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Philadelphia's electro-pop duo City Rain was started in 2009 by Ben Runyan, originally featuring ambient electronic beats without vocals. In early 2010 Ben met up with guitarist Jarrett Zerrer. Shortly thereafter WXPN took on City Rain and begin spinning tracks like “I’m Gone” and “Running Man” the title track from their first album. City Rain continued to gain media attention with a rare blend of deeply expressive lyrics with electro-pop music. During the release of their EP "Watch Out" City Rain reached a fever pitch of buzz around their opening gig at Union Transfer in Philly for indie darlings Washed Out. Following the "Watch Out" EP, City Rain sought to return to the core of their songwriting with the “Montage EP”. Shortly after the release of Montage, City Rain as Ben and Jarrett broke up and Ben continued writing and playing shows between Philly and NYC. He returned from shows in NYC and linked up with local guitarist Scott Cumpstone, a childhood friend. They developed their first song together 'The Optimist,' a story of not only hope, but finding beauty in uncertainty.
Love and Loss in the Recession, ‘The Optimist,’ is the human condition as told though the eyes of the young men of City Rain. While every person has the capability to create his or her own personal hell, there is inversely their capability to manifest redemption. ‘The Optimist’ is the story of the way back. Having graduated from Temple University in 2009, Ben Runyan and Scott Cumpstone lived two very different lives but were on a path to a familiar place. Ben was starting the City Rain moniker playing hipster nodding electronic shows, while Scott was busy treating the pop rock circuit to his brand of guitar. Between then, and the Optimist, Runyan would lose the love of this short life, lose two close friends, have his brain fried after twelve years of SSRI use, lose two jobs, work three, and all the while build his name. Despite it all, he kicked the can far enough down the road to meet Cumpstone at distinctly the right moment. Forming the new duo in late 2012, ‘The Optimist’ was born. It was born knowing that we are all terminal. But despite the fate of our demise, we find one thing to recognize. It’s our fulfillment.