Steal This Track: Brave Song Circle, Holophrase, Pan AstralBy Eryc Eyl | July 9th, 2012 | No Comments »
Happy Monday, thieves! Today, we have endearingly ingenuous singer-songwriter fare from Brave Song Circle, experimental rock from Holophrase and atmospheric pop from Pan Astral, all for your stealing pleasure. Let’s get to it.
Brave Song Circle is Dustin Morris (Greater Fiction, Dustin Morris Quartet) and Lauren Gale (Speakeasy Tiger, Monroe Monroe. On their debut EP, “Reciprocity,” the two multi-instrumentalists make gleeful, unadorned pop music that barely contains the fun they’re clearly having making music together. Even on introspective tunes like “Dream Chaser” and “How Does It Feel,” the creative joy of these two experienced players is palpable. Steal Gale’s irresistible love song, “Baby,” pick up the rest of the EP for a mere $2 from Bandcamp and then catch the pair performing live at Herman’s Hideaway this Thursday, July 12.
After that wonderfully sweet treat, steal a completely different palate cleanser — “Hair Gardens” — from the wonderfully weird Holophrase. Malgorzata Stachaor, Luis Etscheid, Jared and Caleb Henning make dark, labyrinthine compositions that pull the listener into catacombs of odd and shifting time signatures, layered strings and voices, inscrutable and compelling lyrics, and haunting melodies. If the band’s recently released debut, “Horizons of Expectation,” reminds you slightly of a chamber version of the Mars Volta, that’s because Isaiah “Ikey” Owens of that legendary band (as well as Free Moral Agents, Long Beach Dub Allstars and many more) produced the record. You can catch Holophrase live at the Denver Post Underground Music Showcase next weekend. The quartet will play Compound Basix on Saturday, July 21.
Rounding out this week’s triple threat of new Colorado music is the lushly orchestrated, artfully crafted rock of Gabriel Otto and Pan Astral. Previously a duo (Otto and Signal Path member Ryan Burnett), Pan Astral has evolved into a quartet for its captivating sophomore album, “Mary Can Dream.” Joining Otto are guitarist Tad Lusk, bassist Kipp Koren and drummer Mike Smith, with occasional contributions from folks like Mike Rempel of Lotus and renowned sitarist Paul Livingstone. Otto’s gripping vocals float deftly over the quartet’s dense arrangements to create adventurous-yet-accessible art rock that will appeal to fans of the best work of Peter Gabriel. Steal “Story” for a little taste of this quartet’s potential, grab the whole album for whatever price you please (personally, I’d recommend 99 cents per song, but let your conscience be your guide) from Bandcamp and then catch Pan Astral live at the Denver Post Underground Music Showcase next weekend. They, too, will play Saturday, July 21, at Compound Basix.
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.