Day 2 of the Underground Music Showcase was definitely one for the books. It also was the day of one of my band’s performances (Plume Varia). Luckily, we were placed at the Eslinger Art Gallery, which ended up being our home for nearly the whole evening as they hosted one amazing act after another the entire night. Below are the bands I caught.
Albny – The first show at Eslinger was by a Denver group called Albny and really set the tone of the whole night. Their music is psychedelic, melodic and yet pulls in some beautiful folk-inspired harmonies. Think Shins….yet soulful. You will be hearing more from these guys, believe me.
Church Fire – I am a long time Church Fire fan. These two just kill it every single time they plug in. Their music is pulsating, it’s emotional, it’s transformative. Shannon puts her entire self into her performances and David hunkers down and works the production a masterful wizard. With touches of Industrial, Noise and even electro-pop elements, they have crafted a sound that is one of a kind in Denver. That is no easy task.
The Raven and the Writing Desk – So first of all, sorry about the bad photo. The reason for this bad photo is it was taken outside on the sidewalk, looking through the window. Why? Because there were so many people packed in to see The Raven and The Writing Desk, I couldn’t get closer! This is a good problem to have. They have made a name for themselves in Denver and for wonderful reason. Their music is a stunning symphony of electronic psych-pop that swirls in your subconscious long after the last note is played. Beautifully soaring guitars, rich dancing synths and dominating beats set the tone for their generous contribution to Denver’s thriving Dreampop and Darkwave scene.
Lucida Tela – This was Lucida Tela’s first time at UMS and they couldn’t have delivered a more perfect set. They are a wall of ambient, evocative power. Lush, dark, and soaring shoegazey guitar on top of inventive beats and a soulful groove forming a sound that will fill you with warmth and comfort like a steaming bowl of chicken noodle on a frigid winter day. Their set was one of those that grabs and holds on…keeping you locked in from the moment your ears take in the first strum.
Pxlman – Ok. Here it is. I’m going to say it. Randy Washington is the best frontman in Denver. If you know him from Total Ghost, you know that statement is fact. This night though was about Pxlman, Randy’s new electro-pop project that has already hit the ground in Denver running. It is rich, melodic and infectious singing over a gorgeous electronic musical bed; all tightly woven together by forceful and driving live percussion. You can’t help but enjoy yourself as Randy takes command of the room and draws you into his world of pop.
Residual Kid – I first saw Residual Kid when they had the wonderful opportunity to open for Peter Murphy a couple years ago at Summit. We were blown away by them. Yes they are youngsters. But really, that’s irrelevant. They aren’t interesting because they are teens. They are interesting because they have crafted a masterful Austin skate-punk sound that is uniquely their own. They are energetic, powerful and just plain fun. This was the last set of the night for me and I couldn’t have asked for a better soundtrack to the excess libations and endless laughs with friends while closing out day two of my UMS.