Often hard to pin-down and wrongly bundled along their 90's contemporaries, Drugstore have always quietly stood away from the pack, led by exotic brazilian songwriter and bassist Isabel Monteiro.
Had anyone actually thought about it, Drugstore should have been branded Alt-indie-country - as Isabel’s smoky vocals and pitch-dark lyrical subject matter, coupled with the band’s minimalist, melancholic guitar and string arrangements, stick them firmly in the lovelorn, caustic company of Low, Dusty in Memphis and Leonard Cohen.
Throughout the band's eventful career (although Isabel prefers to describe it as an adventure rather than a professional enterprise), the band have landed 2x top 50 album charts and a top 20 single.
Drugstore's music nimbly hops over the ages, from 1920s Berlin cabaret through the French chanson tradition, via The Velvet Undergrounds woozy melodic charm and Tom Waits’bar-room badinage, across PJ Harveys earnest intellect and The Bad Seeds’rumbling, angry melancholia, with an intoxicating mix of heartfelt and carefree disarming vérité.
The band was formed in 1993 when Isabel Monteiro and american drummer Mike Chylinski got together via a flat-share in East London. Soon after their self-financed debut single ‘Alive’ was released, and having only performed a handful of gigs, the band signed a major deal with maverick label GoDiscs.
The single immediately draw an unprecedented amount of attention, earning the band their first of many 'single of the week' in Melody Maker, Music Week, Q and others.
Another 2 critically acclaimed albums followed: White Magic for Lovers’, in 1998, which features the top 20 sinle ‘El President’, a duet with Thom Yorke – and ‘Songs for the JetSet’, released in 2001.
In the summer of 2001, while the band were in the middle of promoting the 'Songs for the Jetset' album, to the surprise of band members and dismay of the Record Company, Isabel suddenly decided to 'walk away from it all' and the band went into hibernation.
8 years later, in 2011, Isabel Monteiro reappeared with the semi-acoustic intimate album ‘Anatomy’, released by RocketGirl and partly financed by the fans.
In 2013 the band teams-up with London based label Cherry Red Records, for the release of a 'Best of' compilation, released on September 2013, which includes tracks spanning the band’s 20 year career and 4 albums.
The band now plays special gigs, and Monteiro is currently writing material for a new album.
Drugstore website: drugstoreband.com