Indie-Rock Pop band Ragamuffs, based in Honolulu, Hawai’i, consists of members Joseph Carag (guitar/vocals), Hailey Fines (guitar/vocals), Locke Nishihara (drums), and Landan Tolentino (bass).
The band formed in April of 2016 as a folk duo with founding members Joseph and Hailey.
“We were called Sir Ragamuffin and The Lady.”
The two grew up playing worship music in church together and through the connection found, they had the same taste in music---Indie-Rock. Over the years, family and community functions got them to perform acoustic sets together. Realizing their overlap in peculiar musical influences, they were driven to break exposure into the Honolulu music scene, playing feel-good indie rock.
In 2017 they wanted to grow their sound and add more of their rock influences into their genre. They asked friends to join on bass and drums, then soon became Ragamuffs.
The name comes from one of Hailey’s favorite soul songs “Ragamuffin” and a play on their original name. To be a ‘Ragamuff’, you are kind-hearted, genuine, and passionate about good music. You are spontaneous and go with the flow, but you do your own thing.
“It’s about inspiring people and making people happy.”
After adding in their friends, Chunky Abella on bass and Luke Tamayo on drums, their sound enhanced.
The new sound comes from Joseph and Hailey’s multiple musical influences of many genres--from Jo’s influences: The Beatles, Frank Sinatra, and Hiatus Kaiyote to Hailey’s folk influences: Sara Bareilles, Ingrid Michaelson, Dodie, and Melanie Martinez. The band became a ‘Feel Good Indie’ band. You can hear their combined influences from artists like Arctic Monkeys and San Cisco, as well as, Hippocampus and Mac
Demarco, throughout the instrumentation and the all around feel of their lyrics “that will keep you on your toes the whole time and [has] a lot of twists and turns.”
When describing their music, you can categorize them as Indie-Rock, but when you get down to the details you see they add in a mix of pop and folk vocals.
“[We’re an] Indie-Rock Popsicle”
In 2019, now playing live sets with current members, Locke Nishihara and Landan Tolentino, Ragamuffs went on their first west coast tour, playing venues such as Dippiazza’s, The Moroccan Lounge, Hotel Cafe and Sofar Sounds Los Angeles.
Following their return, they released their first album, ‘Achy Luminescence’. The album name resembles an oxymoron. Found in the second verse of ‘Sunset Chaser’, ‘Achy Luminescence’ is about the necessary struggles we face, trudging through gloomy days, in order to find the light.
“The whole album is kind of like… our whole mixtape of everything we’ve been playing since we first started.”
Their pastel-colored indie sounds will take you from cool-blue serene settings to rhapsodized skipping on a mustard day. The melted balance of female and male vocals, over occasional fragments of folk, soul, and lo-fi bringÂ an element for everyone to enjoy.
Ragamuffs recently opened up for Mac DeMarco at The Republik and will be at SXSW in Austin, Texas this coming March.