How can it be Monday again? Wasn’t it just Monday last week? Well, here at Reverb, it is our sincere hope that we can turn Monday into your favorite day of the week — thanks, in part, to Steal This Track, your weekly opportunity to indulge your larcenous tendencies with impunity. That means you can take stuff without going to jail. And that stuff is some of the best music being made in Colorado today. This week, we have the carefully crafted folk of Elephant Revival, the bittersweet pop of Fingers of the Sun and the soulful crooning of Kal Cahoone. As Vince McMahon would say, let’s get ready to DOWNLOOOOAAAD!
On first blush, it’s easy to dismiss Elephant Revival as another Colorado mountain hippie band. After all, they bring washboards, fiddles and banjos on stage, some of them have beards and — well, damned if they aren’t from Nederland! And while the quintet certainly has touchstones in the often-abused genres of classic folk and bluegrass, there’s far more to this outfit than that. Celtic influences and old-time string band sounds join the mix, supporting the most important element of all: good songwriting.
Though Elephant Revival uses terms like “neo-acoustic” and “transcendental folk” to describe its sound, we’d respectfully suggest avoiding those. After all, critics are always labeling things, but musicians should stick to the business of making music, as Elephant Revival does to great effect on its forthcoming full-length, “Break in the Clouds.” The record will be released with a series of meet-and-greets, in-store performances and concerts (details below), starting on Friday, Nov. 26. To whet your appetite, we highly recommend stealing the lovely “Go On” right now.
Elephant Revival will release “Break in the Clouds” starting with a 7 p.m. meet-and-greet and 9 p.m. show at the Walnut Room on Friday, Nov. 26. Tickets are $12 in advance, $15 at the door, and can be purchased here. The release extravaganza continues on Saturday with a meet-and-greet and show at the Stage Stop Inn in Rollinsville. Your $15 ticket to that show (available here) gets you a free copy of the CD. The band will also be doing in-store performances and meet-and-greets at Twist and Shout in Denver and Albums On the Hill in Boulder on Nov. 30 and Dec. 2, respectively.
While there’s no mistaking Fingers of the Sun for a hippie band, you just might think they escaped from another decade. Formed from the ashes of the Pseudo Dates, the sextet (that means six people, pervert) makes frequently gleeful, occasionally melancholy pop that has its eyes and ears on a simpler, happier time.
Hearkening back to the same late 50s and early 60s singles that has inspired 20 years’ worth of twee pop from Beat Happening to the “Juno” soundtrack, Fingers of the Sun embraces simple melodies, catchy choruses and jangly guitars. Nathan Brasil (Pseudo Dates) and Suzi Allegra (Pseudo Dates, Girls Walk By, My Sister Outlaw) trade vocal duties playfully, while Fez Garcia (900 Ancestors, Fissure Mystic, Bury My Bones) holds down the drum kit with a light touch. Meghan Wilson, Marcus Renninger and Jamie Bryant round out the group, creating a full, fun sound.
Fingers of the Sun is poised to release its first full-length album any day now, but you can steal a sneak preview today. Here’s “Mystery Remains.”
Kal Cahoone might be as playful as Fingers of the Sun, but that certainly isn’t the first adjective you’re likely to pick. The multilingual, multitalented songwriter and chanteuse has a bit too much darkness for that. Originally introduced to Denver music lovers through the band Tarantella — which orbited near and around Slim Cessna’s Auto Club, 16 Horsepower and Woven Hand — Cahoone crafts moody, complex tunes that draw on South American influences and dark times.
Cahoone is a Colorado native who has lived in Chile and Argentina. Her jazzy delivery and smoky voice might call to mind the best and most challenging work of Cat Power. This has been a big year for the singer-songwriter, who released an EP (“Build the Fire”) earlier in the year, and will release the full-length, “Saints and Stars” any day now. For a taste of what’s to come, we’ll let you steal “Travel Song.”
Please note that downloads offered via Steal This Track are intended to whet your appetite, and are NOT CD-quality recordings. If you want those, please support the artists by buying their music and/or seeing them live.
If you’re a band or musician ready to expose your fresh sounds to the readers of Reverb, email your tracks to Eryc Eyl for consideration.
Eryc Eyl is a veteran music journalist, critic and Colorado native who has been neck-deep in local music for many years. Check out Steal This Track every Monday for local music you can HEAR, and the Mile High Makeout every Friday. Against his mother’s advice, Eryc has also been known to tweet. You can also follow Steal This Track on Twitter. Sorry, Mom.