The live-wire band Delta Rae (with four lead singers) was signed to a major-label deal by the legendary Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee Seymour Stein, vice president of Warner Bros. Records and a co-founder of Sire Records, the latter which signed Madonna, Talking Heads, Ramones, Depeche Mode, The Smiths, the Pretenders, Ice-T and, not least, Echo & the Bunnymen.
The sextet began as a band of literal brothers, Eric and Ian Hölljes, who performed as a duo while they attended Duke University. They enlisted their younger sister, Brittany Hölljes, and then asked another singer, Elizabeth Hopkins, to join. "Our vision was that you can do something powerful with four voices that you can't do with three voices," Eric said. "Each of the voices has a unique quality. Elizabeth has a raspy, old-soul voice that we loved and wanted to write for."
Mike McKee, on percussion, and Grant Emerson, on bass, joined the fold in 2010. The term "percussion" is important, as McKee doesn't just drum on a regular old drum kit. He also has a penchant for banging on trash cans, which adds an earthy, dynamic aspect to the often lusty and always robust harmonizing. "I didn't see trash-can drumming coming," Eric admitted, but it works.