[Festival Review] TMN Dives Into Denver’s Underground Music Showcase

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The UMS Main Stage (Photo Credit: Robert Castro Ultra5280)

If you’re wondering whether or not Colorado’s music scene is embodied solely by bass-heavy barons devastating Red Rocks on a regular basis, or the constant national and international accolades given to Beta Nightclub year after year, you can stop that right now. While much of the Mile High City’s music scene’s notoriety falls into those two aforementioned venues, The UMS flexed it’s mighty indie muscle two weekends ago, showing the city, the state, the nation, and the world that a handful of tiny venues deserves just as much attention.

Taking over one of Denver’s most prized neighborhoods, The UMS flooded the numerous dive bars, galleries, and restaurants that adorn the colorful South Broadway stretch. In a meticulous blend of some well known acts coupled with hyper-indie (so indie, even the hippest of your friends haven’t heard about them yet) there was more than enough to appease the auditory appetite of the thousands of festival goers that flooded the streets.

Knowing that there was too much music for one ninja to cover, we had to break up The UMS between two from our clan. Check out what Matty and Clayton experienced during their first full experience of this must-attend event.

Day 1, Thursday:

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CRL CRRL. (Photo Credit: Robert Castro Ultra5280)

While we couldn’t yet make it out in full force to the first night of Denver’s incredible Underground Music Showcase, we did manage to make it to one of our favorite electronic artist’s sets, with CRL CRRLL (pronounced Carl Carrell) at Blue Ice. An abbreviated set to say the least, CRL CRRLL managed to warp our minds through different texturized soundscapes played off of his bevy of machines, MIDI controllers and gadgets on stage through the 40 minute performance. This was the second time we’ve had the pleasure of witnessing him live, as he played our TMN presented show in Denver with Young & Sick (which if you haven’t heard his remix of their tune “Glass”, check it out below) and it seems in the short span of time, CRLCRRLL’s reached a more fluid, comfortable and mature stage presence.

Young & Sick Glass Remix By CRL CRRLL

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[MP3 Playlist] Indie Dojo (August 2014 Round #2)

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We all need some sort of support system in our life. Whether it be lovers, friends, extracurricular activities, anything that helps us get through a hard day. For some of us, it’s music.  We get home, wrap our ears in a blanket of our favorite tunes, and fall back into the arms of a magical swirl of sounds. If that sounds like something you can relate to, you’ve come to the right place. We’ve knit a wonderful little blanket full of love and support just for you.

Average Mammals
The Senses
Lupa
Statues
I Am the Sky
Half A Man
Paper Lights Music
Never Let You Go
Paul Cook & The Chronicles
Come Out Wherever You Are
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[Folk] Jeremy Loops – Skinny Blues

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Jeremy Loops
Skinny Blues

In our eyes, the mark of a truly impressive folk song is the ability to completely submerge the listener in the artist’s story, making them feel an intimate connection with what’s being verbally illustrated.

Hailing from Cape Town, South Africa, Jeremy Loops has captured Americana effortlessly, combining engrossing story telling with upbeat percussion worthy of the dustiest of dive bars. Set with the backdrop of waves clashing against the shoreline, this tune is brought to life with intricate guitar work, delicate banjo picking, and stunning vocal harmonies. Most impressively though, we can’t seem to over the flawless switch between gritty southern rock vocals and falsetto howls which Loops nails with eye-opening ease.

If you’re in a shit-kickin’, boot-wearin’, beer-drinkin’ mood, look no further. “Skinny Blues” has all of that wrapped up to perfection in just over three minutes.

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[Indie Folk] The Travelling Band – Passing Ships

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The Travelling Band
Passing Ships

Here’s a feel-good track for you. It has been a while since they last released something, but like many other British folk groups, The Travelling Band never disappoints. This recent single features a smooth and beautiful instrumental consisted of various instruments without overshadowing the vocals. This new sound in recent folk music is driving the indie scene and is used by front runners of the genre like Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, Of Monster and Men, etc.

For those who’ve always been a sucker for songs that have a good buildup, this track delivers all that and more. The harmonization of the vocals, and the upbeat, yet subtle climb towards the end of the song just all come together magically. It reminds us of the famous one-hit wonder “Welcome Home” by Radical Face. In all honesty, it’s so good that you could imagine a snippet of this song being featured in a commercial, being listened to on the way to school or work in hopes of it brightening up your day.

With their new album releasing on Aug 25, the band is currently getting ready to go on tour in the UK starting August. Needless to say, we are really excited to see what new music this group has to offer.

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[Folk] Ánders – I Wish (You Were Mine)

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Ánders
I Wish (You Were Mine)

Let’s face it, there’s not a single one of you who can’t relate to this song. Through the years, we’ve all experienced a wistful longing for a member of the opposite, or same sex. There’s been that certain someone that just won’t leave your mind, no matter how hard you try, how much you drink, or how much you cry. Even if that person might not be the best thing for you, in your mind, they’re all that matters.

Swiss-Australian folk vocalist Ánders seems to capture the aforementioned situation perfectly, flawlessly tugging on listener’s heartstrings. Comprised of clean guitar work, subdued synths luscious vocals, “I Wish (You Were Mine)” carries a self-reflective message that hits close to home.

As a debut release, we can say that we’re overwhelmingly impressed, instantly expecting great things from this budding young artist. On top of a stellar first song, he also put together an impressive video featuring twelve strangers calling that one person they wish were theirs. Check it out below.

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[MP3 Playlist] Indie Dojo (August 2014 Round #1)

indie-dojo-music-ninjaClarity. A state of mind we all so often disregard. Take a moment to free yourself from all the stress, worry, sorrow, unhappiness, whatever cloudy storm might be all up in there. We find that music really helps. And what do you know…..Here’s a little diddy just waiting to be played.

Friendship Park
Not A Word (free download)
Elephant Stone
Knock You From Yr Mountain
Walking Shapes
Feel Good
Polarsets
Drive Over The River **FREE DOWNLOAD**
The Flight
The Idol And The Idle
Watercolours
LAST NIGHT
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[Indie] PHOX – 1936

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1936

As we prep ourselves for those classic summer adventures that live in infamy, if even just for the upcoming winter, we’re always on the lookout for songs to populate our cars, campsites, and backyards with undeniable charm and whimsy. Most assuredly, you have some delightful indie rock and folk selections that have warmed your hearts for years, and today you’re about to find another one of those timeless classics to bob your sunglass-adorned head to for years to come.

Hailing from Madison, Wisconsin, PHOX has a sound that holds on tight, encouraging you to slow down, listen, and enjoy. Highlighted by soulful vocals from lead singer Monica Martin, this band boasts a sound that’s worthy for the best indie flick. “1936″ showcases their sound perfectly, creating an etherial soundscape comprised of intricate finger picking, percussive slaps of an acoustic guitar, and an accompanying banjo that adds the playful nature that we all look for during the summer months.

Simply put, we’re enamored with “1936,” and we will be for years to come. We’re pretty damn sure you will be too.

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