its pop sound may be betrayed by its lyrics. Garland says the track “is about the feeling of being stuck in your head, having your thoughts circled, and stressing about the same thing day after day.”
Not only are the members of The Doozers talented performers, but their music videos are just as lively as their music, with a Wes Anderson-style aesthetic: bright colors, vivid imagery, and silly storylines. Inspired by youth programming, their videos are fun to watch.
“We owe the video creativity to our friends Maddie Shubeck, PJ Michalski and Martin Milat,” says Garland. “We like to embrace a colorful aura… We just like the colors! The band’s attitude is very laid back and carefree, which is how the music videos were made. There were many times Maddie or PJ us said, ‘Okay, for this part, you can do anything. And that’s when our clumsy selves would come out.’
You can catch the Doozers perform at Small’s Bar in Hamtramck on Wednesday April 20. QTip Bandits and Dirt Room are also on the bill.