Bootstraps are a testament to the idea that good songs always find their audience. The Los Angeles-based band specializes in heart-on-sleeve rock grandeur; their songs unspool dramatically and determinedly, with the guitars and frontman Jordan Beckett’s world-weary vocals taking the listener on a road trip through a rocky emotional landscape. Even before the release of the band’s debut, Bootstraps’ music has been featured prominently on television and film soundtracks and has garnered them a small but loyal following.
Not bad for a guy who hadn’t even planned to play these songs for anyone else, much less release them to the public in any form. A Portland native who moved to Los Angeles to pursue a career in screenwriting, he turned to music during a “down season in my life,” he says. “I was watching a relationship dissolve, so I would take these long drives up the 101. I would write songs for myself in my apartment—in the bathroom, in the bedroom. It was a creative outlet for me. It was only by chance that anyone else heard his music. Beckett loaned out a Mix CD to a friend of his named Sam Jaeger, but forgot that he had included two of his own lo-fi demos at the end. An actor and filmmaker best known for his work on Parenthood and Eli Stone, Jaeger soon devised big plans for his friend’s music. When he started filming his directorial debut, Take Me Home, he urged Beckett to flesh out a few of his songs for the soundtrack.
Beckett recruited two college friends—David Quon and Nathan Warkentin, both from the group We Barbarians—as a makeshift backing band tracked live with help from Richard Dodd (Civil Wars, Kings of Leon) who enhanced this vision in the studio. Before they could start thinking about labels, distribution, touring, or any other promotional outlets, “Guiltfree” found its way onto an episode of No Ordinary Family through a introduction to Liza Richardson (Award Winning Music Supervsior and KCRW DJ).
Liza calls Bootstraps her, "Secret weapon that no one else really knows about." It's true, Bootstraps are relatively unknown to the public, however they've racked up a string of high profile TV and film placements, landed on elite top-10 "Best Album of the Year" lists, Named Amazon MP3’s “2013 Band to Watch”, garnered awards and won over the industry’s most selective audience. Their debut (Harvest/Capitol) has built momentum from what Liza calls an "instantly likable, intelligent and signature" and Paste Magazine paralleled to Ray LaMontayne, with hints of Bon Iver and Band of Horses.
“What is probably the most surprising aspect of this project is that people saw exactly what I was going for,” says Beckett. “From the very beginning people just naturally understood what kind of music I was trying to make and what kind of artist I wanted to be. There’s the greatest sense of fulfillment in that.”
That feeling has translated on ABC, NBC and CBS shows and at the Nashville Film Festival where the band took home the prestigious 'Best Music in a Film" award. These accolades have merely set the stage for their debut album to break out beyond music industry insiders. A bittersweet fact for the “ Morning Becomes Eclectic" DJ, "I'm glad it will find a larger audience but I will miss the feeling that Bootstraps is my go-to secret recording."