Love The Mowgli's Like The Mowgli's Love You

The Mowglis
The Mowglis
Photo courtesy of The Mowglis

The Mowgli's, a rowdy brigade of mostly San Fernando Valley natives, are currently weaving their way westward in the midst of a hectic fall tour. It's been a a whirlwind year and a half for the octet. Their song "San Francisco" became a viral hit, racking up a million plus views on YouTube, and they've spent the majority of 2013 on the road spreading cheer through their feel good live shows. Currently on the road with indie-pop cohorts Walk The Moon, the band is on their way home to SoCal.

Their ode to San Francisco became the theme song for the San Francisco Giants' 2012 World Series victory -- which doesn't bother them at all, despite the team's rivalry with the Dodgers. "Everybody thinks that we're from San Francisco," says guitarist and singer Mike Vincze with a laugh. "They just make that assumption, but the song is a pure expression of how we feel about that city. There's something so special about it"

The Mowgli's' mission is simple. "We're really just a bunch of lucky, privileged American kids who have dedicated their lives to music, running around and sharing a love gospel," says Vincze.

They manage to do so even when shows get rained out, which is what happened recently at Austin City Limits.

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"They had to shut it down," says Vincze. "There were thousands of disappointed people wandering Austin, so we decided to take to the streets and throw a couple renegade shows." The group turned one into a food and goods drive in front of a homeless shelter, and roughly 200 people showed up. "It ended up being this insane evening," says Vincze.

The group invokes the same good vibes on Waiting for the Dawn, their third full length LP. The album sounds like a fusion of the Polyphonic Spree (without the robes) and Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros (with a little more balls.) What sets them apart from the current wave of indie-pop sing-a-long acts, however, is their propensity for honest to goodness Haight-Ashbury inspired psych-rock freakouts. Wrenched in the middle of "San Francisco" is a jazzy bridge that is more prog than twee.

It's rare to find an indie-rock band more concerned with their fans' self-realization, which is perhaps why fans so easily connect with this group. The sincerity of their message --feeling good and loving each other -- might be simple, but it resonates.

The Mowgli's perform today at The Observatory in Santa Ana and Friday at the Hollywood Palladium.

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