Koyal, a band going somewhere, makes first stop in Philly

by Tom Beck
Posted 5/12/23

“If I was going to be in a band,” Noah Weinstein told the Local from a studio in Huntsville, Alabama, “I wanted it to be a band that was going to go somewhere.”

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Koyal, a band going somewhere, makes first stop in Philly


Noah Weinstein never wanted to be in a prototypical college band.

“If I was going to be in a band,” he told the Local from a studio in Huntsville, Alabama, “I wanted it to be a band that was going to go somewhere.”

Which is why Weinstein, who grew up in West Mt. Airy, was elated when four members from Koyal asked him to join their group. 

“We weren’t looking for a guitarist,” said Koyal’s singer, Pooja Prabakaran. “We had a full lineup. But Noah had great vibes and great production skills.”

Weinstein, who met the band while studying at the Georgia Institute of Technology, had done some production work mixing and mastering the band’s first album, entitled Mountain City. He knew a lot about the music industry and some of the technical aspects of recording. That could come in handy, the rest of the band thought.

“Noah’s kind of our secret weapon,” Prabakaran said. “He speaks every language in the music industry. He knows how to talk mixing, mastering and engineering jargon. He can play guitar, a little bit of keys. He’s very music industry savvy. He’s also just an amazing guitarist. We’re very happy to have Noah.”

The band first started about four years ago, but didn’t really start playing shows until about two years ago – around the time they put out Mountain City in 2021. Since then, they produced an EP called Joyride along with a few singles last year, all of which are emblematic of how their songwriting has grown over the years, they say. Joyride features four tracks, including “Tumbleweed,” a danceable piano-driven jam written by drummer Henry Wallace. 

“It was a melody I wrote on the piano when I was maybe ten,” Wallace told the Local. “As a band we tried to take that melody and make a song out of it like two or three years ago, but it didn’t feel very whole.”

But, of course, you can’t rush excellence. During the past year, the band revisited the riff, worked on it, and the end result ended up on the new EP.

“The fact that we’re going on tour ten years after I wrote it is really special,” said Wallace.

Then there’s “Gravity,” which is expected to be dropped in a couple of days. It’s a song Weinstein believes showcases the band’s growth. 

“If you go back to our first EP and compare it to our last EP, what we’re doing with the songs is more interesting than before,” he continued. “It’s exciting where we are now compared to where we come from.”

And with that growth, people have noticed. The band sold out their show at the 300-cap room at the Masquerade in Atlanta back in February. Next month they’ll be back, but to play The Masquerade’s slightly larger 550-cap room. Before then though, they’ll be making a stop in West Philadelphia at World Cafe Live, a venue Weinstein grew up going to, this Thursday night, May 18.

“I’ve always loved World Cafe Live,” said Weinstein. “The idea of playing the same venue where I’ve seen some of my favorite artists is so incredible to me. It’s a great space and I'm really thankful for the opportunity to play there.”

What can attendees expect from the show? 

“Good vibes,” said Prabakaran. One time, she said, a journalist who interviewed them said they had the “happiest moshpit” he’d ever seen at a live show. 

“We’re best friends first so I think you can see that camaraderie,” she said. “We’re just having a good time with each other and I think if we’re having a good time I think the audience feels that too.”

For more information, including how to buy tickets for the show, visit worldcafelive.com. Tickets are $12. The show is for all ages.