Heypenny was an indie rock band based in Nashville, Tennessee. They cite influences such as Wilco, Beatles, Coldplay, Radiohead and Elliott Smith.
Ben Elkins was born in Fayetteville, Arkansas and later attended the University of Arkansas. However, Ben moved to Chattanooga, Tennessee where he began to play in a jam band type duo called Kingfisher. Ben was introduced to indie music by his friends and shortly thereafter he became interested in making an album with the feel of both jam and indie styles, leading to Heypenny's 2005 debut album, Use These Spoons.
While Ben Elkins played five of the tracks entirely by himself, he also elicited some help from other Chattanooga artists such as John Totten, Kevin Bevil, Jim Tate, Charles Allison, Rachel Billingsley, and others. After nine months of production, the album was complete and Use These Spoons was then recognized by Chattanooga based magazine, The Pulse, as being the top local album of the year in 2005. Although the album had no large-scale distribution, it sold through all its pressings through a combination of blogosphere word-of-mouth and local recognition.
On June 16, 2010, Use These Spoons was re-released on iTunes.
With the album completed, Ben Elkins moved to Nashville, Tennessee and started Heypenny, the band, with Kevin Bevil. At first, the idea was that the band would help Ben play songs from Use These Spoons; however, the band expanded to writing and performing new material.
On August 10, 2009 Heypenny released Cop Car EP through Guerrilla Music as a Coloring Book/EP at the Mercy Lounge in Nashville, turning the ballroom into an 8-foot-tall (2.4 m) version of their coloring book. In early 2010, Heypenny performed at South by Southwest and Bonnaroo music festivals.
By April 2010, Heypenny consisted of three members: Ben Elkins, DJ Murphy and Aaron Distler. They recorded A Jillion Kicks at Spanner Sound in Chattanooga. Tracks included on this album are: "Parade", "You Shine", "Star for the Kidz", "Oh No", "Mr Miller", "Star", "Pretty Day", "Emperor's New Clothes", "To War the Cure", "Water", "Purple Street", and "Gimme Da Ball". The album was released on February 22, 2011.
On June 16, 2010, Heypenny headlined performed along with Ke$ha and Space Capone for a Nashville flood benefit concert.
In October 2012, the three remaining members of Heypenny broke up. They decided not to publicly announce the breakup. However, the promoters for a show in Chattanooga in the spring of 2013 billed Ben Elkins' new project ELEL's show The Death of Heypenny: The Birth of ELEL on Facebook This became the default public announcement of Heypenny's breakup. Two days later, a press release confirmed the news.Benjamin Elkins - Piano/Guitar/Vocals
DJ Murphy - Bass Guitar/Vocals
Aaron Distler - Drums
Kevin Bevil - Guitar/Vocals
Zach Grace - Guitar/Vocals/Piano
Kai Welch - Trumpet
Diego Vasquez - Trombone
Joe Domojo - Tenor Saxophone
Raven Taylor - Background Vocals
Lydia Fothergill - Background Vocals
Max Abrams - Baritone Saxophone
Dan Burns - Snare Drum
Joshua Walker - Snare Drum
Phil Griswold - Bass Drum
Erich Wigdahl - Bass Drum
Adam Tanaka - Quads
Jamie Campbell - Publishing
Lisa McNab - UK Press
Steve Ager - UK Radio Placement
Guerrilla Music - Label
Use These Spoons (2005)
Cop Car EP (2009)
A Jillion Kicks (2010)