This Thursday, April 21st at Innisfree Poetry Bookstore and Cafe Radio 1190's Locals Live will feature an acoustic set from Denver group Stella Nova. The show starts at 6pm! Come enjoy local music, excellent coffee and company from 1190 staff, volunteers and friends. For other happenings at and outside Radio 1190, log on to radio1190.org.
Infamous and prolific lo-fi artist Sam Ray has recently and unexpectedly returned to his cult-famous rock project, Teen Suicide in 2016. Though Sam Ray fronts Teen Suicide, the project is a collaborative effort with a full band that takes on multiple styles and genres. Unlike their previous releases, their new record It's the Big Joyus Celebration, Let's Stir The Honey Pot is a studio-recorded album that has clearer and clean production than any other release. Though the mood and feel of this album is punky and lo-fi the group ties in influence from midwest emo, ambient, post-punk, noise, folk and pop. Undoubtedly, the album is dark and emotional, but sloppy and off-the-cuff performances make the record mysterious and detached in an incredibly enthralling fashion. The single "Alex" is a melodic and shouting romp about drug abuse in suburban settings and its effect on teenage life. Though the track is probably incredibly personal, the vocals drenched in reverb make the story sound like a blurry distant memory with details lost. "Falling Out Of Love With Me", another standout track is a heartfelt track that's simultaneously comforting and odd, which, for being a song about losing feelings for someone, is quite appropriate. The album is 26 track is quite a big pill to swallow and clocking in at over an hour, there's a lot to chew on. Though there is quite a bit of filler on this album, the standout tracks make the whole album worth it. Sadly, It's the Big Joyus Celebration is also inconsistent when it comes to production value, if the album had the same feel overall it would stand stronger as a whole. Overall, It's the Big Joyus Celebration, Let's Stir the Honey Pot is a magnificent effort from Sam Ray and company that may lack in consistency but makes up for in originality and songwriting skills.
Formerly of bands the Babies and Woods, singer songwriter Kevin Morby has released his third solo record, Singing Saw, on his new label Dead Oceans. Much like his other solo releases, Morby pulls influence from 60's folk and rock like Bob Dylan and Lou Reed but with a modern twist. Though there are no huge stylistic or sonic changes in his sound, Morby has refined his songwriting and has released his strongest set of tracks to date. The single "I Have Been to the Mountain" is a rollicking, freewheeling stomp with an infectious, catchy bass line. The chorus line is strong and claimant that is vague and allegorical enough to not fall into the cliché pitfalls of folk rock. The closing track "Water" is a piano-led gospel influenced track that is led by a rocking, country swing. At this point in the album, it's clear that Singing Saw is a deeply personal album that takes time to dissect and pick apart but at first listen is instantly enjoyable and sounds unmistakably timeless.
On the third studio album from Canadian experimental rock band Suuns, Hold/Still juxtaposes the dark with the light, electronic with rock and the pop with the avant-garde in equal measure. Though the group creates compositions that are heavily orchestrated, the off-kilter nature of their sound lends for a more organic and exciting listen. Much like Viet Cong or even Palm, the group takes post-punk and pop structures and puts a wrench in the gears to sound unconventional but enjoyable to the trained ear. Tracks like "UN-NO" bring in electronic synths and drum patterns mixed with rabid, barbed guitar only to be soothed by Thom Yorke-influenced crooning vocals. "Translate" is a spidery, menacing track with driving polyrhythmic guitar and drums. What Suuns do so well is meshing together opposite ends of the musical spectrum without going too far in either camp. As a result, the group has a style that can appeal to multiple audiences. Sadly, the group may sound a little too similar to their contemporaries at times making this album lost in the mix. But overall, this is the strongest set of tracks coming from Suuns in a long time and show nothing but promise from this group.
By James Calvet