Like Ruptak’s earlier work, Backrooms is emotionally charged, but themes of anger, regret and despair are balanced by love and connection.
“The overall arc is one of evolution and healing,” Ruptak explained.
Scenes that play out over fragile, haunting melodies include a funeral for a well-loved dog, an ambulance ride to a hospice center and a white-knuckle drive to the house of a suicidal family member. On “Angie,” Ruptak proposes to his wife. Literally.
Ronan Andrews’ new solo EP Quarter Life Crisis features upbeat and bright pop with some groovy jazz and soul undertones that should please fans of Mayor Hawthorne or Silk Sonic.
There’s a happy, feel-good air about his songs, like the upbeat opening track “Dancing Like a Fool,” featuring a bouncing piano groove, full vocal harmonies and cool guitar licks. It gives “Sunday Morning” by Maroon 5 feelings, especially when the piano plays lush, jazz-influenced chord changes.
If you notice a particular sweetness in the vocal harmonies soaring above the sludgy riffs, ripping guitar and ruthless drums of Denver rock trio Pink Fuzz, you’re on to something. If you pick out stylistic parallels to another Denver trio The Velveteers, you’re getting even warmer.
The sound you hear in the voices of John and LuLu from Pink Fuzz is called blood harmony. That sounds pretty metal, which is appropriate, but it’s a term used to describe the unmatched accordance that happens when blood relatives sing together.
“From my own experiences, I’ve always wished more people from this country would listen to music that is not sung in English,” Jonny Jyemo tells BandWagon. “There is so much out there. Language should not be a barrier, but an invitation to connect.”
Jyemo is the founder of Jyemo Club, a Colorado band with members from 5 different countries. The band is based on a simple, inclusive idea: a concert where people from anywhere in the world would feel welcome. Where beats invite dancing and lyrics are felt beyond language. The Club has so many varying backgrounds that they can only be described as universal.
Joshua Ray Walker’s role model for his hit “Sexy After Dark” was not Tim McGraw, Billy Ray Cyrus or Keith Urban. It was Conway Twitty. Twitty, Walker said in a phone interview with BandWagon, was sort of a goofy guy who managed to sing some of the most romantic songs in country music. It’s not like Twitty belonged on the cast of Hee Haw, but he wasn’t Elvis. One of the intentions of “Sexy After Dark,” Walker said, was to pay a backhanded but lighthearted tribute to all the people like Twitty.
“There’s a history of country crooners who aren’t sexy – putting out sexy songs,” Walker said. “‘Slow Hand’ is one of my favorites. Twitty is so goofy-looking, but he sold it. He really sold it.”
The other intent, Walker said, was to poke fun at himself. He knows he’s also not Elvis.
Holdfast.’s new album Movies brings their expected electro dark-pop and rock aesthetic but leans into other styles that open their doors to new fans.
Singer Charlie Maddocks demonstrates a dramatic contrast in dynamics, one that MUSE’s lead Matt Bellamy is well known for, though Maddocks’ tone is undoubtedly his own, becoming one of Colorado’s most recognizable lead vocals. Holdfast. continues to deliver strong songs while experimenting with new sounds and textures.
Music seldom tells you what to imagine in a concrete, absolute way. It requires you to fill in the gaps — sometimes thin, sometimes wide. Young Habitat’s debut EP In First Person Perspective, is a meditation on this idea.
Riley Sbarna and saxophonist Hayden Farr (Trash Cat, The Burroughs) have long riffed about a potential musical collaboration, but the inspiration to finally follow through came from an unlikely source: the pandemic.
Though In First Person Perspective retains the emotional vulnerability of Sbrana’s previous work, the sonic landscape is a left turn. Understated vocals often devolve into heavily affected opacity. The instrumentation is reminiscent of lo-fi hip hop with frequent saxophone odysseys provided by Farr. It’s one part contemporary Bon Iver and one part Porches with a sprinkle of neo soul. It’s both melancholic and beautiful.