Meg & Dia
Crafting a sound halfway between alternative rock and confessional singer/songwriter pop, the Utah-based band Meg & Dia began as a partnership between sisters Meg and Dia Frampton. The girls' father was a DJ who exposed his daughters to a wide range of music while they were growing up in Draper, Utah. They were also encouraged to express themselves through the music medium: Dia sang at county fairs, while Meg learned the guitar by playing along with the radio. Though the sisters played in several bands throughout their teens, they took a break from the music business when Meg relocated to Salt Lake City for college. By 2005, though, the Framptons were ready to try again, and Dia headed out to Salt Lake City to rejoin her sister.
In search of a bigger sound, the pair recruited drummer (and former mechanic) Nicholas Price, guitarist Kenji Chan, and bassist Ryan Groskreutz; the expanded band then toured in support of the debut album Our Home Is Gone, translating its acoustic sound into a larger, louder context in concert. Such activity caught the attention of Doghouse Records, which signed Meg & Dia late in 2005 and put them in the studio with producers Stacy Jones and Bill Lefler. Meg & Dia spent 2006 in the studio and on the road, where they joined the Warped Tour for several shows that summer. Their first release for the Doghouse label, an EP entitled What Is It? A Fender Bender., arrived that same summer, with the full-length Something Real coming out shortly thereafter. Chan left the band during the fall and was replaced by Carlo Gimenez, and further changes occurred when Meg & Dia signed a major-label deal with Warner Bros. Something Real was then released in summer 2007, just in time for Meg & Dia's inclusion on that year's Warped Tour.
The band released a second album on Warner Bros.' dime, Here, Here and Here, in 2009. The label dropped the band one year later, though, prompting Meg & Dia to release their fourth album, Cocoon, independently in April 2011. Weeks later, Dia began competing in The Voice, an American Idol-styled singing competition that became a prime-time smash that summer. She finished second, losing to Javier Colon but gaining a healthy amount of mainstream buzz nonetheless. ~ Heather Phares