UMS 2014 guide: 15 local and national acts to hear at the indie showcase - Reverb

UMS 2014 guide: 15 local and national acts to hear at the indie showcase

It鈥檚 always a good idea to do your homework before The Denver Post鈥檚 Underground Music Showcase. Sure, you can wander South Broadway, catching great bands at nearly every possible venue, gallery, bar, restaurant or storefront, but with more than 400 performances, you might want to approach July 24-27 with at least a broad outline of who to see.

Along with hundreds of local and national acts, the 14th annual UMS will bring big headliners Blonde Redhead, Real Estate and People Under the Stairs. To help you navigate the Rocky Mountain region鈥檚 largest indie music festival we鈥檝e provided suggestions of 15 local acts and 15 national acts to catch this week.

See our full coverage of UMS 2014 here

Local

Covenhoven

Colorado鈥檚 answer to Bon Iver, Covenhoven鈥檚 folk music feels stripped down and truly handmade compared to what the popular indie-folk genre has become these days.

Playing: 7 p.m., July 25, South Broadway Christian Church

Lemon Future

The electronic music stereotype would include macho whomps, predictable drops or four-to-the-floor beats. But there鈥檚 a whole subgenre dedicated to experimental electronic with artists like Dirty//Clean鈥檚 Lemon Future who focuses on complex layers of rhythms and jazz-like chord changes.

Playing: 6 p.m., July 25, Sputnik

Ark Life

In just over a year, Americana act Ark Life has gone from a brand-new project to preparing its debut album on Denver鈥檚 Greater Than Collective. Frontman Jesse Elliott channels The Band through a modern lens.

Playing: 11 p.m., July 26, Hi-Dive

Sunboy

If the wavy, psych-pop track 鈥淗ighway Screamin鈥 鈥 is any indication of what鈥檚 to come from the new act Sunboy, it could follow in the footsteps of emerging bands, Tame Impala and Unknown Mortal Orchestra.

Playing: 5:30 p.m., July 27, Main Stage

Confluence

Like a work of cubism, Confluence will deconstruct a song and put it back together with an analytical ear. The pieces are complex and delightfully math-rock.

Playing: 7 p.m., July 26, 3 Kings Tavern

BMMZK

Going over the top isn鈥檛 just acceptable, it鈥檚 encouraged in hip-hop. Enter BMMZK, Colorado鈥檚 most promising party-rap act since 3OH!3.

Playing: 2 p.m., July 27, Punch Bowl Social

Homebody

New Denver band Homebody brews experimental rock with a casual wisdom. The pieces are intricate, but on a macro level, the music comes across as approachable and unadorned. It鈥檚 the best type of musical oxymoron.

Playing: 10 p.m., July 24, Hi-Dive

Plume Varia

Plume Varia gracefully balances the Stevie Nicks-inspired vocals of Cherie Cobbs with the patient and dramatic production of her husband Shon.

Playing: 6 p.m., July 26, Irish Rover

Prismwaves

Prismwaves鈥 projector heavy set at UMS 2013 caught quite a few eyes and ears. The act returns this year for another show of longing, drifting vocals over ambient production.

Playing: 5 p.m., July 27, Hi-Dive

Roo & the Howl

Roo & the Howl is a little bit country, a little bit indie-rock, but not completely either one. On her excellent 2014 debut, 鈥淢e/We,鈥 Roo鈥檚 Bekah Wagner crafts a hybrid of the two genres for western millennials.

Playing: 10 p.m., July 25, Irish Rover

South of France

South of France knows how to take a pop hook and run it through an Instagram-esque filter to make bubbly and catchy dream-pop. The music is confident, sunny and filled with a healthy dose of reverb.

Playing: 3:30 p.m., July 26, Main Stage and 1 p.m., July 27, Hi-Dive

Somerset Catalog

Somerset Catalog is living up to the high expectations that come with its local indie-rock pedigree. So far the local supergroup has delivered an excellent debut EP this year and has been proving itself with passionate live shows.

Playing: 9 p.m., July 24, Irish Rover

The Other Black

Oh what a sight to behold: Taking cues from Sly and the Family Stone, Denver鈥檚 man of many bands Wesley Watkins fronts a small army of a dozen musicians on stage for a soul/R&B-tinged spectacle.

Playing: 9 p.m., July 25, Illegal Pete鈥檚

Male Blonding

Post punk is alive and well in Denver. Male Blonding, with inspiration from Interpol and at times Talking Heads, the Smiths and Joy Division, brings jangling guitar lines and vocal croons.

Playing: 11 p.m., July 24, Brendan鈥檚

Kitty Crimes

Kitty Crimes鈥 unwavering confidence gives her the live presence of a superstar. At her UMS performance in 2013, she packed the venue and had the crowd circled 360 degrees around her.

Playing: 8 p.m., July 27, Hi-Dive

Reverb’s picks of 15 national acts to see at UMS 2014>>
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