Vulcans came together in 2010 in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania. Band members Nick Lindsay, Aaron Spangler and John Thomas were quickly drawn to the power and stripped down honesty of folk music that they felt was missing from many modern releases. Harnessing their choral instruction from high school and beyond, Vulcans sought to craft modern Americana tunes using three-part harmony as an instrument in itself, creating winding and bending melodies that sway from major, to minor, and home again. With each member bringing their own unique musical/lyrical styles and temperaments to the band, Vulcans became a truly egalitarian musical outfit featuring alternating lead singers and shifting instrumental arrangements, allowing for a diverse but cohesive sound.
The band’s first release in 2011, “Shadows”, received high praise from fans and critics alike, and served as a springboard for the band’s future success. Establishing themselves in the local Harrisburg scene, Vulcans won the Susquehanna Folk Society’s “Best Original Song” contest for two consecutive years, for the tracks “Someone I Used to Know” and “Tomorrow’s Just Today” respectively. As their notoriety increased, so did their geographic footprint, moving from coffeehouses in their hometown of Mechanicsburg to festivals in Harrisburg, listening rooms in Bethlehem, and the brightly lit stages of Philadelphia.
A turning point came for Vulcans when the band entered into the 2013 Philadelphia Songwriters’ Project contest. Out of more than 250 fiercely talented entrants, Vulcans won over both audience members and judges alike and were crowned champions of the competition. In earning the grand prize, Vulcans have spent the summer playing some of the region’s biggest venues such as the Firefly Music Festival in Dover, Delaware and Bethlehem Musikfest, in Bethlehem, PA, as well as being featured on WXPN, Pennsylvania’s premier indie music radio station. Vulcans’ immensely successful performances earned them critical and editorial praise, resulting in a cover story for Central PA Magazine, as well as features in FIG Lancaster, Lehigh Valley Exposed, FLY Magazine, and PennLive.
Though the venues and exposure have changed, Vulcans’ character has not; central Pennsylvania remained at the heart of their influence and perspective, even as the band gradually migrated towards Philadelphia as a focal point for performances. It was this feeling of change that served as the inspiration for the development of Vulcans’ newest work, “Semaphore” (due for release early 2014). This new project encapsulates all that Vulcans’ came from, all that they are, and all they seek to become. Looking to the future, Vulcans will continue to do what they do best: celebrate the purity and honesty of folk music, entertain and enthrall with their haunting harmony, and give their listeners the greatest listening experience possible. Above all however, Vulcans seek to bring clarity and simplicity in these complicated times; they strive to remind their audience of a time and place they once knew. It’s time to come home.