Adam Sweeney and Tim Karplus are The Breaking, an indie alternative band mining the rich soundscape of mid-90s guitar pop. At once original and strikingly familiar, the band riffs on the sounds of early Radiohead, Oasis, Blur, Bush, R.E.M. and U2's Achtung Baby.
With two exploratory EPs under their belts, the band has landed on their definitive sound and channeled it into a debut full-length record to be released in 2016. In anticipation of this debut, The Breaking has been bringing their energy-infused live shows to venues all around the Pacific Northwest from their native Portland, Oregon.
Founded by Sweeney as an electric singer-songwriter project in 2013, the band has become a full-on rock collaboration since Karplus joined as lead guitarist the following year. The guys take a Lennon-McCartney approach to songwriting, allowing them to generate material quickly. Karplus' sunny guitar hooks perfectly offset Sweeney's brooding sense of lyricism, forming songs that are at once catchy and profound.
The two round out their work with frequent collaborators on recordings and live shows, with engineer Rian Lewis (Priory), bassist Andre Zapata (The Weather Machine), and drummers Alex Geffel (The Cabin Project) and Mark Powers (M. Ward, Mbrascatu, Haley Johnsen).
The Breaking released their first music video "Future Fire" in May 2015, featuring guest vocals by Meagan Grandall of Seattle band Lemolo. The track was included on KINK.FM 101.9's Homegrown Music Compilation that fall. Frequenting Pacific Northwest venues like the Doug Fir Lounge, Mississippi Studios, Secret Society, Columbia City Theater and The High Dive, the band is looking to expand its territory along the West Coast in 2016.
Even in the cluttered field of blues-inspired sirens, Haley Johnsen is not to be mistaken as just another one of the girls. A native Portlander and daughter of a drummer, Haley's sound draws out the emotions of each note with impressive range, while her songwriting provides a candid glimpse at the joys and pains of young life.
Shy and fearful about her ability to sing when a child, Johnsen kept her obsession with finding the perfect harmonies to herself until her early 20's. Like a whirlwind, she suddenly found herself cast into the national spotlight in 2012 when she captivated American Idol Season 11 viewers making it all the way through to the Top 24 semifinals before conceding. Haley has since been utilizing the steam from this experience and making waves throughout the Northwest as an independent singer-songwriter.
Her first EP, "Through the Blue," is a playfully mastered farewell to lost love and youthful trysts. Her most recent single release "Feel the Water" is a step in a new direction instrumentally, while still possessing an emotional yet empowering atmosphere. Her versatile rock ensemble is lead with ease through a mixture of anthemic and melancholic original works, with an alternative rock appeal. Haley's influences range from the eccentricities of bands like Radiohead and Pink Floyd; to classic, folk and indie-rock vocalists such as of Eva Cassidy, Nicole Atkins, Florence Welch and Brandi Carlile – all artists with a flair for the dramatic in their delivery.