Web Beat: Proxy, Slackeye Slim, Equally Challenged, James Ösel Thorpe, Gleemer, Moses

Published on: January 30th, 2015

Yellow Scene prides itself on being hyper-local, and that includes music. We want to make sure that as many local bands, DJs, MCs, etc as possible get the press that they deserve, so Web Beat will be a weekly online column going forward. Every week, we’ll check into Bandcamp, Soundcloud, and whatever else we can find, and listen to the latest tunes from local artists. If you have hints and tips for us, email editorial@yellowscene.com.Y

Denver’s hip hop artist Proxy lends his voice to the current race struggle after being moved by recent events in New York and Ferguson with Heartbeat, a beautiful prayer in which he repents a lifelong move towards complacency and ignorance from the plight of people around the world. Proxy quotes Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr, “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘what are you doing for others?” in the writeup accompanying the piece online, a quote which symbolizes a renewed vigor and faith in providing his stories and insights to a generation which is quickly finding their strength and voice. Purposeful Poetry at it’s best.

Joe Frankland IS Slackeye Slim, desert-musician hailing from Cortez on the Western Slope and starting 2015 with the January release of Giving My Bones to the Western Lands. Frankland’s newest album is his fourth studio production, and an excellent western-influenced album which sounds like it would be right at home in an upcoming Tarantino film. Don’t Bury Me is the first track on the album which sets the eerie stage for what’s to follow. An excellent change of pace as the Western slope is under-represented in most Colorado music showcases.

Vocal harmonies, strong drum and bass groove, and funk-flavored guitar run rampant throughout EQC2, the second album from Fort Collins-based rockers Equally Challenged. Rhythm of the Sound is one of 11 tracks on the new offering, boasting a very String Cheesesque look at the band’s surprising variety of approach which ranges as listeners work their way through the rest of the album. EQC2 is the first effort since the band’s 2013 release of their self-titled debut and it’s quality shows considerable growth in the formation of the band’s artistic vision.

James Ösel Thorpe recently released Tolerable Bliss, a funk/rock/pop endeavor which oozes soul in all the right ways. The Boulder musician has had a bit of time to work on his newly-released musical tracks as Aphrodite, his first album on file was released way back in ’09. Thorpe’s harmony-heavy vocal work finds its home between the riffs of smooth guitar which accentuate a sort of bluesy vibe which permiates throughout the rest of the album. Production value is certainly there with each instrumental voice rising to prominence in all the right ways. Sweet Dream is only one of 10 great tracks on this late-January release.

Concept albums aren’t too uncommon, but concept EP’s? No Goodbyes tells the story of a college lakehouse party from the perspective of four different attendies. Overall the sound is youthful and sloppy which compliments the subject matter tremendously. Listeners will find themselves struggling to imagine the story and character from each track, what most likely is intended to add to the emotional turmoil which reverberates within each track. Gleemer hits it out of the park with this release, from it’s perfect execution to it’s novel and unique idea. The songs are simple, the stories are not.

My Son comes to listeners fom Lakewood courtesy of Moses, a two-piece neo-folk duo comprised of two sisters and two guitars. The girls have only recently started putting their music online, but hopefully there is more to come. From the simple cord changes to the beautiful vocal work it’s hard not to feel something a little special as the song slowly picks up steam as it progresses onward. This is the first and only track currently available from Moses online, but if it’s any indication of the future people should be on the lookout for more great music on the horizon.

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