Lori and Michael started the band in 2009. Friends since 1996, the two had been trying to find a way to make music together for some time. Obsessed with creating unique sonic soundscapes, Michael wrote and recorded his own material for many years. He also played in many short-lived alternative rock bands and jammed regularly with many local artists, e.g., players from Dressy Bessy, Apples in Stereo, The Czars, Suk Patch, Mallard and One Lump Sum. Projects ranged from lo-fi art rock to electro-acoustic experimental. Many of them were collaborations. In contrast, Lori developed her voice singing in choirs. She grew up playing piano and listening to classical music, The Carpenters and The Cure. She developed a great passion for dark and edgy underground music like Joy Division, Tones on Tail, Cocteau Twins and Peter Murphy.
Striking a balance between their different approaches to making music is a continual process of trial and error that has shaped their very original sound, kept their songwriting fresh and infused their music with a strong creative dynamic. They take music making seriously and work for a tight sound.
Ben, the bassist, joined the band in 2010 and added a strong "Texas" cohesion between their rhythm and melodies. When their newest recruit, Danny, came on board in mid-2012, they changed their name to Paris by Sea, previously a solo project of Michael's. Danny brought power, precision and a deft touch to the drums—rounding out and driving the band.
Paris by Sea is Lori Trautwein on lead vocals and keyboard, Michael B. Wenham on guitar and vocals, Ben Kessel on bass, and Danny Shuford on drums.