Taylor Dahl

The Mesa folk rock band Murrieta, recently named one of Phoenix New Times’ Top 5 Must-See Shows of the Week, is quickly becoming a force to reckon with on the local indie rock scene.

Last November, the East Valley group, named Band of the Week by Alternative Press Phoenix, raised nearly $6,000 in crowd-sourced funding through Kickstarter to independently produce its debut album, “A Head & Hand,” which releases Feb. 4 on iTunes, Spotify, Amazon and other digital retailers.

Fans can hear Murrietta live at a CD release party at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 7, at Pub Rock Live in Scottsdale. Awake & Alert and Her & Gold also perform.

The band began when singer Mat Shaker and guitarist Chris Cox went on a roadtrip together and began to talk music. In their teenage years, both Mat and Chris played in successful East Valley bands, but their roadtrip reignited the desire to make music together. The pair invited bassist Randy Day and guitarist/banjo player Ryan Scow — acquaintances during their years at Mesa and Highland High Schools — to join the act.

They began performing together under a different name, but when Chris’ childhood friend Jeremy Gratil joined them on piano with Blair Furmanski on drums, the raw, indie folk rock sound the band is known for began to gel.

With a style reminiscent of Manchester Orchestra, Dustin Kensrue (Thrice), The Format, and Mumford & Sons, Murrieta seeks to capture audiences with its broad appeal.

“I still can’t get over how good @murrietamusic was. I can honestly say — one of my new favorite bands,” one fan wrote on social media.

More info is available at MurrietaMusic.net.

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