Make us your home page

Sarasota indie folk pop duo Good Graeff find success around the world

Indie folk pop group Good Graeff is driven by Brooke and Brittany Graeff, seated here in their tour van in Sarasota.

Luis Santana/tbt*

Indie folk pop group Good Graeff is driven by Brooke and Brittany Graeff, seated here in their tour van in Sarasota.

To find success in their hometown, Brooke and Brittany Graeff had to go halfway around the world.

The twin sisters had played together in high school in Sarasota, nothing too serious, before parting ways after graduation. Brooke went to Canada to work in foley arts and video game sound design; Brittany traveled to Europe and India before settling in Vietnam. "I heard it was a good place to work," she said.

The sisters reconnected in Hanoi, where a loyal fan base of American expats urged them to return to America and give their indie folk pop project a serious shot.

Since then, Good Graeff has hit the ground running in Sarasota, Florida and beyond. Through support from their friends in America and Asia, they've booked slots at huge festivals, toured the country and enlivened the region's music scene with their unique, energetic cello-driven sound.

"It's very different from what a lot of bands experience, because we didn't start playing until there was actually a demand for it, whereas usually you play and hope that demand happens," Brittany said. "We've only been doing this for a while now in the States, and we're already playing festivals like Gasparilla and South by Southwest, and it's really because we did it the other way around."

Born 11 minutes apart, the sisters Graeff (pronounced "grayf") are fraternal twins, not identical; growing up, their musical tastes reflected that difference. Brooke, who sings and plays guitar, was into the Pixies, Blink-182 and CKY; Brittany, who plays cello, loved Andrew Bird and Bright Eyes. Their first gig together, in 2004, was a Battle of the Bands, which they entered "just as a pure joke," Brittany said. "We ended up winning."

In Hanoi, Brooke bought a cheap classical guitar and Brit bought the only cello she could find ("It was a $300 piece of plywood," she laughs). Word of their talent spread quickly among their fellow Americans in the expat community; almost immediately, Good Graeff had a booking agent. For the next few months they played cafes and coffee shops. "It was just something we were doing for fun and extra cash on the side," Brittany said.

Their friends helped the sisters film a video and urged them to return to America; many donated to a $10,000 kickstarter campaign to help get the group running. Returning to Florida a couple of years ago, "we started playing open mics," Brooke said. "We hadn't lived in Sarasota in over six years. We didn't know the venues, we didn't know any bands, we didn't know anybody, really, anymore."

"We played the crap out of Sarasota," Brittany added. "We very strategically overplayed ourselves so that our name would be recognized." From farmer's markets to rock clubs to burlesque shows, the sisters were there. Eventually they added a drummer, old friend Joe Abraham, and a few bassists, currently Tyler Solu.

Since signing with Colorado booking agency Madison House — which also represents national artists like Bassnectar and the String Cheese Incident, as well as locals like Have Gun, Will Travel and Thomas Wynn and the Believers — Good Graeff has toured constantly and are readying the follow-up to their 2013 EP Better Half. They say its ready; they're just waiting for the right time to release it.

"One thing I really love about our sound is it can appeal to pretty much everybody," Brittany said. "It's a very unique sound. It's a sound that's not very offensive; but it's still pretty catchy."

"We really try and just keep it simple," Brooke said. "I don't want to have to analyze a song when I'm listening to it. I want it to just sink in and have it stick there."

Good Graeff

Recommended if you like: Bright Eyes, Andrew Bird, Ra Ra Riot, Pixies

The band will perform at tbt*'s free Ultimate Local Music Showcase on Saturday at the Local 662 in St. Petersburg. For more on the group, see

Scan this page with your Layar app to listen to a playlist featuring Good Graeff's Hold Me Fast. Need help? See Page 26.

Sarasota indie folk pop duo Good Graeff find success around the world 04/16/14 [Last modified: Wednesday, April 16, 2014 11:32pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Comedy legend Jerry Lewis dead at 91


    LOS ANGELES — Jerry Lewis, the manic, rubber-faced showman who jumped and hollered to fame in a lucrative partnership with Dean Martin, settled down to become a self-conscious screen auteur and found an even greater following as the tireless, teary host of the annual muscular dystrophy telethons, has died. He was …

    In this Sept. 2, 1990, file photo, entertainer Jerry Lewis makes his opening remarks at the 25th Anniversary of the Jerry Lewis MDA Labor Day Telethon fundraiser in Los Angeles. Lewis, the comedian whose fundraising telethons became as famous as his hit movies, has died according to his publicist. [Associated Press]
  2. If you miss out on Retro Futura tour, you'll be needing a little 'Tenderness'


    Closing out Retro Futura Week is a little bit of a cheat. We started the week with the English Beat and we end it with an offshoot of the Beat, the band General Public and their hit …

  3. Top things to do in Tampa Bay for Aug. 20


    The Art of the Brick: An elaborate display of more than 100 pieces of Lego artwork including the life sized sculpture of a man ripping open his chest, a 20-foot-long T. rex skeleton, a giant skull and replicas of famous works including Vincent Van Gogh's Starry Night and Leonardo Da Vinci's Mona …

    Eliana Goldberg, 5, of Wesley Chapel looks at a Lego sculpture called "Everlasting" at The Art of the Brick exhibit, which opened Friday in Tampa and runs through Sept. 4. [CHARLIE KAIJO   |   Times]
  4. Lightning owner Jeff Vinik backs film company pursuing global blockbusters


    TAMPA — Jeff Vinik's latest investment might be coming to a theater near you.

    Jeff Vinik, Tampa Bay Lightning owner, invested in a new movie company looking to appeal to a global audience. | [Times file photo]
  5. Top things to do in Tampa Bay for Aug. 19


    Monster Jam Triple Threat Series: Come early for the Pit Party ($15 or free at local Ford dealers) to meet the drivers and get pictures with the trucks. 7 p.m., Amalie Arena, 401 Channelside Drive, Tampa. $15-$80. (813) 301-2500.

    A crew member from the El Toro Loco monster truck, installs a truck tire, Thursday, 8/17/17 in preparation for Saturday's  Monster Jam Triple Threat Series at Amalie Arena, Tampa. The event will be held Saturday at 1pm and 7 pm.