Towne Lake teens make waves in ATL music scene

Kat Kochansky

More stories from Kat Kochansky


The suburbs might seem like the most unlikely place for stardom to begin, but for rising alternative band Neaptide, Towne Lake was just the right spot.  

The band’s name, Neaptide, means a tide controlled by the moon and reflects the influence they have had on the Woodstock music scene.  

“Well the suburbs are a pretty boring place where nothing interesting ever happens, so it seems natural that a bog, standard upper middleclass, urban sprawl enclave like Towne Lake would inspire the formation of cool and unique acts,” PJ McFarlane, guitarist, said.  

Two of the band’s members, PJ McFarlane and Matthew Hare (bassist, guitarist, and key player) attended Etowah High School. McFarlane graduated in 2017, Hare graduated in 2018.  Anthony Smith (drummer) is a current Etowah student set to graduate in 2019. Connor Jones (vocalist, guitarist, and key player) graduated in 2018 from Woodstock High School. 

Growing up, the members of the band played music to entertain themselves, not an audience. After meeting, the group’s common interest in singing and playing instruments bonded them together.  

“I got into music after my mom signed me up for guitar lessons when I was seven. I met Connor and Matthew not long thereafter and it sort of seemed inevitable that we would start a band of some kind,” McFarlane said. 

Neaptide first started playing events around the Woodstock area. 

“It was difficult booking gigs at first because we didn’t know anything about how any of this works. Our first gigs were essentially us playing to an audience of a handful of middle-aged people at open mic nights at bars and restaurants,” Hare said.  

Initially awkward gigs aside, Neaptide has begun playing large venues all around the Atlanta area. Recently, the group performed at Smith’s Olde Bar and Sweetwater 420 Music Fest.  

“We get Ashlyn, our manager, to do most of the booking,” Smith said. 

Although Neaptide has played for large crowds, Jones’s dream venue is the exact opposite. Instead, he would like to perform on National Public Radio’s Tiny Desk Concerts radio show/podcast. 

“NPR Tiny Desk. If I play Tiny Desk, I’ll die fulfilled,” Jones said.  

Neaptide will be playing next at The Masquerade in Atlanta on Nov. 23. Tickets are available for purchase from the link in the band’s Instagram bio. The group’s extended player (EP), titled Neaptide, is available now on Apple Music, Spotify, and other online music retailers.