Carrying the sunshine wherever they go

The Mowgli’s aim to make this year’s Spring Jam as free-spirited as they are.

Its more than just the bare necessities for this folksy septet.

Image by The Mowglis

It’s more than just the bare necessities for this folksy septet.

by Zach Simon

Colin Louis Dieden, lead singer and guitarist for the Mowgli’s, associates their hit song “San Francisco” with the smell of the ocean breeze with maybe “a little bit of marijuana smoke mixed in there.”

The Mowgli’s, a sun-drenched folk-pop seven-piece, got their moniker from a former band member’s dog — named for the iconic character in Rudyard Kipling’s “The Jungle Book.”

“We took the name for the free spirit that Mowgli represents — he hasn’t been affected by society and stays free and naïve,” Dieden said. “He is totally wild and in love with his surroundings, which really encompasses the personality of every member [of the band].”

They are trying to create a “love movement,” similar to that of the ’60s and ’70s. Taking influence from acts like Grouplove and Walk the Moon, as well as Crosby, Stills and Nash, the group wants nothing more than to spread their sunny dispositions.

The opening lines of “San Francisco,” their most popular song, illustrate the point: “I’ve been in love with love / And the idea of something binding us together / You know that love is strong enough.”  

But those sorts of songs may not be in their repertoire for long — Dieden made a point to say that the Mowgli’s next album won’t have the same Venice Beach sea breeze about it.

The first record evolved naturally out of the coastal California sunshine. Dieden said the next is being “written from the world” — likely a much different style than what diehard fans are accustomed to.

The Mowgli’s are a charismatic group, from the substantial social media presence backing every band member to the thick chemistry they exhibit onstage.

“We like to leave people feeling better than when they walked in [to the show]. We’re all friends, and for all intents and purposes, we’re all brothers and sisters,” Dieden said. “We want people to have a fun time and experience true happiness, so we use banter to try and bring down the wall between the audience and band.”

Having visited Minneapolis on multiple occasions, including a visit to First Avenue last October, the California natives are “super stoked,” as Dieden put it, to be playing in the cities once again.

Still, it isn’t all bubbles for this indie-pop outfit. The septet, previously an octet, recently saw the departure of guitarist and vocalist Michael Vincze and must now adapt without one of their brothers.

“We have to keep going. There’s an obligation to the fans to keep playing the music,” Dieden said. “Michael is a brother — always will be — but he has a separate path, and we’re still trying to make the whole world fall in love.”


What: The Mowgli’s
When: 8:30 p.m. Thursday
Where: Coffman Union Great Hall, 300 Washington Ave. SE, Minneapolis
Cost: Free