Raccoon Tour: Local Boise band meshes pop punk with ukulele

Photo courtesy of Raccoon Tour

Self-described as “a bastard child of The Used meets Twenty One Pilots meets Cavetown,” Raccoon Tour is a pop-punk band started by Boise local Nate Burr. 

Raccoon Tour began in 2014 when Burr received a ukulele for Christmas. Inspired to act on his passion and create his own music, Burr chose to record “Sofarinrunning” for his senior project, the song that paved the way for the Raccoon Tour’s growth and success. 

The band has grown exponentially since it started, with around 40,000 monthly listeners on Spotify and over 1.5 million plays on their top song, “Sorry Sarah.”

After their song “Sofarinrunning” blew up on platforms like Soundcloud, Spotify and DistroKid, Raccoon Tour signed with “I Surrender Records,” going on to release “The Dentonweaver,” the band’s first album. 

Burr discussed some of the challenges the band experienced in creating “The Dentonweaver.

“The problem was, I had next to no experience writing and recording music … We recorded, re-recorded, and re-re-recorded since that was essentially my learning period to figure out how to make music,” Burr said. 

Burr mentioned the most daunting parts of Raccoon Tour’s growth in Boise’s music industry. 

“It was pretty intense learning how to work with musicians and keep a consistent vision while also trying to meet the expectations of a label that probably thought I knew a bit more about what I was doing,” Burr said. 

Raccoon Tour is currently composed of Natt Burr, Trey Wells (lead guitarist), Jeremy Abbot (rhythm guitarist), Angus McBangus (bass) and Randy McCurdy (drums). 

“All of them are talented, brilliant and super cool wonderful human beings who we hold in high regard,” Burr said.

Burr described the band’s music as “unpretentious sad pop-punk music.” 

The group’s music is all written on a ukulele. Because of this, the band uses simpler chord progressions with major key signatures to keep their songs upbeat and fun. 

Burr explained that Boise has greatly influenced his work as an artist. The group’s name itself is a reference to his hometown.

“I’ve spent my entire life in the Treasure Valley, and it has influenced every single aspect of Raccoon Tour,” Burr said. “Even the name ‘Raccoon Tour’ is in reference to a raccoon that went around my childhood neighborhood and killed everyone’s pet cats that were left out for the night.” 

Raccoon Tour has roots deep within Boise’s community, even down to its album covers. 

“The album cover of the Dentonweaver is an artist portrayal of the view outside my childhood bedroom window, overlooking the real life Trophy Street in Kuna,” Burr said.

“I learned how to play music at the Hive, I saw shows at the Shredder, I made friends in house show garages,” Burr said. “Idaho is in our very bones, and I’m rather patriotic about this neck of the woods, minus some backwards sick politics. The culture and people out here are amazing.”

[Photo of local Boise band Raccoon Tour.]
Photo courtesy of Raccoon Tour

Burr highly recommended The Hive to new musicians, a space that offers affordable practice spaces, opportunities for new musicians to gain experience, rentable equipment and mental health resources.

 “I love it and I think it’s one of the single most critical resources we have in Boise. It’s one-of-a-kind and every band should visit it,” Burr said.

Burr discussed the necessity of the learning process for musicians and encouraged young musicians to be making any music, even though it can be especially frustrating starting out. 

“My advice to younger musicians is to suck. Give yourself time to be awful, learn your craft, figure out what works and what doesn’t, and don’t buy into a growth mindset too early,” Burr said.

Burr advised musicians new to the industry to avoid letting analytics, algorithms, TikTok retention and ticket sales guide their artistic choices. 

“People are smart enough to know when they’re being sold to, and there’s nothing lamer than a group trying to present themselves as some commercial juggernaut when they’re still playing living rooms,” Burr said. 

Burr offered his most important piece of advice to young musicians: go to other local shows! Shows at places like The Shredder, Neurolux and house shows are all great opportunities for smaller artists to make connections with “the movers and shakers of Boise, the performing artists, and the potential listeners you may have someday.” 

“Boise is a shockingly spectacular place to be in as a musician or music fan. Anyone reading who isn’t already attending these shows: Get out there! See these incredible acts! Meet these amazing people. Open yourself up to an amazing community of artists. It’s wonderful,” Burr said.

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