He ain't a man of God -- heck, he ain't even a man. Nope, Bishop Allen is indie-rock duo Justin Rice and Christian Rudder (plus a rotating cast of friends), yet another in a long line of "dude's name bands." This particular
dude was named after Bishop Allen Drive in Cambridge, Mass., where Rice and
Rudder lived together after they met in college (yes indeedy, these are Harvard boys) and before they relocated to Brooklyn. In 2003, they formed the band and released their debut, Charm School, on their own label, Champagne School, later that year. That collection of hand-clapping joy-pop (for which singer/guitarist Rice and lead guitarist Rudder recorded all the instrumental parts track by track on a bedroom one-track) got the attention of tastemakers like NPR. Even more intriguing, however, was the band's next endeavor, the EP Project, which found Bishop Allen releasing a new EP every month in 2006. Near the end of that year, they signed with Secretly Canadian sister label Dead Oceans, which put out The Broken String, the band's first proper studio recording, in 2007.