UMS 2014 guide: 15 local and national acts to hear at the indie showcaseBy Matt Miller | July 22nd, 2014 | 1 Comment »
Roadkill Ghost Choir
With its sophomore album release less than a month away, folk-rock act Roadkill Ghost Choir is on the cusp of breaking. Reminiscent of the Decemberists, the band can rip through guitar and banjo riffs alike on beautifully constructed songs.
Playing: 11:59 p.m., July 24, 3 Kings Tavern and 11 p.m., July and 6 p.m., July 26, Hi-Dive
No one would expect a trio of teenagers to rock this hard. Sometimes barely tall enough to be seen over the moshing crowd, these Austin kids bring the distortion to new levels, and theyâ€™re just getting started.
Playing: 8 p.m., July 25, 3 Kings Tavern and 4:30 p.m., July 27, Main Stage
Another act to catch before itâ€™s hitting Top 40 radio, the Griswolds is a bubbly indie-pop four-piece from Sydney, Australia. The guys never take themselves too seriously, while delivering endlessly catchy sing-along pop.
Playing: 8 p.m., July 26, 3 Kings Tavern
With its latest release on LA Weeklyâ€™s list of best indie albums of 2014 so far, things have been going well for StaG since the band relocated from Denver to LA. The bandâ€™s atmospheric rock is vast, dynamic and known to fill entire venues with soaring guitar lines, harmonies and unexpected shifts.
Playing: 4 p.m., July 26, Hi-Dive and 4 p.m. July 27, Hi-Dive
Brooklyn electronic duo Tanlines has taken it easy since their 2012 album â€śMixed Emotionsâ€ť landed on Billboardâ€™s album charts. But even though theyâ€™ve released a handful of tracks since, the addictive â€śAll of Meâ€ť hook hasnâ€™t been far from anyoneâ€™s mind.
Playing: 8 p.m., July 25, Main Stage
With an ear for melody, chillwave producer and musician Brothertiger has found himself a fair amount of internet fame. Not familiar with the term chillwave? Take a listen to â€śLoversâ€ť for a laid-back and textbook example.
Playing: 5 p.m., July 26, Hi-Dive
Blonde Redhead is the most seasoned act on The UMS lineup. Prepping its ninth studio album, the band has spent the better part of two decades crafting sonically adventurous and arcane art-rock.
Playing: 8:30 p.m., July 27, Main Stage
Gardens and Villa
Coming off the release of its well-received sophomore album, â€śDunes,â€ť Gardens & Villa will return to Colorado with its surprisingly flexible indie-rock. What really sets the band apart, though, is lead singer Chris Lynchâ€™s voice, which can hit notes that are only rivaled by his flute playing.
Playing: 5:30 p.m., July 26, Main Stage
Many critics considered Bathsâ€™ â€śObsidianâ€ť one of the best albums of 2013. The electronic musician tucks celestial hooks under heavy and chaotic beats. His music takes dedication and multiple listens to understand, but once you do, itâ€™s endlessly rewarding.
Playing: 7:30 p.m., July 26, Main Stage
Originally a harder rock band, the Men has embraced its softer side in recent years, without completely abandoning the tough attitude that fans loved. The band can follow a thrasher up with a ballad and no one will bat an eye.
Playing: 6:30 p.m., July 27, Main Stage
Indie-rockâ€™s most mellow band, Real Estate is quietly enjoying the great success of 2014â€™s â€śAtlas.â€ť The band is patient, playing soft rock tunes as consistent as clockwork.
Playing: 8:30 p.m., July 26, Main Stage
Unknown Mortal Orchestra
With Lennon-esque, shimmering vocals, Unknown Mortal Orchestra puts a modern twist on nostalgic psych rock.
Playing: 7:30 p.m., July 27, Main Stage
With a wide scope, Equals plays sweeping atmospheric rock reminiscent of Explosions in the Sky. Changing and cinematic, fans wonâ€™t miss vocals in the instrumental actâ€™s music.
Playing: 8 p.m., July 25, Illegal Peteâ€™s
If youâ€™re going to end The UMS with any act, try to make it for Gems at the Hi-Dive on Sunday. The pop duo thinks big production-wise, but Lindsay Pittsâ€™ vocals are as intimate as a whisper in the ear.
Playing: 10 p.m., July 27, Hi-Dive
SoCal duo TV Girl is as bright and laid back as a day at the beach. With synths as fleeting as a breeze, the music is light and refreshing.
Playing: 3 p.m., July 26, Hi-Dive
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