I had the good fortune to see LA natives Dear Boy perform at a private event last week, which induced a feeling I’ve had only a couple of times since moving to LA: that unique sense of being in the presence of fame-before-fame.

I’m confident that in a year or two, I’ll be able to boast about making small talk with lead singer Ben Grey in the same way that I now boast about David Crosby saying hello to me or Tom Hanks getting pissed off at me for staring at him. (Hey, I never said my celebrity encounters were exciting. Or flattering.)

In layman’s terms, Dear Boy is Death Cab For Cutie with balls: think harder guitar, more progressive rhythms, and bigger, badder drums. Self-described as “bittersweet,” Dear Boy manages to be melancholy and uplifting at once without being sappy or self-indulgent. That’s high praise from someone like me, who generally prefers lyrics to be less introspective and more, oh, I don’t know, the type of thing that might convince a woman to have sex with you.

Dear Boy’s self-titled debut EP, released in September, plays like an hors d’oeuvre: it’s momentarily satisfying, but ultimately leaves you hungrier than you were before. In the context of food, this is bad; in the context of music, however, there’s nothing better.

Get on the bandwagon now, guys. Dear Boy’s star is ascending in a big way. Besides being featured on the LA Music Blogcast and coming in at #3 on our Best EPs of 2013 year-end list, the quartet found themselves on KROQ’s Locals Only chart with their hit “Oh So Quiet,” which rocks even harder live. Check out their EP, Dear Boy, and find out what all the fuss is about.

FMI: Dear Boy