allegra gellar is named after the lead character in david cronenberg’s 1999 film, eXistenZ, played by jennifer jason leigh, and yes, purposefully spelled differently by one letter. jeremy wilkins and denver bon began using the band name, allegra gellar, in 2003 upon their arrival in los angeles. they previously played together in several atlanta based bands, including underwater and rosewater elizabeth, but were starting over in a new city with a new sound.
in 2003, they immediately began working on their debut, “the make-up artist” (2004). inspired heavily by bands like death cab for cutie, red house painters, and cursive, allegra gellar was originally at it’s core an indie-rock band, writing songs about destructive relationships and lost love. while primarily guitar based, jeremy’s experiences as a keyboard player and programmer meant that electronics were always a substantial ingredient of the band’s sound.
throughout the years allegra gellar became more of an ever-changing cast of players than an actual band. in 2004, george lewis III moved to los angeles from portland and joined the group just as denver took an extended leave of absence. together jeremy and george, with contributions from various friends, released, “where i’ve been has faded” (2005) and “cassette” (2007). in 2007, after the release of “cassette”, denver returned to the group and a drummer, olive, was added to the line-up to promote the record. in 2008 allegra gellar recorded and released their most definitive and artistically successful record to date, “the light from cakes”, half brand new material and half older songs revised and perfectly executed by the newly refreshed and inspired band.
the allegra gellar camp saw big changes in 2009. first, george took a break to focus on his solo endeavor, the other also. then, in spring, he decided to move back to portland and continue his educational studies. by summer jeremy and denver left los angeles behind to follow george to portland, where they are now officially based. in october allegra gellar released their fifth full-length, “the wrist vs the futurist party”. the record solidified allegra gellar’s current sound, which melds acoustic guitars and electronics to create a delicate, spacious foundation for the up-close storytelling of jeremy’s vocals, more in the vein of european electro-pop than american indie-rock.
on valentines day, 2012 allegra gellar, once again officially a three-piece, released their sixth and final full-length, “the secret plans of men”. they saved the best for last. conceptually, “the secret plans of men” closes the book on the continuing themes that run through their previous recordings. the twelve new tracks are entirely new compositions but reference the same broken relationships and existential dread that has been the focal point of allegra gellar for eight years. the difference this time is that there is an ending. the credits role and the film is over.