[Event Review] Project Pabst: Denver

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While the influx of major brands into all sectors of independent art over the past decade or so has certainly seen a large swath of fans and critics let out a collective groan; it is events like Project Pabst that at least let us know that some corporations are putting their efforts in the right places. Last Saturday, a pair of us Ninjas set out into one of Denver’s most diversely beautiful neighborhoods, The Five Points/RiNo Arts District (which was conveniently also this writer’s own hood) to enjoy one of the more eclectically diverse days of music we’ve consumed in the Centennial State in years.

We arrived fresh on a sweltering afternoon just in time to see Brooklyn synth-pop outfit Small Black, who if you’ve followed us for some time, know we have developed quite the soft spot for -especially after playing our Halloween TMN Showcase last year. The four-piece paced the day wonderfully, ranging their sound from wistful electro-indie-pop, to chillwave, to lofi 80’s pop, and all of those murky spaces in between. After running through a slate of singles off of last year’s LP Best Blues, Small Black arced their set brilliantly, landing upon their shining star “No Stranger” to wrap up an hour-long set.

Check out the rest of our Project Pabst: Denver review after the jump!

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[60s Soul] Ethan Burns – Homeward

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Ethan Burns
Homeward

We’re always enamoured when artists decide to dedicate themselves to sounds and styles of past decades. From Michael Kiwanuka, to Nick Waterhouse, to Leon Bridges, we’ve loaded up our playlists with acts like these time and time again. Today, we gleefully get to add another gem into the mix.

At first, you may think you’re enjoying a retro soul track from long before you’re born. You’re definitely not, but that should say something about the level of talent and attention to detail in this debut release from LA-based Ethan Burns. Ethan’s voice drips with a gorgeous authenticity, one which very few have or can even come close to pulling off. It’s gritty, yet refined, leaving us unable to do anything but grin ear-to-ear, feverishly looking hitting play over and over again.

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[MP3 Playlist] Indie Dojo (May 2016 Round #3)

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The days are getting longer, the weather is getting warmer & the Indie Dojos are building quite the collection for your future summer soundtrack.

’Matt Gresham – Small Voices’
’Marcus Alan Ward – Little Sunshine’
’Ethan Burns – Homeward’
’The Hour – Answer’
’James Cherry – Why Don’t You Listen’
’LUKA – Why Don’t You Go To Her (Official Single)’
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Saturday Selection Vol. 7

Saturday Selection

This week has been slow. Very much so, in fact. We’ve got some tunes today that reflect that feeling and it’s a nice little switch-up from our previous installments. A trace of soul, melodic ambience, and gorgeous piano-driven pop are the high points of the week, so let’s go ahead and listen in.


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Jordan Rakei – Blame It On the Youth

Few are smoother than Jordan Rakei. It’s no surprise he has worked with Tom Misch previously, and “Blame It On The Youth” is a prime example of that. Four on the floor kicks, strutting basslines, and a silky voice all work together in harmony on this short, but sweet cut that precedes his upcoming album, Cloak. If this tickles your fancy, you’re going to want to keep an eye out for that project. Bump this one to hold yourself over in the mean time.


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Izzard – Ghost Naps

When you need to clear your mind and float away without a second thought, Izzard has you covered. The Soda Island affiliate should be scoring movies and video games by this point, because, within every release, a world is created. It’s tough to bottle it up in such a succinct manner, but Izzard’s work is something to be experienced, not simply listened to. It’s amazing how much emotion can be discovered with no lyrics at all. “Ghost Naps” prove this with aplomb.


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POLO – nightbloom

As played out as the term “future” may be to some people, sometimes it’s the only fitting definition for certain electronic music. POLO‘s style of rapid-fire and pitched samples speed over the massive drums and thundering bass to exemplify a sound that isn’t roped into any one particular genre. Exploring something as wild as this is always a good choice because you’re hearing something complete fresh. From the structure to the progression to the My Chemical Romance sample (listen carefully, you’ll hear it), POLO really is here to have a good time making crazy stuff. We’re here for this. Don’t miss it!


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Coast Modern – Guru

“Guru” will put a smile on your face. That’s basically a guarantee. Meshing pop, electronic, and a slight bit of reggae, Coast Modern has essentially just soundtracked part of your summer already, and it isn’t even June! It’s getting time to bust out the refreshing drinks on the beach and/or poolside, and this tune is tailor-made for all of these settings. Everyone needs a feel good song at SOME point. “Guru” is a great place to start with the weather warming up in the near future. Throw on your sunglasses and enjoy.


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Luke Cusato – Breathe

Get your tissues ready. It’s no secret that Luke Cusato. “Breathe” is beautiful. There’s not another word for it. Swelling orchestral elements bolster the powerful piano and lift Luke’s voice into an celestial fervor. When you get chills on the first listen of a song, you know something special is happening, and “Breathe” hits all of the right spots without any semblance of artificiality. Thank you for this one, Luke Cusato.


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[Denver Event Preview] Project Pabst – RiNo Arts District – 5/21

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Already an established and highly praised festival in Portland, Project Pabst is set to touch down for its first ever stop in Denver, and we’re chomping at the bit for their all-day lineup featuring the likes of TMN Favorites Best Coast, Small Black (who headlined one of our TMN Showcase parties back on Halloween), K. Flay, and local Denverites turned national darlings Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats; along with classic staples including the Violent Femmes, Charles Bradley & His Extraordinaires and loads more across seven stages on Saturday, May 21st in Denver’s booming and eclectic RiNo Arts District. We’ve been watching Project Pabst pick up steam as it nears closer and closer, and with the announcement yesterday that all tickets have now been sold out, it’s shaping up to be a beast of a day for music in the Mile High City.

In anticipation of this weekend’s Denver debut of Project Pabst, check out our playlist below featuring some of our favorite tunes from each headliner, start hydrating, and put aside your beer snobbery before loading your system with cheap domestic beer in the greatest craft-brew city in the U.S. We’ll be out in full force all day tomorrow, so keep your eyes peeled for our post-event review, and get in the spirit a little early with our official Project Pabst Preview Playlist (say that five times fast) below.

’Best Coast – The Only Place’
’Small Black – No Stranger’
’Best Coast – Do You Love Me Like You Used To’
’Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats
S.O.B.’
’Violent Femmes – Blister In The Sun’
’FIDLAR – No Waves’
’Big KRIT ft Trinidad James – My Trunk’
’Lights – Same Sea (K.Flay Remix)’
’Metz – Can’t Understand’
’Baroness – Shock Me’
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JOME – Cinnamon [TMN PREMIERE]

JOME
JOME
Cinnamon

Los Angeles-based JOME may have just emerged into the scene, but he’s already made a sizeable dent with only one release under his belt. Just last month, this newcomer dropped his debut offering, “Brushstroke,” which was very well received by tastemaker blogs and music nerds alike, giving everyone a quick glance at what’s in store.

I wanted to make something tangible, something of substance. A song you can wrap your hands around and hold, feel it’s weight. Creating the song was like an excavation. I was interested in digging up textures and rhythms that fit together like bones. To me, “Brushstroke” is about how quickly things can change.

Today’s offering is only the second release from this talented singer/songwriter, and it’s sure to absolutely encapsulate you for the entire duration. Set to the backdrop of melodic guitar and piano that effortlessly lap across you, soft claps, and ethereal synths, “Cinnamon” slowly builds into a well-crafted, lush, and cinematic soundscape. Accompanying that backdrop is the hero of the track, which is, of course, JOME’s positively spellbinding voice.

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Noa May – Soul Trap [TMN PREMIERE]

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Noa May
Soul Trap

Noa May is anything but conventional which only adds to our building affection for her unique offerings. “Soul Trap” certainly highlights that ability, showcasing something that so delightfully goes against the grain, yet ropes listeners in with the ease of a well-crafted pop hit.

Take a few moments to really drink this one in. Noa has such a well-defined vocal tone and cadence. So often, you’ll hear song after song with a voice that could be any number of artists. It’s safe to say that you’ll never confuse her’s with another. Couple those distinctive vocals with some bizarre, fluttering synths, an admittedly creepy bassline, and calculated spatterings of guitar work, and you have one hell of a tasty, twisted tune.

Once you’re done searching for the repeat button, head over to Facebook and throw Noa May a like. We’re guessing you’d like to keep tabs on her after imbibing in “Soul Trap.”

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