The Indie Accelerator
During our program members work on developing compelling portfolios for themselves as musicians. Here you can browse the biographies of our past members and check out their recent activity on Bandcamp, Soundcloud, and social media.
Background Photo of Northampton MA by Richard Cowles
In November of 2017, Stephen came to Devin with a song he was writing. They were both juniors at UMass Amherst who met while performing improv comedy. Stephen wasn’t much of a singer, but he knew Devin was. From there, they spent the upcoming months writing other songs when they could find the time between working part-time and school. Their creative sessions became an outlet where they could let themselves be honest with each other, and in turn create music that was true to them. Out of their efforts came their first self-titled EP “Cuckoo Baby”.
Sayuri Falconer is an acoustic/emo/folk musician from the San Francisco Bay Area. Sayuris songs range from visceral and personal to straight up ridiculous and usually involve some combination of guitar, piano, bass, or ukulele accompaniment. Sayuri has been playing music and writing songs since around 2012. Their vocal style and lyricality is heavily influenced by Aimee Mann, Panic at the Disco, Nina Simone, Jordaan Mason, Childish Gambino, and others. Their career highlights include the release of their first single, Second-line, on bandcamp in 2015, and the Indie Accelerator final concert in fall 2017, the first live showing of their original music. They plan to keep writing music and continuing to develop songs for an upcoming album.
Laurel Burns is an independent rock musician based out of Troy, NY. Born by the name William Henegar in Kalamazoo, Michigan, Burns is a vocalist and plays the drums, guitar, bass, banjo, and piano. He is currently recording his first full length album titled “Red Tapeworms”, full of floaty, cyclical numbers reminiscent of long nights awake, cold water dives, and misplaced teenage years. Influenced by artists such as Sparklehorse, The Orwells, Ron Gallo, Peach Pit, Jordan Hull, Leon Bridges, and Deaf Havana, Burns’s live performances include an eccentric collection of originals and covers, rooted in folk, rock, blues, and alternative styles.
Sophia is a singer-songwriter from Vermont. She plays guitar, fiddle, and sings her original songs. Sophia grew up in a musical family and has been influenced by playing music with her father. Her songs are inspired mainly from folk and bluegrass genres. In the past Sophia recorded an album of music as well as a few recordings on Spotify. She has played gigs at several restaurants and open mics. She also organized a benefit concert where she played many originals and covers. She and her father have a band called “Sunnyside up” and she also performs with various friends. Currently Sophia is working on her solo act but she plans on doing more recording in the near future and hopes to begin performing regularly.
Singing for audiences on and off stage since the age of six, Mike has an innate ability to capture the attention of a room of any size and fill it with sound, even if it's just him and a guitar. As a songwriter, he aims for a combination of genuineness and authenticity. Drawing from raw emotion and a yearning for meaning, influences such as Bruce Springsteen, Adele, Vampire Weekend, and Amy Winehouse are apparent throughout his music.
While his hometown is Hopkinton, Massachusetts, he is currently a Psychology and Music Business student at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Between his studies, he makes time to open for bands like Smallpools, sing in UMass’ premier all-male a cappella group, the Doo Wop Shop, and guide tours for prospective students.