Steal This Track: The Burned, greencarpetedstairs, the Hate, Past PresentsBy Eryc Eyl | June 11th, 2012 | No Comments »
Steal This Track has so much delicious new Colorado-made music for you to pilfer this week that we want to cut straight to the chase. Get ready to grab psychedelic pop rock from the Burned, soulful experimental electronica from greencarpetedstairs, noisily passionate punk from the Hate and earnest acoustic pop from Past Presents. Start now!
While you might not have heard of the Burned yet, its mastermind, Kurt Baumann, is no newcomer to the Colorado music community. Working under the name Tzol, Baumann has fronted psychedelic world music outfit Kan’Nal for a decade. The Burned is, ostensibly, Baumann’s solo project. Largely abandoning the tribal and indigenous vibes of Kan’Nal, the Burned finds Baumann exploring his domesticated side. The songs on his self-titled debut occasionally venture off into psychedelic and spacey territory, but at its heart, the Burned is a pop rock project that draws on blues and R&B influences and mines at least three decades of expansive, progressive rock for its challenging-yet-accessible sound. Steal “Where Are We Now” — which you might’ve already heard on the TV show “Crash” — then catch the Burned live at the Bluebird on June 14 (with Popcult and John Common and Blinding Flashes of Light) or at Hodi’s Half Note in Fort Collins on June 15 (with Carbon Choir. You can also grab the whole album from iTunes for a mere $9.99.
Now we swing from center field to left field for the eccentric electronic music of greencarpetedstairs, a.k.a. Neil Ewing. Though greencarpetedstairs is affiliated with the experimental scene of Rhinoceropolis, the tracks on his forthcoming self-titled album — his seventh full-length, but his first official release LA’s Fake Four Inc. (home to Astronautalis, Busdriver, Denver’s own Sole & the Skyrider Band, among others — have as much in common with the soulful R&B of R. Kelly and Usher as they do with Pictureplane and Hideous Men.
Born in Lamar, Colo., Ewing began making circuit bender noise and beat tapes with a Panasonic tape player and a 78 rpm record player in 2003, and attracted some attention with his underground hip-hop project, Swimming with Models. As greencarpetedstairs, Ewing is unbound by genres, freely incorporating noise, 8-bit, hip-hop, drum-and-bass and numerous other aesthetics. But it’s his earnestly emotive, seductively sexy and endearingly ingenuous vocals that give “greencarpetedstairs” its human heartbeat. Steal “Dire Need to Die” to hear what we mean, then hear it live at the Larimer Lounge on June 13 or at Rhinoceropolis on June 15.
Now that we’ve made you feel all sexy and sweaty, it’s time to tap into your ugly, angry side with punk trio the Hate. On their debut album, “Authors,” the trio of Austin Searcy, Dan Aid and Mark Hibl make expertly written, tightly arranged, precisely played punk music with very few frills. Taking their direction from classic UK punk (think Stiff Little Fingers and even, to a certain extent, the Clash) as well as from like-minded Americans (Social Distortion and Bad Religion come immediately to mind), the threesome hammers out heartfelt anthems that are as ardently angry as they are contagiously catchy. From start to finish, “Authors” — perfectly produced by J.P. Manza of Take to the Oars — takes loving hold of your throat and doesn’t let go. You can get the whole album on June 15, when the band plays the Hi-Dive with In the Whale and all capitals. To get warmed up, steal “Rooftops” right now.
We know you need to calm down a bit now, so we’ll wrap up with the one-man acoustic sweetness of Past Presents. On “We Should Start,” singer-songwriter Josh Moore plays every instrument to create a dreamy, jangly pop record that is the ideal soundtrack for a Saturday night stay-in or a Sunday morning come-down. His irresistible melodies, unadorned vocals and layers of delicate instrumentation make the album a satisfying and compelling listen, time after time. Steal “Time to Erase” right now, then go grab the whole album from CD Baby, eMusic, iTunes or Amazon. You’ll be glad you did.
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.