The Heavenly States are a band from California whose bracing blend of pop, indie rock, and agit-prop folk rock has earned them a reputation as one of the most exciting acts to emerge on the West Coast in the new millennium. The Heavenly States were founded by guitarist, singer, and lyricist Ted Nesseth from the ashes of his earlier punk-influenced act Fluke Starbucker. A self-taught left-handed guitarist who learned to play on a right-handed axe flipped upside down, Nesseth assembled the first lineup of the Heavenly States -- featuring percussionist Jeremy Gagon and Genevieve Gagon on keyboards and violin -- during the dying days of Fluke Starbucker, and issued the new group's first recordings under the old band's name on a 2002 EP entitled Elephants from Ants. The Heavenly States made an auspicious recording debut under their own name when they appeared on a limited-edition EP with Coldplay and the Postal Service in 2003, and a self-titled album followed later the same year. The band added bassist Masanori Mark Christianson to the lineup in 2004, with the King Epiphany EP following later in the year. As a four-piece, the band began undertaking an ambitious touring schedule; along with playing the United States, Canada, and Europe, the Heavenly States has also appeared in Australia and broken ground by taking their music to Egypt and Libya, giving the two North African nations their first taste of Western rock. In 2005, the Heavenly States issued their second full-length album, Black Comet, with a third LP scheduled for release in February 2007.