Archie Powell is the son of a violin prodigy who played in the Chicago Symphany Orchestra before landing as a permanent member of Milwaukee’s orchestra. He started playing guitar at 11 and writing “awful” songs at around 15. Immediately following college, he and keyboardist Ryan started the Exports, bassist Adam joined after they recorded their first EP and they rounded out the permanent line-up with drummer RJ. The band’s first recorded effort was a digital freebie called the Loose Change EP that expanded their audience to a national level. It was followed by Skip Work, their debut full length, which drew praise from Boston Phoenix, Powerpopaholic, Radio Free Chicago and My Old Kentucky Blog among others.
The band began touring nationally in support of Skip Work, leaving a trail of empty bottles, broken hearts and hilarious tour videos in their wake. Great Ideas in Action is a group effort but as the songwriter and frontman of the band, it’s inevitable that it be a strong reflection on Powell. “I guess the duality between a pop rock aesthetic and the darker lyrical content kind of speaks to how I carry myself socially. I’m a pretty upbeat individual if you give me a quick once-over, but there are a few poor souls out there who have clearance cards to the super classified bad parts of my brain. They exist, you just gotta dig deeper, I guess.”