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On Air Next

On Air Next 2.4.16

Caden Marchese

by James Calvet

This week Radio 1190 will be hosting another edition of Local's Live at Innisfree Poetry Cafe on the hill! Stop by at 6pm this Thursday, February 4th for an awesome improvised set from Boulder-based pop experimentalist Jarocki! Come drink coffee, hang with 1190 and support local music!

Halifax-based Nap Eyes may sound sparse and minimal at first listen, but their sound is much denser than one would expect. Their debut record Whine of the Mystics was a 2015 sleeper hit of an indie record with charm and quick wit. Their sound is a peculiar mix of indie pop, alt-country and folk rock without the lyrical or thematic stereotypical pitfalls of the Americana genre. The ultimate draw of the record was the eccentric personality that revealed itself with repeated listens. Lyricist Nigel Chapman is a Biochemist by day, but writes on subjects that are simultaneously mundane, literate and profound. In 2016 with the release of their sophomore record Thought Rock Fish Scale, we find Nap Eyes polishing their sound while still staying raw and lively. The whole record was recorded live-to-tape which captures the raw energy and brilliance of this indie pop group. The album touches down upon subjects such and astrophysics, spirituality and poetry but ultimately Thought Rock Fish Scale is an album for the late night drunken philosophers. Chapman's delivery is reminiscent of Lou Reed's monotone drawl but strangely emotive. Though the band may draw the most comparison's to 60's Velvet Underground, the group can please fans of Wilco, Pavement or general lovers of golden-age indie rock. Thought rock Fish Scale is a true-to-form rock record that is simple upon first listen, but reveals itself over time and becomes an incredibly rewarding listen. With the group's charmingly simple execution and Chapman's lazy yet sharp vocal style, Thought Rock Fish Scale results in something innovative, genuine and classic. Out now on Paradise of Bachelors records, Thought Rock Fish Scale by Nap Eyes is Radio 1190's CD of the Month for February. For a full review log on to

If you don't already know who Ty Segall is, then we here at Radio 1190 encourage you to pick through is extensive back catalogue. For those who are interested in what this man has been up to, he has new album out now entitled Emotional Mugger. Leading up to this release, Mr. Segall had made it clear that there will be some changes to his backing band. Instead of the Ty Segall band including Mikal Cronin, Charlie Mootheart and Emily Rose Epstein, Ty would now be playing with a mysterious group called "The Muggers". The first promo pics showed the front man and his group all wearing these disgustingly cartoonish rubber masks in the form of crying infants. This release was set to be very strange. On Emotional Mugger Ty has decidedly gone heavier than his previous release Manipulator with more twists and turns in the songwriting style. More focused on riffs and demented rock structure, Ty Segall seems to be going into a direction that's more similar to his side project Fuzz. Though this is a much more wild side of garage rock with Segall, the album is still on the poppier side and not as ferocious or jarring as albums like Slaughterhouse or Reverse Shark Attack. We find Ty Segall becoming more comfortable in his sound but trying to make it fresh and exciting for the fans but resulting in a watered down version of his sound. By no means is this the end of the road for Segall, he is aware of the impact he has by putting out so many records and knows how to keep his story compelling. If anything, the concepts and strategies he's using for this record are very innovative and show that Ty Segall may have some really interesting plans later on down the line.

Formerly of the weirdo jazz-rock fusion group Fiery Furnaces came the singer-songwriter Eleanor Friedberger who is possibly the most intriguing artist in the genre in recent years. Her style is simple in theory, but when executed is unlike any other artist. After two records, her third release New View is a continuation of her unique style with a refinement of her particular voice. Her style of folk rock is very similar to the golden sounds of A Ghost is Born-era Wilco but with a Sharon Van Etten-esque confessionalism that makes her incredibly interesting. Though the tracks most depict complex romantic situations, the juxtaposition of heavy lyrics and bubbly instrumentation is simultaneously enthralling and unexpected. To the untrained ear, her sound is very simple indie folk, but her songwriting and structure is subtly unconventional, which could be a result of working with the Fiery Furnaces. Though her style of sun-shiny folk rock may not be for everyone, there is massive amounts of merit in Friedberger's unique style of songwriting.



On Air Next 1/13

Dan Burney

by James Calvet

Welcome back students! It's cold outside but there are exciting things happening in the UMC. We have a slew of awesome new DJ's on the AM airwaves. Tune in to hear rad tunes from your next favorite DJ. For a full list of new DJ's log on to

On January 10th 2016 legendary musician, songwriter, actor and artist David Bowie passed away due to cancer. Through his nearly fifty-year career, Bowie created an unmistakable style that is poised, charismatic, inventive and unabashedly strange. Like a musical chameleon, Bowie utilized genres such as glam rock, electronic, experimental music and beyond. Come 2016, the lead single and title for his 25th album was released titled Blackstar. The track is a 10-minute long epic with dark, broody droney chords over jittery jazzy drums. The album as a whole is a dark and mysterious listen but provides enough pop structure to please the masses of Bowie fans. Bowie reportedly was heavily inspired by artists such as Kendrick Lamar and Death Grips while writing this album, which really shine through, most notably on the title track of the album. Blackstar is an end-of-career album that stands just as interesting as his Berlin trilogy albums or even his glam rock classics of the 1970's.  The instrumentation and execution is stronger and more experimental than Bowie has been in years and makes this album to be his best in well over twenty years. Strangely, this album seems very aware of his death that would follow its release. With the themes, execution and musicianship on this record, Blackstar reveals itself deeper and deeper with every listen and acts as the best way that Bowie could end his career and his beautiful, charismatic, influential life.

In the heyday of indie-pop, the Pacific Northwest was the incubator for some of the best acts. In the early 80's Calvin Johnson began releasing low fidelity pop recordings under the moniker Beat Happening while still in college. Over the course of a few years, the group evolved into a full band and gained a cult following for their eccentric personality, playful performance and simple pop melodies. Thirty five years after the formation of the group, Domino and K records decided to release an anthology release to celebrate the band's legacy titled Look Around. The album chronologically goes through their short discography with better mixing and mastering without compromising the lo-fi charm. Classic tracks such as "Indian Summer", "Tiger Trap" and "Bewitched" are all featured on this record showcasing the band's true genius. Though this compilation is full of fantastic tracks and masterful mixing, it doesn't really bring anything new to the forefront of Beat Happening's music. But with that being said, there really isn't much to uncover from the band other than that they were and are the greatest indie pop group of all.

Pop experimentalist Grimes has been exciting and frustrating fans throughout her whole short career. After she announced a follow up to her cult favorite debut Visions in 2014, she reported that she will not release her follow up because it didn't please her fans. But late 2015 brought another follow up record titled Art Angels. Unlike her first record, Art Angels is a much cleaner and poppier record minus the dark edge she once had. But the production on every song on this record is truly remarkable in that each song is incredibly textured, detailed and unconventional. Though some songs like "Flesh Without Blood" sound as if they could be played on Top 40 Radio, there are at least some elements of experimentalism deep within the track. Though this release doesn't please some of Grimes' die-hard fans, there are still enough saving graces on this album to make it very memorable.

On Air Next 12.10.15

Dan Burney

by James Calvet

Finals are almost here! It's the most wonderful time of the year. We are kidding. We hate finals as much as you do. But that also means that it's list season. We are putting together a compiled listener year-end list. Log on to or visit our Facebook/Twitter and submit your top 10 albums of 2015. Keep your eyes on our website and social media for staff lists and other year-end lists.

Though many bands come out of the east coast, none have really stood out quite like Philadelphia band Palm. Their newest record Trading Basics, out on Exploding In Sound Records, their biggest release in their very short career. Though it may not be as experimental or wild as their earlier album Ostrich Vacation, Trading Basics is still an uncompromised, visceral listen. Like most of their tracks, the second track is  "Crank", a jagged, angular track that charges forward in a very solid groove. The track then ends in a guitar-based cacophony only ending in one tight hit. 

Over the course of the album, the group heavily utilizes polyrhythms and dissonant melodies that sound influenced by experimental punk bands like This Heat. Though many of the songs forego traditional melodies and song structures, catchy hooks burst out of nowhere. On the stand out track "Ankles", the refrain, which repeats the mantra “I don’t need you any more” which easily can get, stuck in the listeners head. The music is incredibly interesting and mind-bending; it can be quite taxing over the span of eleven songs. But undoubtedly, Palm have an incredibly unique sound unlike any band out right now, quite possibly making Trading Basics the sleeper hit of 2015.

Accompanied by a documentary of the same name, Junun, Paul Thomas Anderson recruited musicians from the east and the west including Shye Ben Tzur, Jonny Greenwood, and The Rajasthan Express. From Radiohead fame, Jonny Greenwood teams up with Israeli composer Shye Ben Tzur and Rajasthan Express which is composed of 19 traditional musicians. The album was recorded in the Mehrangarh Fort in Rajasthan, India. The film documents the making of the album, an organic process of musicians coming together and creating something unique together. The western musicians infuse their style in the traditional eastern music with fantastic results. Hints of electronica and rock music riddle the album throughout. The two-disk collection is diverse, emotive and incredibly enjoyable. Though the album and documentary don't do anything truly profound, the fact that these culturally different musicians come together to make something unique and interesting is something special in itself.

It was just a matter of time until Ty Segall released another album. This time around Mr Segall has put out a tribute album to his favorite band, T-Rex, aptly titled Ty Rex. Covers of tracks "20th Century Boy" and "The Slider" are fantastic homages to Marc Bolan and company with Segall's signature sound in the mix. Notably, Ty has infused fuzzier, grittier and rawer guitars and production into the mix. Unlike his previous album, Manipulator, we see a more punk-leaning sound from Ty Segall sounding much closer to his roots than ever. Though, obviously since it's a cover album, there is no new territory found on Ty Rex, but it's the perfect way to hold over garage rock fanatics until the next original Ty Segall LP.

On Air Next 12.3.15

Dan Burney

by James Calvet

It's almost finals! Get ready for never ending pots of coffee, all-nighters and irrational emotional breakdowns! But before that happens, join Radio 1190 this Thursday, December 3rd at Buchanan’s Coffee Pub for another Locals Live featuring Justin Root. Show starts at 7pm and it is completely free! Support local music!

Since the beginning of music, different musicians have collaborated to make art. When this happens, the strengths and weaknesses of each musician are exposed and the results are usually unpredictable and exciting. 

In late 2015, Three Lobed Records, a one-man record label based out of Jamestown, North Carolina, recruited and paired up 10 of the best bands in folk rock, indie rock and beyond to release a 5-LP collection entitled Parallelograms. The album journeys through genres such as shoegaze, American Primitivism, Psych Folk, Free Improvision and beyond creating a diverse and oddly cohesive collection of tracks. On Parallelograms, there are splits between Steve Gunn & Kurt Vile, Bardo Pond & Yo La Tengo, William Tyler & Six Organs of Admittance, Michael Chapman & Hiss Golden Messenger and Caught on Tape & Bishop Orcutt Corsano. 

Every writing style from covers, to original compositions, free form jams or somewhere in the middle is covered in this collection and shows that all of these forms can be utilized to create something unique and innovative.

Following a string of critically polarized records, Daniel Lopatin, also known as Oneohtrix Point Never, has polished up his sound for his newest record, Garden of Delete, without compromising any intensity. 

Following the intro, "Ezra" showcases intense stop-and-start samples foreshadowing the rest of the album. Though the album is much tighter and focused than his previous, the album is fast, loud and in your face. The most accessible track on the record, "Sticky Drama", is closer to EDM than any other track he's ever created. But in the middle of the track, the composition drops out to erupt into a speed-metal breakdown featuring sequenced double-bass hits. The album then veers into familiar ambient-focused Oneohtrix Point Never territory but with a more rock influence. 

The album may not be the most challenging Oneohtrix Point Never record, it is still exhilarating enough to make die-hard fans happy. With that, Garden of Delete may be the record to introduce a whole new audience to the wild world of Oneohtrix Point Never.

Indie pop darling Frankie Cosmos has been quiet for some time, but 2015 has brought us a new 4-song EP entitled Fit Me In. In true Frankie Cosmos fashion, she blasts through 4 tracks in only 8 minutes.

Instead of her usual stripped-down style, Cosmos incorporates a full band equipped with synthesizers to enhance her sound. Unlike her true bedroom pop style, it sounds much closer to a song that would play during a prom slow-dance in an 80's movie.

Sadly, the tracks don't have the same emotional impact as Zentropy. The songs seem a tad more rushed to have the same effect that her past releases have had. Hopefully this EP is a tease to a full-length to follow soon.

On Air Next 11.19.15

Dan Burney

by James Calvet

Much like you and your family Radio 1190 will be celebrating Thanksgiving! Tune in on Thursday Nov 26th for our "Plymouth Rock Playlist". We will be going back to where it all began by playing an awesome selection of electric blues and early rock music. Then on Friday Nov 27 we will be playing "Live In-Studio Leftovers" where we will be playing past in-studio sessions from Brothertiger, TOPS, Death Valley Girls and more straight from the Radio 1190 Vault. Tune in!

After doing production for Kanye West and FKA Twigs Venezuelan producer Arca gained recognition for his critically acclaimed debut Xen. Come 2015 after doing production on Bjork's newest record and a few incredibly mesmerizing singles, Arca had a lot to live up to on his newest record Mutant. 

In his distinct style of cacophonous waves of noise, Arca finds beauty in the grotesque. The title track on Mutant is a 7-minute formless noise piece that focuses on walls of sound that build and collapse quickly with only a few seconds in between to save the listener from the madness. The track then finds melodic synthesizer leads underneath that eventually bubble up to the top sounding akin to a post-apocalyptic electro hook. 

Unlike his first album, Mutant foregoes the energizing stop-and-start compositional style for a more fluid, cascading sound. Though this record is not for everyone, the textures and production of Mutant make it just as good as it's predecessor. For the listener that is looking for something that has the same maximalist qualities of Kanye West and FKA Twigs but totally off the deep end, Arca's Mutant may just be the 2015 album they've been searching for.

Los Angeles based avant-garde music producer James Ferraro made a name for himself by making ironic and plastic electronic music that would later be cited as the starting point for the micro-genre known as vaporwave. He then progressed into a more vocally and conceptually driven style of avant-garde R&B and hip-hop that is simultaneously off-putting and soothing. Following up his 2013 release NYC Hell 3am, which was an observation of the city it's named for, Ferraro takes his focus across the country for his Los Angeles themed 2015 record Skid Row.

Much like NYC Hell 3am, Skid Row opens with text-to-speech samples that bluntly name off characteristics of the city such as "Home Security", "Gated Housing", "Desert", "Gardner" and "Burning Prius on the Highway".  The album is a hazy, opaque look at crime and capitalism in a stark portrait of Los Angeles. Unlike his previous efforts, Ferraro focuses on hooks and melody to make it more enjoyable for wider audiences. Though most of the compositions are incredibly esoteric and synthetic, a lot of the instrumental, more ambient-based tracks are incredibly pretty. Ferraro's vocals are low and whispery throughout the whole album. Though he may not be the most skilled singer, his ability to be unnerving is greater than or comparable to the text-to-speech that opens the record. 

Undoubtedly, for the casual electronic music listener, this will be an incredibly polarizing record. But for those that are willing to look deeper into the imagery and concept that Ferraro is presenting will be greatly rewarded. Tim Presley from White Fence is a busy man. Not only has he recently been releasing music with Cate La Bon as DRINKS but also he now has a new experimental beat project under the moniker W-X. 

Unexpectedly, the self-titled album's first official track "The Lurk" sounds like a 90's trip-hop track akin to DJ Shadow but a tad bit more psychedelic. From there, the album is much more varied and touches down upon weirdo psych rock closer to White Fence's original sound and even lo-fi pop gems that sound close to Ariel Pink. Halfway through, it sounds more so like a mixtape or a collection of B-sides than an official album.

What we find through the record's diverse 19 tracks is that Tim Presley is an incredibly talented, multi-faceted singer-songwriter with great sensibilities on strange pop music. If anything, the extremely entertaining self-titled album from W-X is a great way to hold you over until the next White Fence Record.

On Air Next 11.12.15

Dan Burney

by James Calvet

Come join Radio 1190 tomorrow at 7pm at Buchanan's Coffee pub on the hill for another edition of Locals Live! Tomorrow we will be hosting the ambient-folk duo Latlaus Sky. It's a free show so come out and enjoy great coffee and support local music!

Longtime icon of the Denver DIY scene Travis Egedy, also known as Pictureplane moved to Brooklyn some years ago but kept up his production of strange and esoteric electronic dance music. Recently signed to Anticon records, Edegy has been know for fusing genres such as dark wave, experimental house and 90's-era dance music. Come 2015, Edegy has released his seventh full-length album titled Technomancer.

The album, much like his previous records, is dark, fuzzy and weird. "Sick Machine" that opens up the album is a head-bobbing jam that has hints of hip-hop and synthpop. Though the track is dark and abrasive, the vocals are the softest and most emotional part of the track. This stark juxtaposition is an interesting one that is unexpected given the background and history of Pictureplane but works incredibly well. The ninth track "Technomancer" is an incredibly catchy stomp that sounds like a chopped and screwed 90's techno record that was found in the back dumpster of a record store with strange, modulated vocals. The track conjures up images of strobe lights over a DJ in the sweatiest, best warehouse rave in New York. Though Technomancer isn't the most challenging or mind-bending electronic album ever, it's still incredibly enjoyable. 

Ty Segall and company is back with the second album in their Black Sabbath-influenced incarnation known as FuzZ. Instead of Ty ripping on guitar, he has opted to take over the drum kit while Charlie Moothart stays on electric guitar and Chad Ubovich from Meatbodies on bass. The sound of II harkens back to the very formative days of heavy metal with fuzzy, menacing guitar riffs and vocals more akin to psychedelic rock. The production on the newest record compared to their self-titled debut is much more clear which results in a less mysterious sound. The thirteen-minute closer titled "II" is a sprawling, riff-laden jam that goes in various directions. Sadly, with the ingredients that they have on this newest release are so close to Segall it would make more sense as a solo record. Additionally, the songs aren't as gripping as past FuzZ releases and with the longer solo sections and song lengths, it makes the album a tad strenuous. Though it's not a bad album, more streamlined songwriting and more suitable production would have made the album immensely stronger.  

Out of Ohio, a group of ex-college radio kids have banned together and released music under the moniker SPORTS. On their debut album All of Something the group plays spunky indie pop and lightning fast speeds. Much like groups like Waxahatchee or Diet Cig, the feel of the album is simultaneously snarky and emotive. The trade off of male and female vocals makes each song dynamic and full of personality. Much like Denver group, Kissing Party, the album feels like a DIY interpretation of Belle and Sebastian or even a modern Beat Happening. All in all, though SPORTS doesn't have the most original sound, their debut is incredibly enjoyable and shows massive potential for this young band.

On Air Next 10.29.15

Dan Burney


by James Calvet

It's Halloweek at Radio 1190! Tune in right now to hear spooky scary songs wedged between rotation songs as well as your chance to win Radio 1190 t-shirts, concert tickets and free vinyl records! We will be keeping up the spook up until Friday so don't miss out on the fun. In other news, Radio 1190 will be hosting another Locals Live show at Buchanans Coffee Pub on the Hill this Thursday Oct 27th. The act this week will be Tayler Doyle from The Kinky Fingers playing some solo material. For more details log on to our Facebook.

Detroit-based post-punk act Protomartyr has been making incredibly drunken, melodic and heart felt rock music since 2012. On their third album The Agent Intellect, the group explores darker subjects with their melodic, yet self-deprecating sound. Much like their earlier albums, the group uses simple guitar and bass interplay as the drums stay at the swift march. The vocals from Joe Casey are deep and sloppy but still carry incredible amounts of honesty and emotionality. Furthermore, the lyrical content focuses heavily on Casey's loss of his father to an unexpected heart attack. The subject matter may be dark and hard to read at times, but Casey keeps it vague enough to be relatable and cathartic. But what the band does best, is shown on this record where they mix dark themes and styles with hyper-melodic guitars and bass lines. Though this album may not be much of a change from their last, it's still incredibly catchy and memorable enough to make it hard to determine which is the superior album, if there is one.

If you're familiar with the loosely defined genre of "indie rock", you've probably heard of Deerhunter. After massively successful albums such as 2008's Microcastle and 2012's Halcyon Digest, frontman Bradford Cox and company have become the indie darlings of the mid to late 2000's. Come 2015, right before the release of their highly anticipated album Fading Frontier, a weird but unsurprising review of a horrible Los Angeles live show surfaced on major music publications. The show was sloppy, noisy and uncomfortable including drawn out interpretations of their older material and mid-song stops to complain to the sound guy. Though Deerhunter is well known for being sloppy, cathartic and strange, the new album is anything but. 

The lead single "Snakeskin" is a clean and polished interpretation of their sound, with a steady stomp, but the melodic call and response in the guitars are incredibly reminiscent of Cox's solo work as Atlas Sound. Though, in the past, Deerhunter has taken simple pop structure and fused it with shoegaze or eerie softness and made it work, now more than ever, Deerhunter is sounding like a Bradford Cox solo project. Through the album's nine tracks, little to none of them truly stand out as personal, emotional or impactful works of art. Without the collaborative efforts of past guitarist Frankie Broyles, the group is frightful to think outside the box, get a little bit noisy and do something different. Though Fading Frontier works as a solid and interesting pop album, with a legacy so prolific and impactful as Deerhunter's, it's a true disappointment and a step in the wrong direction. 

In the past few years, the words "Black metal" have been a point of contention in communities of metal enthusiasts. After American bands have been incorperating these European musical sensibilities, bands such as Liturgy have been dubbed "Hipster Black Metal". Come 2013, the California-based group Deafheaven released Sunbather that was musically controversial, but also sported a bright pink album cover to further enables black metal idealists. After the success of that album, 2015 brought their fourth release and follow-up entitled New Bermuda. Much like Sunbather, the new record opens with bone-crushing blast beats, tremolo picked guitars and shrill, shrieking vocals. The opener hits a groove as soon as the band switches to a more mellow vibe and then builds it back up again. 

Sadly, once things start getting good, the band opts for a very awkward fade out while the vocals are still going full force to transition into a clunky piano interlude. Thankfully, the second song sports a jittery, chunky guitar intro, a la Master Of Puppets era Metallica, and then evolves into a melodic, post-hardcore influenced grind. Though the album doesn't do anything bad, the middle section sports a business as usual sound for Deafheaven, teetering and tottering between major and minor key tonalities. Sadly, the final track "Gifts of the Earth" is the weakest on the album. After their usual metal grind, the track opens up with strumming, major-key sporting acoustic guitars and a watery electric lead that sounds incredibly similar to late-career Pearl Jam. Unfortunately, the lack of experimentation, production and style choices keep New Bermuda, a good album, from being as great as their previous efforts.

On Air Next 10.22.15

Dan Burney

On Air Next 10.22
James Calvet
Radio 1190 KVCU

It's finally starting to feel like fall and you know what that means...HALLOWEEN! But even though costumes, candy and parties are important, what is most important is Radio 1190's Halloweek! Next Monday through Friday we will be playing very spooky tunes picked by staff and listeners as well as giving away vinyl, t-shirts and concert tickets! Tune in all week for your chance to win and keep your eyes on and our Facebook for updates!

Dublin based group Girl Band started by releasing their brand of noisy, cathartic post-punk on their Bandcamp, but after signing to Rough Trade, the group has released their debut album Holding Hands with Jamie. Most of the tracks, like the single "Paul", start opaque and formless with bursts of noise and heart-pounding drums only to slowly grow into a giant burst of fury and aggression. The vocals of Dara Kiely are sloppy and improvisational, in which he yells almost incoherent mantras that sound almost like the loud yells of a drunk Irishman. In the middle of the track "Paul" and rising and falling wall of noise takes over the track that is so powerful that could make some listeners uncomfortable. Though all this noise is quite daunting, tracks such as "Texting and Alien", contains a sliver of melody to please the listener for a moment, only to be bombarded by sheets on noise to suffocate the listener. Most notably, the percussion is primal and pounding but strays away from overusing the cymbals and opts to utilize strange industrial instruments to further the effect. The tracks, to the untrained ear, may seem similar over the course of the album, but after multiple listens each track is strange and noisy in it's own way. Holding Hands with Jamie is one of the most interesting noise rock albums of the year and, without a doubt, will be making some year end lists.

When Carrboro, North Carolina-based record label Paradise of Bachelors first started, the first record they put out was a Nashville band called The Promised Land Sound. Come 2015, now that the label has a few successful releases under their belt, the Promised Land Sound has released their second record For Use & Delight. Much like their debut the group channels the stomping hippie country of Neil Young and CCR but with the stoned out, freewheeling vibes of Crosby, Stills and Nash. The group is tight but play in a way tat sounds natural and effortless. The album teeter totters from full-on country-tinged rock n' roll jams to mellow and rollicking showing off how dynamic the group can get. Even though the group sports intense guitar riffs and groovy rhythms, their sound is very warm and familiar akin to The Band. But where the group really shines is the mellower, freeform psych-folk crooners such as "Northern Country Scene". Promised Land Sound encapsulates all that American music truly is. Though their music may not convert an Americana-hating individual on to the genre, it has a little bit for every lover of American music. 

Aptly named American-born, Toronto-based art-pop outfit U.S. Girls has been making music since 2007 but in 2015 their breakout album Half Free has put them in the public eye. Though they play pop music, their sound is dark, smoky and sexy. Much like a French Noir film, grand pianos, bongos and lush strings back up the theatrical and breathy vocals. Though this combination may sound like Lana Del Ray with a darker edge, U.S. Girls, with their dabbling in electronic experimentation, sound more akin to John Maus or even Ariel Pink with more confidence. Lead single "Window Shades", with its utilization of vibraphone and keys sounds close to a theme song for an espionage movie. Sadly, though its strength is sounding incredibly mysterious, it also suffers in sounding too hazy and hard to define. The instrumentation is gorgeous but sadly isn't as captivating as it was meant to be.

On Air Next 9.10.15

Dan Burney

On Air Next 9.10
Radio 1190 KVCU
James Calvet

Sup nerds! We hope that you all had a fantastic Labor Day and had a chance to tune into our Labor Day playlist! Even though we are back into the groove of school there are plenty of opportunities to have fun at shows this week! On Friday and Saturday Radio 1190 is presenting Natural Child's take over at the Hi Dive! Then next Wednesday, Sept 16th, The Coathangers will be ripping up the Larimer Lounge. So get out there and see some live music! And on your way to the show, tune into Radio 1190 to hear some of these awesome albums we are spinning in rotation right now.

Unlike most acts in the genre, Arizona-punks Destruction Unit do things a little bit differently. The group has the ferocity of Refused and the stamina of Lightning Bolt but hones in on the noisy psychedelic rock akin to Boredoms. Their sophomore effort Negative Feedback Resistor starts with piercing feedback for over two minutes before the group goes into a full on hardcore punk assault at a breakneck speed. The 8-minute monster on middle of the record "Chemical Reaction/Chemical Delight" twists and turns between mellow-yet-menacing passages of psych and hurling hardcore punk going at 120 miles per hour. Though the album is massive and winding, the tight musicianship and animal-like energy is something to behold. It takes a lot of energy to just listen to the album, but to play at that level of energy and precision for so long is bewildering. Though this may not be everyone's cup of tea, Negative Feedback Resistor shows Destruction Unit growing as a group and making a hybrid of music genres that no other act is sporting today.

Indie veteran's Yo La Tengo have been around for some time and in their true fashion, they decided to celebrate their 30th anniversary doing what they do best; covering songs. With their newest release Stuff Like That There classic tunes such as "Friday I'm In Love" by The Cure and "I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry" by Hank Williams and calm them down like a lullaby for a newborn. The hooks of all these songs are there but are at times so subdued that they are almost indistinguishable. Tracks such as "Deeper Into Movies" that originally appeared on I Can Hear the Heart Beating as One features none of the fuzz and experimentation that made the track memorable in the first place. The most interesting point of the album is the last track, which is a cover of a track from The Cosmic Rays with Le Sun Ra and Arkestra. Sadly, as it turns out, Yo La Tengo shy away from dabbling in free jazz and cover "Somebody's in Love" which may in fact be the lamest song in Sun Ra's discography. Overall, this album is just a thrown together collection of tracks that sound like business as usual for Yo La Tengo.

Though he may have gained the most success as Dinosaur Jr's bassist, Lou Barlow has been living comfortably by not only fronting side-project Sebadoh, but also writing and recording as a solo act. Much like J Mascis' dabbles in acoustic singing and songwriting, Barlow's newest release Brace the Wave focuses more on the feeling and lyrics that his voice and guitar convey. The nine tracks on this LP are incredibly stripped back and intimate and even though his demeanor dark and broody, the melodic guitars and clear vocal performance makes this record incredibly enjoyable. Ultimately, tracks ebb and flow between hints of Dinosaur Jr and Sebadoh. Most notably, the standout track "Wave" could have fit easily on a later-release Sebadoh record. Even on the CD sticker, Barlow quotes himself and claims that this record is "7.8 pretty good - Lou Barlow", which the record is exactly that. Though this isn't a huge improvement in his singing or songwriter, Brace the Wave is a solid record from Barlow that fits incredibly nicely in his large, dynamic discography.

On Air Next 9.3.15

Dan Burney

On Air Next 9.2
James Calvet
Radio 1190 KVCU

Things are heating up outside, but in the basement of the UMC, Radio 1190 is keeping cool with plenty of awesome bands playing live in our studio! Last Friday Denver weirdo-legends Little Fyodor and Babushka played the Local Shakedown. On Tuesday, Missoula-based dinosaur-hip-hop collective Mesozoic Mafia stopped by for a session and interview! Both of these performances can be found of our Soundcloud and YouTube accounts. Log on to or search Radio1190 KVCU in YouTube and don't forget to subscribe. And as you're doing that, go stream the station at to hear these rad albums spinning in rotation:

Though the roots of London-based artist FKA Twigs are in alternative R&B and electronic, her heavy flourishes in art pop and experimental makes her the most interesting character in her genre. After her incredibly successful debut record LP1, Twigs dazzled and enchanted not only indie but electronic and R&B audiences to no end. Her style is dark and mysterious, but yet with her sensual and piercing vocals that hover closely above the instrumentals, each track performed is altogether exhilarating and hypnotizing. On her newest EP, M3LL155X, we see Twigs growing as a songwriter without compromising her experimentalism. Along with the surprise release of this EP, an accompanying short film was released with it. In the video, Twigs explores sexuality by physically recreating the sensual feelings she conveys through music. Each track on M3LL155X is rich with pop hooks, but contains enough experimentalism and eclecticism to make them incredibly fresh, exciting and innovative. The lead single "Glass and Patron" contains a chorus that gets immediately stuck in your head, but before the song gets too predictable, unexpected tempo shifts and vocal manipulations transform the pop track into something otherworldly and sensually strange. We now see FKA Twigs growing and maturing as an artist and songwriter without compromising the experimentalism that has made her sound so tantalizing. With the artistry and unique style that she has built for herself over the past couple of years, it's apparent that FKA Twigs is not only one of the more interesting figures in music, but also the most important. M3LL155X by FKA Twigs is Radio 1190's CD of the Month for September, for a full review of the album log on to

Since their inception, Beach House's signature style of dream pop has ruled the indie music-sphere. Their early records Devotion and Teen Dream showcased a mastery of musicianship and ability to convey nostalgia, sadness and affection. With simple rock instrumentation, the duo-led group creates warm walls of sound and noise that engulfs the listener in blankets of synths and guitars. What the group does so well is that they take pop song structures and conventions and tweak them to the point where they don't sound experimental but just strange enough to be otherworldly. Come 2015 Beach House release their fifth studio album entitled Depression Cheery. The album is much larger sounding that before filling every little space they possible can with noise. The opener "Levitation" is an incredibly beautiful track with large, uplifting major chords that sounds incredibly akin to their previous album Bloom. From then on, the record progresses in the way a Beach House record usually does without many surprises to be had for even casual fans. Sadly, over the span of the album, there is really not much to chew on as far as sound experimentation or substance. Ultimately, aside other standout tracks such as "PPP", Depression Cherry just seems like Beach House doing business as usual. This album is not offensively bad; in fact it's incredibly gorgeous, but in comparison to their other works. 

Though Dan Bejar had found success in his previous group The New Pornographers, where he truly strides is in his solo project Destroyer. Over his now 11-album career, Bejar has perfected his brand of string-laden baroque pop. After his critically lauded 2011 effort Kaputt Dan Bejar has returned with a lush, incredibly beautiful follow-up entitled Poison Season. Though the new record is not anything unlike his previous efforts, the album as a whole is a truly realized version of his sound. With exuberant horns and waves of strings alongside Bejar's nasally voice crooning romantic lyrics, the listener just can't help but swooning. The opening track "Times Square, Poison Season I" sets the stage that this album is all about New York City, but more specifically, falling in love with New York City. Though the record has a very city-oriented and urban-type feel to it, Poison Season conveys the wonderment and whimsy of being in New York City for the first time. Though this album is nothing new for Destroyer, it's a fantastically well-written album from front to back. On Poison Season we see Bejar in his truest form, elegant, witty and audacious.

On Air Next 8.28.15

Dan Burney

On Air Next 8.27
Colorado Daily
James Calvet
Radio 1190 KVCU

The students are back and campus is abuzz! Not only are there plenty of cool ways  to get involved with the station, but there are plenty of awesome shows in the area! On Thursday August 27th, local favorites Male Blonding and Safe Boating is No Accident are taking over the Larimer Lounge with Blanket Empire and Grass! On Saturday, Chelsea Wolfe will be bringing the best kind of doom and gloom to the Bluebird Theater! Don't miss out on these rad shows! And as you're going to and from the venues, tune into Radio 1190 to hear these new and cool albums spinning in rotation right now!

After a reasonable amount of hype surrounding her first two records, Los Angeles queen of darkness Chelsea Wolfe has released her doomiest set of tracks to date, Abyss. Much like her previous releases, Wolfe manages to organically blend dark styles of folk, indie rock and metal without slipping too far into any one genre. Instead she creates a nightmarish universe all her own that is equal parts beautiful and terrifying. On the opening booms of bass on "Carrion Flowers", hints of electronic experimentations are present but not without tribal drums and deep bellowing guitar distortion engulfing the listener. Though the heavy moments may be overwhelming, the haunting vocals and melodic clean guitars that juxtapose the darkness make this album digestible for listeners that aren't into heavy music. 

The dreamy quality of this album can be attributed to Chelsea Wolfe's songwriting, in which she's stated that Abyss is an interpretation of the intersection between the conscious and unconscious mind. Along with the large and expansive production that Wolfe has gotten for this record makes Abyss the strongest addition to her discography. Rather than becoming more transparent and palatable in her career, Wolfe has managed to stay as unsettling and mysterious as she was in her debut. With an execution that doesn't veer in metal or indie or folk, Wolfe remains an anomaly avoiding any and all clichés that come with either genre. Undoubtedly, Abyss is the perfect direction that Chelsea Wolfe could have gone at this point in her career and gives hope for even more solid records in the future. 

Before Jay Reatard pioneered the drunken, snarling garage punk that spearheaded the gigantic wave of young bands that rule college radio today, Tennessee’s Reatards changed the sound of punk forever. On their 1999 sophomore record, Grown Up, Fucked Up Jay Reatard was a mere 18 years old but could perform and party like he was Iggy in the 70's. Each track is snarling, wild and fun with tight musicianship showing that this trio is a rag-tag group of kids meant to be rock stars.

Though the record is full of hooks and melody, the group performs with high energy and reckless abandon. Much like the greatest garage punk records recorded, Grown Up, Fucked Up pulls from not only classic punk such as The Ramones, but also classics such as New York Dolls. More specifically, because of the almost live-sounding quality of this record, the Reatards channel a vibe that is eerily similar to MC5 with fiery guitar solos and expletives lining almost every jam. Taking into consideration the young age of this group, it's quite impressive the knowledge and appreciation of old rock and roll that the Reatards harness. Now after the influential and tragic life of Jay Reatard, Grown Up, Fucked Up needs to be heard not only because of it's cultural significance, but also because it's a kick ass rock record.  

After a successful and buzz-worthy performance on Jimmy Kimmel, long-time Denver native Nathaniel Rateliff and the Night Sweats have finally gotten the national attention that they deserve, and with great timing as well. A week later the front man and his talent group of Night Sweats have released their long-awaited self-titled debut album. Blending more soul into Rateliff's signature style of Americana, his sound has evolved into a homey and rich version of indie rock that allows Rateliff's charisma and musicianship shine through.

The tracks on this debut range anywhere from boot-stompin' rompers like "S.O.B." or even folky crooners "I'd Be Waiting" but throughout he remains to sound incredibly confident and comfortable in his new sound. Each track is carefully crafted and well thought out, but yet stays in a zone and fails to push many boundaries. The songwriting is strong, but yet stays in a conventional structure to ultimately sound like a pop tune. Though you don't necessarily need to ditch standard song structures, it would be nice if Nathaniel and the Night Sweats would let loose a bit and really flesh out some of these jams. Undeniably, Nathaniel Rateliff's debut is a set of pleasant and strong folk-soul songs that may not be challenging but can please just about any music enthusiast.

On Air Next 8.20.15

Dan Burney

James Calvet
On Air Next 8.20
Radio 1190 KVCU 

Welp, it's official, school starts next week. Though classes are good and all, we here at Radio 1190 are excited for new and old students to start volunteering this semester! At Radio 1190 when volunteering you not only review albums, make sweet pins, and hang posters,  but you also get free music and get to hang out with enthusiastic music-loving individuals! It's that easy! You can get involved by e-mailing our volunteer coordinator Elijah at or you can just stop by and say hi! We are located in the basement of the east side of UMC, our office number is 41-J and we are around the corner from the bookstore. Get involved today! In the mean time stream us or tune in on your radio transistors to hear these rad albums spinning in rotation right now: 

After a successful two-album run, goofball-turned Indie darling Mac Demarco has just released a mini-album to hold over fans until his next full-length. Much like his previous releases, Demarco combines a halfway tongue-in-cheek soft rock style with sweet indie-pop much like a reverb-soaked and apathetic Harry Nilsson. Almost every track on this 8-song album is based around the topic of love or longing that, much like his sound, seems like it could simultaneously be parody and honest. Now, it seems that Mac has become incredibly comfortable in his sound and style and fails to stray from his usual songwriting. Because of this, the songs sound so familiar that they are almost monotonous and uninspired. The hooks and pop sensibility are all on the record, but seem so business-as-usual that it's almost instantly forgettable.  

There's a lot to love about Mac Demarco, his sound is pleasant and easy-going and his personality is infectious, but this new record is so humdrum that it may make die-hard fans do a double take. Over the course of the eight tracks really no hooks get instantly stuck in your head or remotely have the same affect that 2 or Salad Days had. The most memorable part of this record is the last few seconds of the closing track "My House By The Water" where Demarco names off his personal address in Queens, New York inviting the listener to join him for a cup of coffee. Though this is a tad bit risky as a rising star, after news stories of fans actually taking up his offer shows that it was more of a publicity stunt than an adding a dimension to Demarco's personality. After repeated listens it almost seems that Demarco may have pulled this stunt because of the weakness of the record so his fans will stay loyal which seems a tad low for an artist who feels the need to add a joke to a record because his newest album doesn't stand up to the rest of his art. It's apparent now that to keep Mac Demarco at the top of the indie game he may need to venture out of his comfort zone a little farther to really make an impact.

At their core, harsh noise outfit Health is a pop band. Though that statement might seem contradictory, the newest album from this Los Angeles-based group, Death Magic, shows the band at their noisiest and most poppy to date. Though the group has been mixing synthpop and harsh noise for quite some time, never have they gone to such extremes in both aspects of their sound. On tracks such as "Stonefist", the group harnesses the dark synth pop of Depeche Mode and the harsh noise of Merzbow. The experience is what I would imagine going to a synthpop show on PCP would sound like. The group uses the huge, bassy sections of noise and clean, catchy vocals to contrast off one another. Instead of blending the two, Health tends to shift
between the two at a very rapid rate making the record almost a jerky rollercoaster between light and dark sounds. Though this change of pace may be a little strange to long-time listeners at first, with repeated listens, the constant shifting between the two makes for an incredibly thrilling listen. The only aspect of this record that may make this unenjoyable, compared to previous Health records, is that the vocals are so clear, clean and distinguishable that it may make the album less mysterious or brooding. That small detail aside, the group has honed in on both aspects of their deep sound and have amplified them so for the whole world to hear. With an emphasis both on harsh noise and pop hooks, Health's Death Magic could be their strongest release to date. After a few successful records, California's synth-pop wizards Gardens & Villa are at it again with their newest record Music for Dogs. Much like contemporaries Starfucker or Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr, their style of indie rock is electronic-infused and is incredibly dancy but isn't repetitive enough to fit in at a generic nightclub. More so than other synth-pop groups, Gardens & Villa stride in the way that they sound more influenced by glam-rock and psych-rock creating a well rounded sound. 

Though not every song is groovy enough to shake your booty to, the variety found on this record makes it equally suitable in the live and home-listening setting. The group's sound, unlike previous albums such as Dune, has gone a touch darker, purposefully focusing on being more serious rather than dance floor hits. As a result, the group sounds more confident and focused than ever making this record more consistent all the way throughout. Undoubtedly, Music for Dogs may be their silliest album title to date, but the musicianship and focus on seriousness makes this record Garden and Villa's strongest to date.

On Air Next 8.13.15

Dan Burney

On Air Next 8/13
Radio 1190 KVCU
James Calvet

AND WE ARE BACK. After a one-week break from the column we are glad to give you a quick update on what's been happening at Radio 1190. Our youtube channel has recently been updated with video performances from Brothertiger and Blanket Empire and our website now features reviews of the new Beach House record and updated charts and playlists! You can find it all on the new and improved And don't forget to click on our live stream so you can hear these awesome records spinning in rotation right now. 

Akin to their 2010 breakout release The Monitor New Jersey-based punk group Titus Andronicus have released their longest, most ambitious album to date, The Most Lamentable Tragedy. This over an hour and a half, 29 song album is a semi-autobiographical rock opera told in five parts wherein lead singer Patrick Stickles plays the part of our hero who has lost his mind and is trying to get himself back together. Though bands such as Fucked Up and Husker Du have attempted before the concept of a punk rock opera but none have been as expansive or wild as The Most Lamentable Tragedy. Across the album, string and horn sections as well as a silent intermission track give the immense feeling that this is truly a DIY rock opera. 

On the new record, Stickles and company stay true to their style where their melodic but ferocious style of punk is infused with heartland rock resulting in the punch of the So So Glows but the audacity of Bruce Springsteen. The group sounds tighter than ever allowing Stickles' vocals to shine through letting the story take center stage on the album. That being said, the storyline is anything but accessible. The lyrics not only project a sense of anxiety and confusion but also reference the band's past work forcing the listener to read it as prose. Though this may not be the best way to convey a story, the pay off once the story is digested is incredibly rewarding. At the end, it's clear that Titus Andronicus is sounding their best and is at their wordiest much like their older best albums have been, a combination that has us to believe that the group has just released their magnum opus. Out now on Merge Records, The Most Lamentable Tragedy is Radio 1190's CD of the Month for August. 

Boston-based Vundabar have been involved in DIY scenes and tours for years now and after a few small-scale releases they have released their most realized album to date, Gawk. In a very balanced mix of jangle pop, garage rock and sludge pop, the trio sound simultaneously loose and well composed while pumping out catchy hooks at a mile a minute. The group musically stays incredibly tight where steady drum grooves and spindly guitar lines take the forefront where the bass keeps the whole band on track. Though these tracks can get loud, anthemic and raucous, the quieter moments show that the crew are masterful songwriters that know the secret to crafting a song to party tracks that will be stuck in your head forever. Gawk as a whole doesn't necessarily have a coherent concept or storyline, the album succeeds in as a badass collection of rock songs. This band is small and young and without a doubt, the group may indeed be making great indie rock albums in the near future. 

Seattle-based band Grave Babies have been making dark music for quite some time now, but on their newest record Holographic Violence the darkness has never seemed so...dark. Their sound, deeply influenced by post-punk, is more melodic than one would expect, but deep, woozy bass lines and menacing guitar lines make this record closer to an electronic interpretation of goth rock. The vocals are electronically harmonized where it seems like the lead singer is singing over himself wherein it sounds like he is closer to an otherworldly creature than a musician. Though the album is spooky and unnerving, the more melodic moments like "Pain is Pleasant" sound very cheesy and almost forced. Sadly, the group would sound even better if they pushed themselves to be a little more experimental and even get noisy in sections. Though the change in tone for the group isn't offensively bad, the decision to play it safe may not be the best way to further your sound when it is already so dark in the first place.

On Air Next 7.30.15

Dan Burney

Radio 1190 KVCU

James Calvet

After many months of waiting, the new Tame Impala record, Currents finally here. After a few singles that confused, delighted and infuriated fans it is obvious that the group is not going to release another Lonerism. Instead of the cerebral, guitar-based group they have presented themselves to be, this newest record is focused more on dance-grooves rather than a trip into psychedelic space. The first track "Let It Happen", compared to other Tame Impala openers is relatively subdued and mellow. Rather than dragging the listener down a trippy rabbit hole, some kind synthesizers and mellow drumbeats are presented and toyed with for about seven minutes. With a lack of real climax or any experimentation at all, the group is obviously more focused on the dance floor than the depths of your mind. 

With all this psuedo-psychedelic studio trickery the album as a whole sounds like a 21st century interpretation of Supertramp. In an interview with frontman/spokesperson Kevin Parker he stated that he did not want the track "The Less I Know The Better" to appear on the record because it sounds like "dorky, white disco funk" and sadly that's exactly how the whole record sounds. Each track has an incredibly repetitive four-on-the-floor drum beats and cheesy 80's prom ballad synthesizers that are in no way offensive but just incredibly underwhelming compared to their past records. Even in the track "Past Lives" has a really silly pitch-shifted spoken word performance throughout the whole song recalling a past love that is unnecessary and incredibly embarrassing to listen to. Overall, even though Currents isn't an unpleasant experience, it is just an album that was not made to further their sound but to reaffirm themselves as the background noise to your next music festival experience. 

Out of nowhere on a Wednesday evening Wilco surprise-released their new album Star Wars. Though this is not a new concept for bands in the slightest, this album is indeed an interesting addition to their huge, diverse discography. Though the first track "EKG" is a bombardment of tones and noises, the track seamlessly transitions into the good old Wilco sound on the second song "More...". In true Wilco fashion, the group meshes mid-90's alt-country with canonical early 00's indie rock. Though the track is nothing new for the group in terms of sonic experimentation, the mixing and panning of vocals and instruments is simultaneously soothing and perplexing. Near the end of the track walls of noise cover up Tweedy and company as they still play as if they don't even know the drones are present. 

The rest of the tracks on Star Wars follow this formula very closely with some variation from here to there but bring up enough variety to keep the die-hard fans satisfied. After multiple listens it's apparent that Jeff Tweedy and his band aren't going to make a deep emotional impact on the listener as they have done before on Sky Blue Sky or Yankee Hotel Foxtrot but it seems that the group is actually just looking to have some fun. The mood is loose and light hearted, but Wilco being such a well-seasoned band don't sound sloppy or amateurish in the slightest. This collection of eleven track seem more focused on musicianship rather than substance, which does not inherently make it a bad album, just not a great way for first time listeners to get into the band. With this taken into consideration, the fact that this album is completely free of charge makes all the more sense. Though Wilco's Star Wars wont be making many year-end lists, it's an immensely enjoyable and satisfying release from one of America's best bands.

Off the heels of their debut EP, northwest trio Strange Wilds has released their debut album Subjective Concepts. Though the group plays noise rock close to their label mates and Metz or Pissed Jeans, their sound is much more youthful and hardcore-driven. On tracks such as "Autothysis" and "Lost" a more drab and gloomy mood is presented that is strangely reminiscent of Nirvana during the Bleach-era but sound just as fresh as acts such as Speedy Ortiz. Though the group can get a little slow at times, they prove that they can be incredibly dynamic in tracks like "Disdain" where they sound closer to 1980's Los Angeles hardcore than Northwest grunge. At the end of the album, Strange Wilds have proved that they are a conglomeration of the Northwest sound and have made it their own .

On Air Next for July 23rd 2015

James Calvet

Yonatan Gat - "Director"

Yonatan Gat - "Director"

We at Radio 1190 love this weather! It has come just in time for the Underground Music Showcase that starts today in Denver! So many awesome local and national acts are performing including DIIV and STRFKR and some 1190 affiliates will be down there to partake in the festivities! Though we encourage you to see the headliners but we also urge you to check out our friends Bollywood Life, Male Blonding, Shady Elders, Inner Oceans, Hair Cult and so many more awesome local acts. We guarantee you'll have a great time! But in between bands and during your commute from Boulder to Denver we hope you tune into Radio 1190 to hear some sweet tunes from these new albums spinning in our rotation right now.


For many bands, it seems that song structure and tiresome rehearsal can be a double-edged sword. Though sounding tight as a group is key, you also want to sound natural, organic and human. But for New York-based guitar experimentalist Yonatan Gat, improvisation is where the best results come from. On their newest collection of live-recorded jams Director, a bassist and a drummer accompany Gat where the trio gives the record a more jazz-oriented feeling despite the rock instrumentation. The record opens with what sounds like a punk drummer sitting in with a jazz outfit. The rhythm is steady and constant even though the snare and cymbal hits are frantic and jittery. Each track lending itself to center around a different instrument, whether it is guitar, drums or even bass, each track sounds like each musician either step forward or back to let each other lead equally rather than every track being led by Yonatan Gat. What's most surprising about this album is that though the songs are jam-esque, the song lengths are short enough to not sound overblown or obnoxious. Each track, most notably "Casino Cafe", has a sunny and almost tropical feel to them where the guitars are watery and reverb soaked and the drums are strangely reminiscent of Afro-Cuban jazz. The grooves on every track are incredibly entertaining but thankfully the trio is not afraid to get a little bit strange. The vocal performance on "North to South" is in an indistinguishable language and dialect where call and response phrases slowly overlap and fall over one another, which is highly reminiscent of the spiritual jazz of Pharaoh Sanders. Not to mention, the nylon guitar on a few tracks including "Boxwood" is a very nice and soothing break of all the jazz punk madness. But at the end of the day, these tracks are just a collection of improvised sketches that would probably be better experienced in a live setting rather than on a recording. None the less this is a perfect example of a group of talented musicians that have played with each other many times and have put down some of their best jams on to a record.


California-based producer Lee Bannon rose to indie fame by releasing a slew of beat tapes that subsequently gained him attention from Joey Bada$$ and the Roots which landed him alongside them both on an appearance on the Late Show with Jimmy Fallon. After this big leap in popularity, Lee Bannon began releasing solo records that were less hip-hop focused, but more 'so electronic experiments. Following a small EP, his full-length Pattern of Excel is a soothing, yet unnerving journey into electronic sounds. Though Lee Bannon has a background in IDM, Glitch and Jungle Pattern of Excel is a dense and fluid ambient-based record. Tracks such as "Kanu" are so liquid and formless that they sound almost underwater but have enough going on that they sound almost like Aphex Twin's Ambient Works Vol. 2 or even Radiohead's "Treefingers". Undoubtedly, Pattern of Excel is a sad, emotional and personal record that deals heavily with the emotion that music conveys without vocals, yet the message of this album is so unclear that it is almost disenchanting. The sounds are beautiful and well though out, but there is not enough going on to make it captivating. But maybe this album is some sort of cathartic release for Lee Bannon in which he needed to get out his emotions to further be further creative in his endeavors. Now, after Lee Bannon's second release, there is hope that he is an artist that is not afraid to create and release what is really on his mind even if the results may not please everyone all of the time.


Brooklyn outfit EZTV is a young group but is not a stranger to the dream-pop scene fronted by Captured Tracks records. Though this is mainly the side-project of front man Ezra Tenenbaum, the group also features Michael from the group Widowspeak. Much like most of the other bands on Captured Tracks, EZTV specializes in a jangly style of indie pop but with an apathetic and carefree demeanor. Unlike label-mates DIIV or Mac Demarco, EZTV borrow more from 80's and 90's jangle pop from the UK. Not only does their sound like a less dramatic version of The Smiths, but also are highly reminiscent of Belle and Sebastian or even the Go-Betweens. Each track on their debut Calling Out is mellow and jangly but would fit easily in a scene from an 80's movie about love and kissing. Undoubtedly the record is smooth and wistful but the lack of mood and hooks that their contemporaries’ posses is where they fall short. It's easy to say that bands DIIV and Mac Demarco are chock full of personality and style but when a group such as EZTV tries to mimic their ways, it comes off as contrite and unoriginal. But even though this may be a flop for the Captured Tracks catalogue, EZTV is a young band full of promise that have plenty of years to hit a stride.