Lillian made her debut appearance in the CPR Performance Studio just over a year ago. Since then, the Denver singer-songwriter has recorded a new EP called "Light Bender." CPR's OpenAir presents her release show Friday at Syntax Physic Opera. Lillian returned to our studio this week with her four-piece backing band. She played three songs from "Light Bender" and spoke with Jeremy Petersen about expanding her sound on the new EP, the challenge of playing solo shows and curating the all-female musician "Hysteria" shows at Syntax Physic Opera.
Ghost Tapes creates a blend of classic genres on its debut self-titled LP. Singer Ishka Phoenix leads the Denver quintet with remarkably soulful vocals while the band borrows elements from jazz, R&B and hip-hop. The band's energetic live show won them new fans at this year's Westword Music Showcase and Underground Music Showcase in Denver. Ghost Tapes stopped by the CPR Performance Studio last month before its album release show. The band members played four songs and spoke with Alisha Sweeney about waiting over a year to release the finished album, their songwriting process and creating a "shrine" to acknowledge their appreciation for the Denver music scene.
Kerstan Wallace has made music for years, both under his own name and as Human Milk. But the Denver singer-songwriter had never shared the songs from his debut LP "Head Bender" with a live audience until he stopped by the CPR Performance Studio last month. That record features upbeat experimental pop that compelled us to include him on our latest Colorado Music Sampler. Kerstan Wallace played three songs from "Head Bender" in our studio. He also spoke with Alisha Sweeney about balancing his work as a geologist with his music career, spending as many as 50 hours writing one song and combining his music with video art.
Ian Cooke is one of our favorite recurring guests in the CPR Performance Studio. Last month the Denver experimental folk artist made his fifth appearance at CPR's OpenAir to share music from his forthcoming LP "The Flight I Flew." Music from the record will serve as the soundtrack for Celestial Navigation, the new show from Denver dance group Wonderbound opening Oct. 13. Ian Cooke and his band -- featuring Tom Hagerman of DeVotchKa -- played three songs from "The Flight I Flew." Cooke also spoke with Alisha Sweeney about creating an "intimate" vibe on the new LP, writing a narrative that takes place in outer space and what it's like to see his music interpreted through dance.
King Cardinal recently made its second appearance in the CPR Performance Studio. The Denver folk-rock six-piece is set to release its debut album "Great Lakes" this week. Singer Brennan Mackey and his band headed to Sonic Ranch Studios in Tornillo, Texas, to record with producer Ted Young, whose resume includes work with Kurt Vile and Sonic Youth. King Cardinal played four songs from "Great Lakes" in our studio. The band members also spoke with Alisha Sweeney about their admiration for Young's work and the story behind the song "Chicago."
The Yawpers last joined us in our studio in 2015, shortly after the release of the album "American Man." The Denver trio continues to meld blues, country and punk rock on "Boy In A Well," the band's third LP. Tommy Stinson of The Replacements produced the new record, which is a concept album set in France after World War I. The Yawpers returned to the CPR Performance Studio last weekend to play three songs from "Boy In A Well." The members also spoke with Alisha Sweeney about how the concept for the album came together, its comic book companion piece and an upcoming international tour.
Mount Orchid takes cues from surf, pop and psychedelic rock on the new EP "Wallflower Child." The quartet hails from Grand Junction and recently visited Denver for a headlining gig at The Curtis Club. Mount Orchid performed a few songs from "Wallflower Child" in the CPR Performance Studio earlier this month. The members also spoke with Jeremy Petersen about how Mount Orchid was originally a studio-only band, recording in a particularly cozy home studio in Grand Junction and the music scene in western Colorado.
Denver musician John Runnels began performing as Morning Bear in 2014. He draws inspiration from indie folk artists like Fleet Foxes and Bon Iver while adding classical instruments like flute and cello to his music. Next month the band heads to Brest, France -- one of Denver's sister cities -- to perform as part of a cultural exchange program. Morning Bear stopped into the CPR Performance Studio with string quintet Denver Nexus Project. In addition to playing a few songs, Runnels spoke with Jeremy Petersen about his teenage street performances on Denver's 16th Street Mall, how he started the band after a spontaneous trip to Europe and his forthcoming visit to Brest.
Motion Trap's music ranges from party-ready dance music to ethereal synth-rock. The Denver duo of Kyle Williams and Nathan Rogers formed the band in 2012 and this month released its sophomore album, "Heavenly Bodies." Last week Motion Trap stopped into the CPR Performance Studio for the first time. Williams and Rogers played four songs and spoke with Scott Carney about forming the band in a college dorm in Nebraska and taking inspiration from dance-rock bands like Cut Copy for "Heavenly Bodies."
The music of Ancient Elk is hard to define. The Denver quartet has won a Westword Music Award in both the "avant-garde" and "Americana" categories. But it also incorporates jazz, psych-rock and folk on its debut self-titled album, which it released this week. Ancient Elk visited the CPR Performance Studio to play four songs from the LP. The members also spoke with Alisha Sweeney about writing the album over the course of three years, the coloring book they're offering with "Ancient Elk" and their connection to the Moon Magnet music collective in Denver.