Manatree formed around 2009 when four longtime friends were entering high school. Drawing from early pop and rock influences like the Strokes and Wolf Parade, mathy bands like Maps and Atlases, and the exploratory qualities of Wilco and Broken Social Scene, Manatree wrote high energy, math-influenced pop songs with a simple lineup of two guitars, bass and drums. These efforts culminated in the band’s self-titled debut album, released on Egghunt Records.
After Manatree’s self-titled release, the band became gradually more interested in electronic music, everything from pop-oriented artists like Sylvan Esso and Frank Ocean, to the more experimental Actress and Oneohtrix Point Never. While keeping true to their guitars-bass-drums lineup and energetic live performances, the band is now beginning to incorporate elements of this music into their vocals, compositions and instrumentation. Manatree hopes to blend these influences for a unique and personal release later this year, which they are currently recording. Manatree is currently re-aligned itself as a duo of the original line-up adding in extra members as needed, however they continue to be a force in the RVA music scene putting out very unique tunes.