by James Calvet
This Thursday we have another stunning edition of Locals Live at Innisfree Poetry Bookstore and Cafe! On Feb 25th come hear the awesome electr0-acoustic styling’s of Boulder-based fingerpicker Effulgence. The show is free and presented by Radio 1190. The show starts at 6pm! Come drink great coffee, hang out with 1190 staff and support local music!
New Jersey-based group Pinegrove sound more like they came from the South or Texas, but these Northeasterners has a knack for mixing together gritty alt-country and modern lo-fi indie rock. On their seventh release, Cardinal we see the group maturing in their sound and hitting the sweet spot in between alt-country and emo revival without falling into clichés of their genre. Each track is raw and natural as if the album was recorded live to tape. Thematically, Cardinal sounds like moments from late summer in a small town captured on a disposable camera wherein the emotions are intense and complex but ultimately fleeting. The voice of Front man Evan Stephens Hall is youthful but gritty with a strangely southern drawl that ranges from quiet country mumbles to stressed-out shrieks. The lyrical content tells stories that are specific to Evan Stephens Hall life, but are vague and relatable like a faded Polaroid from last summer. Extra instrumentation such as banjo and lap steel guitar are utilized sparingly, where only the eagle-eared may hear, but add another layer of depth to their sound. With this being Pinegrove's first widely-distributed record from Run For Cover, this is a great entry point into their discography and can please music fans that may not be into alt-country or emo revival.
Out of the Brooklyn DIY scene, twee-folk outfit Florist has released their first full length album. Much like their contemporaries Frankie Cosmos and Eskimaux, Florist specializes in a quiet, intimate style of twee injected with folk sensibilities. The album, titled The Birds Sang Outside, is only 30 minutes long, but each of the eleven tracks is rich with emotive songwriting and personality. The second track "I Was" is a guitar led track that is so delicate and light that you could hear a pin drop if it weren't for the distortion and noise that enters halfway through the track. Like most tracks in the album, the themes deal with isolation and loneliness but the warm guitar tones and textures make the record seem more homey and welcoming rather than cold and alone. Though this album has a lot of potential, it's hard to differentiate Florist's sound to her contemporaries. If it were for a little different variation in vocal style or instrumentation, Florist could fully realize their potential.
Out of Japan, math rock pioneer Toe has released their sixth release entitled Hear You. Much like most other math rock bands, Toe keeps their sound hyper-melodic with emotive builds and complex rhythms. Unlike their previous records, Hear You strays away from the electronic leaning of their past for a more rock-oriented album. The record shines through with incredible guitar playing and masterful drum composition. The rhythms and song structures are complex, yet the group can place these melodic lines in a certain way that is palatable for all audiences. The ninth track stands out from the rest where R&B rhythms replace the rock focus and a smooth, crooning vocal part sounds like the sweetest part of a 90's hip hop jam. Funnily enough, this track is a homage to the Japanese hip hop scene. With a large breadth of genres and sensibilities, Toe's sixth album Hear You is a great addition to their discography and has the potential to gain a new audience of listeners.