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Persistence Pays Off for The Receiver 

It shouldn't be this hard to sell music

The Receiver, a synth-pop-centered duo from Columbus, Ohio, had to go quite a ways to get a stalled career restarted: all the way to England, in fact.

Things got off to a reasonable enough start when brothers Casey Cooper (vocals/keyboards/bass) and Jesse Cooper (drums/vocals) started out a decade ago as The Receiver. Signed to a small indie label, Stunning Models on Display, they released their debut album, "Decades," in 2006, went on tour, and started building a fan base.

But after making a second album, "Length of Arms," things went sideways when that 2009 release was shelved and never got a full release.

"We were working with a couple of friends," Cooper said. "They had never run a label before, and they were an upstart label and they thought they could do a better job than what happened with our first record. So we just went with them, and it sounded promising. The further we got into it, the more we all realized how difficult it really is to compete with all of the other bands and all of the other music that's being put out."

In 2010, the brothers tried to get "Length of Arms" released again, but two British labels that agreed to try to acquire the rights to the album, Kscope and Monotreme, both failed to come to terms on purchasing the masters, leaving the Cooper brothers to move on and leave the second album behind.

The Cooper brothers, though, didn't let the setback defeat them. They returned to songwriting and completed a third album, "All Burn."

That's when the initial contact with Kscope paid off. The British label, whose progressive-rock-leaning roster includes Porcupine Tree, Ian Anderson (of Jethro Tull fame) and TesseracT, offered to make The Receiver the first American band it had signed. The Coopers jumped at the offer, and Kscope released "All Burn" in June 2015.

The Cooper brothers have spent virtually all of 2016 on tour and will play the Astro Lounge in Bend on June 30 as part of a six-city run through Oregon.

Most of the shows find The Receiver playing concise sets running around 45 minutes, although Cooper said a few shows call for them to play two-hour headlining sets. The shorter sets figure to lean toward the more energetic Receiver material.

"We just try to inject a little more energy live, try to give the bass and the drums a chance to shine a little bit," Cooper said. "But when we play the softer songs, that's nice, too, because it changes, I think, the dynamic a little bit and kind of creates a set that's (interesting) for the listener."

The Receiver

Astro Lounge, 939 NW Bond St., Bend

Thursday, June 30, 10pm

No cover

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