About The Well Pennies

THE WELL PENNIES are a Folk/Pop duo consisting of husband and wife team, Bryan & Sarah Vanderpool. The pair met in Boston while supporting each other’s solo sets at folk venues around the New England area. They fell in love, ran away to California and released their debut self-titled EP that was met with critical acclaim from the Los Angeles music scene. Taking influence from 60’s & 70’s folk and pop icons like THE CARPENTERSJAMES TAYLOR, & CAROLE KING, the pair combine their signature pop melodies and tight harmonies with beautifully produced lush arrangements. The band explains, “Our goal is to write songs that inspire something – however simple – to smile, to love, to get out and experience life.”

In 2014, their cover of “All My Loving” was chosen as the single for the “BEATLES REIMAGINED” album featuring EDWARD SHARPE & THE MAGNETIC ZEROS and 9 other up-and-coming indie bands. Their cover was met with critical acclaim from USA Today, LA Times, and Huffington Post and countless others, praising the track for its uniqueness and creativity.

Their first full-length LP, “ENDLINGS", was released in 2015 and made it on several “Best of 2015” lists including BILLBOARD MAGAZINE. The record explored the topic of extinction and how it relates to all aspects of life such as hope, human connection and artistry. The album, and their passion for music education, inspired the band to organize a unique tour called THE YOUTH ORCHESTRA PROJECT, where hundreds of students around the country joined them on stage playing along to their music. The tour started in Anchorage, Alaska with 10 students from The Anchorage Youth Symphony and ended in West Bend, Wisconsin where over 80 orchestra students from the West Bend High School Orchestra participated.

A MOVE TO THE MIDWEST: After 8 years in California, Bryan and Sarah relocated to DES MOINES, IA in order to “…escape the chaos and desperation of Los Angeles and move somewhere where artists can afford to be artists.” The change allowed more time for writing, recording and touring and soon after, they joined DIANA KRALL’s Turn Up the Quiet world tour as the opening act in 2017. Their move to Des Moines also included the creation of Golden Bear Records and their home recording studio where the duo now records and produces their own music along with other projects. In 2018 the pair signed Boston-based songwriter Kaiti Jones to their record label and produced her debut LP “Vows”. It was this Midwest transition and their travels around America’s heartland that inspired many of the songs in their new album, “Murmurations”, which was released on January 25th, 2019.

notable highlights

  • Over 30 Million streams on Spotify and Apple Music.

  • Billboard magazine editor Gary Trust named their album in his top 3 favorite albums of the year and also interviewed the band on the eve of the Murmurations release, praising the album for the band’s “trademark harmonies and gift for melody, as well as lyrics, often drawn from the natural world, that, even when cautious, inspire.”

  • No Depression called the album, “Folk Pop Perfection” and the band received praise from NPR, USA Today, NYLON, Interview, Diffuser and many more.

  • The Well Pennies toured as the opening act for Diana Krall’s Turn Up the Quiet world tour and played some of the most prestigious venues in the country.

  • Music featured on The Fosters, Switched at Birth, True Blood, Twisted, Here and Now, and as the closing theme on the popular Spanish TV show Mi Casa es La Tuya.

  • Their cover of “All My Loving” was included in an album organized by Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros called “Beatles Reimagined” and was praised by USA Today, The New York Times, Rolling Stone and countless others for its uniqueness and creativity. Their music video garnered almost a million views and the song was also prominently featured on an Italian commercial for Kinder Chocolate which won several ad awards.

  • The Well Pennies organized a unique tour in 2016-17 called The Youth Orchestra Project where the band traveled around the country and local youth orchestras joined them on stage, playing string arrangements from their “Endlings” LP. The tour started in Anchorage, Alaska with The Anchorage Youth Orchestra and ended with their largest performance to date in West Bend, Wisconsin with their High School Orchestra and over 80 students participating.

  • Their song “Drive” won first prize in the John Lennon Songwriting Competition and was nominated for best album and best album art at the Independent Music Awards.

Album Art by Kouhei Asakura

New album, “MuRmurations” (Click to listen)

“A murmuration is a flock of starlings that, in rare moments, create a ballet of changing patterns in the sky. You take an otherwise unremarkable bird, and just by doing what it instinctively is designed to do, becomes part of a miracle of nature. We are enough, just by being the people we were born to be. We all play a part in this life and each role is important. We do not serve the world or ourselves by striving to be something we are not, or twisting ourselves to become something we would prefer over who we really are. Contentment, peace and joy come when we embrace our true selves. And by living into this, imagine all the beauty and good that we can create together.”

Recorded and mixed at Golden Bear Records in Des Moines, IA. Mastering by Nathan James at Vault Mastering
Bryan Vanderpool - Vocals/Guitars/Percussion/Misc | Sarah Vanderpool - Vocals/Piano/Accordion | Tony Green - Bass | Tim Weed - Violin/Viola/Cello | John Schreffler - Pedal Steel | Larry Briner - Cello on “December” and “The River”.

Track Listing

8 When I Was The Ocean &
You Were The Moon
9 December
10 The River
11 Wedding Song
12 If You Were Mine
13 The Starling

1 Ooh La La
2 Oh My Blue Sky
3 My Morning Star
4 The Wonderkind
5 If Anyone Breaks My Heart
6 Nobody Loves Me Like You
7 Calliope

High-Res Press Photos