Steal This Track: The Autumn Film and Petals of SpainBy Eryc Eyl | February 6th, 2012 | No Comments »
Is there anything better than free stuff? Yes, you say indignantly. What’s better is paying a fair and reasonable price for art that people have poured their hearts, souls and savings accounts into! Well, we agree, and we hope that as you discover outstanding music via Steal This Track, you’ll make a point of supporting the folks who make it, whether it’s by going to shows, buying CDs or wearing that t-shirt into the next mandatory sexual harassment training at work. That’s what allows bands like the Autumn Film and Petals of Spain to keep making great tracks like the ones you’re about to steal — legally, of course.
The Autumn Film knows all about the value of fan support. In fact, the venerable Denver band’s newest album — available via the band’s website starting tomorrow — was funded entirely via a Kickstarter campaign. Produced in close collaboration with Lafayette, Colorado-based singer-songwriter and producer Dave Wilton at his St. Ida’s Recording Studio (named, incidentally, after the patron saint of brides and widows), “8-Track Tape” builds on the adult-oriented indie pop that the band has plied since it went simply by the front woman’s name, Tifah. Since its inception in 2006, the trio of Tifah Phillips (who was known then as Tifah Al-Attas), her husband, Reid Phillips and Dann Stockton has produced lushly orchestrated, sweepingly emotive and infectiously melodic pop, driven by Mrs. Phillips’s nimble voice and even nimbler piano lines. With “8-Track Tape,” the group — co-writing and playing with Wilton — takes its signature sound to new heights, building big hooks, huge rhythms and gigantic arrangements that might actually deserve the adjective “epic.” Steal “Love is an Avalanche” below to hear the heftier Autumn Film in action, then pick up the who album tomorrow at theautumnfilm.com.
If there’s one thing that has always been a challenge for the Autumn Film, it’s been translating the passion and energy it deftly captures on records into engaging live performances. Over recent years, however, the band has been honing its stagecraft with heavy touring, including a number of intimate house shows. We’re eager to catch the band on Mar 23 at the Walnut Room to see if the road training has paid off.
Petals of Spain, on the other hand, has no trouble bringing passion to its live performances. The quintet of Nic Jay, Hunter Hall, Dylan Johnson, Mason Shelmire and Wesley Watkins consistently offers dynamic and entertaining shows. With Jay (a.k.a. Nic Hammerberg), Hall and Watkins (who you’ll recognize from Air Dubai sharing frontman duties, there’s no shortage of energy and enthusiasm on stage as the band rips through its jazzy, rocky, artsy and occasionally jammy set of quirky, original indie rock. The outfit is still perfecting its recorded output — reworking, remastering and revising tracks for a new EP — but if the new version of “Lady Luck” is any indication, the Petals will come out smelling like a rose. Reverb gave you a look at the video for the song last week. Now you can steal the tune for yourself, then get yourself over to Herman’s Hideaway on Feb 10 to catch the group’s captivating performance. Tickets are a mere $5.
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 — along with any interesting facts about them, as well as a photo or album art — 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 for local music you can HEAR, and the Mile High Makeout for stories about Denver musicians doing extraordinary things. Against his mother’s advice, Eryc has also been known to tweet. You can also follow Steal This Track on Twitter. Sorry, Mom.