Dept of Energy | EP

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Pop: Beatles-pop Pop: Power Pop Moods: Type: Lyrical
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by Dept of Energy

Classic Indie narative Pop, it's throwback and move forward music at the same time. The elements that made classic rock are involved, but the energy and imagination that makes modern indie rock thrive is very much alive in Dept. of Energy. Call it NEW MOD
Genre: Pop: Beatles-pop
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  Song Share Time Download
1. Song For John Voluntine
3:24 $0.99
2. Summer
3:30 $0.99
3. I Remember What The Light Felt Like
2:32 $0.99
4. One Last Wish For Claire Grogan
3:47 $0.99
5. Cowboys And Aliens
3:06 $0.99
6. Lemon
2:57 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes

OCT 4th at the EMP - FREE ALL AGES (Seattle)
OCT 6th at the TONIC LOUNG (Portland)
OCT 12th at the TRACTOR (21+) Seattle



Dept. of Energy is an indie-rock trio formed out of the remains of two of Seattle’s favorite local bands: Dear John Letters and Ego Band USA. Although major commercial success eluded both of these local acts, critical praise did not:

• “Centered around multi-instrumentalist and songwriter Robb Benson, Dear John Letters' third full-length album establishes the band as an ever more unique force in American indie rock." -Stein Haukland (
Note: Dear John Letters’ final recording Stories of Our Lives reached a high of #34 on the CMJ (College Music Journal) charts.

• Ego Band USA was named the unsigned band of the month in Keyboard Magazine. (Note: Ty Bailie’s playing was described by Keyboard magazine as “a keyboard purist’s delight”).

Dept. of Energy is fronted by Robb Benson (singer/ songwriter Dear John Letters, Nevada Bachelors), and features the musical talents of Ty Bailie (keyboards, organ Ego Band USA) and Cassady Laton (drums Dear John Letters). The combination of Benson’s trademark pop sensibilities, Bailie’s all around musicianship, and Cassady’s inspired rhythm arrangements have already caused a stir in the local Seattle scene. This may be the first time you’re hearing of them, but not likely the last.

The first release from Dept. of Energy is a self titled EP. The recording took place over a weekend with Benson, Bailie, and Laton creating the music together and Johnny Sangster producing (Sangster has worked with such acts as the Posies and Mudhoney). Lyrics were penned by both Benson and Alex Green (author of the Stone Roses book “33-1/3”).

*******Press Quotes:

Dept of Energy is a local outfit featuring members of Dear John Letters and Ego Band USA. Their piano-heavy pop at times recalls Harvey Danger, but then they make their sound turn a little more vintage with a strong Beatles influence shining through, especially on "One Last Wish for Claire Grogan" from their self-titled EP on Roam Records. Overall, their music offers simple and clean pop, perfect for the warmer days. MEGAN SELING (The Stranger)

Dept. of Energy, EP (Roam)
Now that quirk-pop band Dear John Letters is now defunct, singer/songwriter Robb Benson has moved on to... yet another quirk-pop band! The shock that Dept of Energy sounds remarkably similar to his first band isn't unexpected, but the debut EP is certainly a worthwhile look... the real surprise is on closing ballad "Lemon" -- just Benson's voice and a solo piano is all that's needed to make the most memorable song on the whole EP... the Dept of Energy's future looks bright. [] — Evan Sawdey

Fronted by Robb Benson (formerly of Dear John Letters and Nevada Bachelors), Dept of Energy play smart keyboard-heavy pop songs with narrative lyrics. On their new EP, the song "One Last Wish for Claire Grogan" sounds like the Beatles' "I've Got a Feeling" mixed with the moody Northwest. -Seattle Weekly

Benson sent the call out to reform Dear John Letters, but Laton was the only one to agree. Instead of returning to his solo sets, Benson decided to form a new band with Ty (Bailie) and Cassady (Laton). They call themselves Dept. of Energy. Three men, no bassist, one hell of an act. Catch them while you can still get tickets. - Tyson Lynn (

(Ty) Bailie manages baroque keyboard parts with one hand while supplying complex bass lines with the other, all without sacrificing the integrity of the melody. Benson's cheery, crystalline vocals and power pop guitar lines happily settle into the spaces between. -Tizzy Asher (Seattle PI)

They used to be (more or less) Dear John Letters, they're led by singer/songwriter Robb Benson, and they don't have a bass player. They are Dept. of Energy, and, thanks to Benson's stylish songs, they still fit in the Seattle folk/indie drawer. And don't worry, you won't miss the bass. - Seattle Weekly



to write a review

Blake E.

this is a wicked EP. there's no fat on this record, every single cut is amazing. keep up the good work!


I want to hear more! A very solid ep. These guys rock!