Lillian Soderman -- who performs simply as Lillian -- has a lot of musical friends in Colorado. That's a big reason she moved back to the Centennial state from California to record her new EP, "Desert Song." The release features members of Denver bands Inner Oceans and Paper Bird, but it's Soderman who is front and center on its five songs. The music features sparse folk arrangements that allow her breezy vocals to shine but often move into dream-rock crescendos. Lillian stopped into the CPR Performance Studio before her show tonight at Larimer Lounge. She performed three songs from the EP with her band and spoke with Jeremy Petersen about recording at Denver's Mammoth Cave Studio, how her sound has changed over the past five years and her time working as a counselor for homeless youth.
Kyle Craft's musical story begins in Shreveport, La., where he found inspiration in the swamp music of his home state and the glam rock of David Bowie. Those two genres meet on his debut album, "Dolls Of Highland," which he recorded in a laundry room. Craft and his band stopped into our studio to perform four songs from the album and speak with Alisha Sweeney about sneaking into the Sub Pop Records office to drop off his demo, the seedy characters on his debut album and his classic rock influences.
Robin Edwards' music career began in Denver. She played in bands like Lust-Cats of the Gutter and The Matildas, and booked concerts at venues like Rhinoceropolis and Bar Bar. When her earlier groups ended, the singer and guitarist started writing and performing pop-punk music as Lisa Prank -- backed only by a drum machine. Edwards now lives in Seattle and often collaborates with bands like Chastity Belt and Tacocat. This year she released "Adult Teen," her debut album as Lisa Prank. Edwards stopped into our studio to play four songs from the album and talked with OpenAir about her early days in the Denver music scene, what it means to be an "Adult Teen" and her love for the music of They Might Be Giants.
Denver band For Keeps started as a collaboration between co-lead singers Merideth Pryor and Cody Witsken while teaching in China. Now the band is a five-piece that writes fun and light-hearted indie pop. Pryor and Witsken -- now engaged -- and the other three members of For Keeps stopped into the CPR Performance Studio to play some songs from their debut "The People We Let In" as well as some new material. They also spoke with Alisha Sweeney about their self-described "BFF pop," the influence of fellow Denver bands Dressy Bessy and Apples In Stereo and their upcoming acoustic tour in South America.
Since forming in 2010, Los Angeles band The Americans have become rock 'n' roll favorites in their hometown and earned the "Orange County's Best Rockabilly Band" accolade in 2014. They've backed up artists like Nick Cave, Beth Orton and Devendra Banhart and recently toured Colorado with Ryan Bingham. The band has a new album, "I'll Be Yours," out this winter. They previewed a few songs from the new record in our studio and spoke with Alisha Sweeney about appearing in the PBS documentary "American Epic" with artists like Beck and Elton John, their love for traditional American music and how they've collaborated with a number of notable musicians.
On her debut album "Beyond The Bloodhounds," Adia Victoria Paul -- who performs as Adia Victoria -- addresses her complicated relationship to the American South. The South Carolina native adapts the blues music of that region with a modern spin. Her album references artists like Billie Holiday and Robert Johnson -- for both their music and politics. Paul and her band stopped into the CPR Performance Studio before a performance at this year's Underground Music Showcase. She performed three songs from "Beyond The Bloodhounds" and spoke with Jeremy Petersen about the sociopolitical history of blues music, coming to terms with her Southern upbringing and expressing herself through live performance.
When NPR Music asked listeners to tell them their favorite new music artist of 2016, singer-songwriter Margaret Glaspy received the second most votes. Glaspy released the album “Emotions And Math” this year. It’s a strong debut LP for the New York City-based singer-songwriter, featuring her crunchy guitar riffs and hard-nosed confessional lyrics. Prior to a Denver show at Larimer Lounge, Glaspy stopped into the CPR Performance Studio to play four songs from "Emotions And Math." She also spoke with Alisha Sweeney about recording the album multiple times, performing on "Conan" and staying quiet on the meaning of her lyrics.
Eros And The Eschaton last joined us at OpenAir in 2014 after the release of their lo-fi debut album “Home Address For Civil War.” Since then Denver Westword readers voted the Colorado Springs band as the best local pop band of 2015 for their blend of shoegaze and pop melodies. The band has also extended to a five-piece for their sophomore album, “Weight Of Matter,” out August 19. Songs like "Rxx" are faster and louder, but still in the experimental rock vein that has made them local favorites. Eros And The Eschaton played "Rxx" and others from the forthcoming album during their second OpenAir session and spoke with Alisha Sweeney about signing to indie label Bar/None Records, the Colorado Springs arts scene and expanding their sound on "Weight Of Matter."
Benjamin Clementine won the 2015 Mercury Prize for his debut "At Least For Now," joining previous winners like PJ Harvey, Arctic Monkeys and alt-J. Clementine is a London-born self-taught musician who developed as a young street performer in Paris. His haunting and unique music blends classical music, rock and spoken word. At the center are Clementine’s bold tenor vocals and percussive piano arrangements. He stopped by the CPR Performance Studio before a headlining show at Denver's Bluebird Theater. He played three songs from "At Least For Now" and spoke with Jeremy Petersen about his career since winning the Mercury Prize, his experience as a street performer and his love for early rock 'n' roll artists like Little Richard.
James Cooley has spent eight years making electronic beats and melodies in his Littleton bedroom. He has self-released five albums and three EPs under the name Mesita. Cooley rarely performs live, but he recently stopped into our studio for a unique Mesita performance: Instead of electronica, he performed solo with acoustic guitar. He performed three songs from his catalog including the recent single "All Out In The Open," and spoke with Alisha Sweeney about his new album "Laniakea," exploring new pop music directions and the possibility of a Mesita tour.