The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

They formed a high-decibel band to feel down. Now, Bound is on the up-and-up.

The D.C. rock band Bound: from left, Kotu Bajaj, Dan Richardson, Trish Harris and Bryan Buchanan. (Meg Levine)

Last spring, the soon-to-be-members of Bound were out celebrating a comrade’s birthday, soaking up the good times, when guitarist Bryan Buchanan decided to confide in his fellow party-people. He had been writing cloudy rock songs in relative isolation, but now he needed some help. Would his friends want to come over to the D.C. basement he shares with his partner, keyboardist Trish Harris, crank up the amps and try feeling lousy together?

“That, for me, felt like a challenge,” says Bound bassist Kotu Bajaj, sitting with his bandmates 16 months later. “I had only ever played in punk and hardcore bands where the operative emotion was rage, so to go from rage to sadness, it sounded like it might be difficult — or even fun.”

Buchanan, Harris and drummer Dan Richardson all nod in agreement, only half-smiling. This is a young band that already seems comfy in its mind-meld, and you can hear it on “No Beyond,” a solemn, spacious debut album that was forged inside a circle of trust.

Buchanan says he sees the album as “a place to put those emotional life experiences: illnesses, deaths of family members, relationship trauma, childhood things.”

“It’s awkward to talk about that stuff in conversations, but trying to talk about it through music, for some reason, makes sense,” he says. “My only stipulation is that it just be [really] sad.” And upon hearing this, his bummed-out bandmates instantly fill the room with laughter.

Shows: Opening for Dusk, Pearl Earl and the Rememberables on June 24 at 8 p.m. at Slash Run, 201 Upshur St. NW. $10. Opening for Tone on Aug. 18 at 8 p.m. at Songbyrd, 2477 18th St. NW. $12-$14.