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Web Beat: The Northern Empty, Mike Hyland Music, The Washboard Abs, Taarka, I AM, Al3k5_1188


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

The Northern Empty released Off the Floor near the beginning of December of 2014, but it’s a beautiful two-piece acoustic duet which feels right at home as Valentines bucks it’s head from behind the final work day of this week. Nicholas Anderson and Raven Underwood hail from Denver, but after digging around the only discoverable trace is in fact the Bandcamp page they have set up to showcase Off the Floor. Between the poetry embedded in the lyrics to the soft and simple presentation it’s simply a wonderful ode from one lover to another. The critics have spoken, the people want more; hopefully The Northern Empty will oblige.

Mike Hyland Music recently released his third studio project Orange Colored Sky, which houses My Love – a jazz-infused ode to love. My Love is a fantastic reminder that the jazz scene is still alive, and this Denver-based ensemble has stayed true to the influences which have guided previous entries in their discography. The energy of the vocal work blends effortlessly with the muted volume of the accompanying bass, percussion work, and muted trumpet to produce a classy dance tune that would be equally at home played alongside nightly reading or out on the dance floor. A great compliment to any evening.

Originally from Anchorage, Alaska Clark Sondermann aka The Washboard Abs has teamed up with Z Tapes, a Cassette Label run by Filip Zemcik. As of now, The Washboard Ab’s one and only physical recording Whateverland is only available through the purchase of a limited edition cassette tape (limited being an understatement, only 50 units will be produced, sold, and shipped). While Sondermann’s material has existed on Bandcamp previously, it wasn’t until teaming up with Z Tapes that the pieces have gotten the love and attention they deserve. The master process was very kind on the indie-pop artist; hopefully this sets the stage for even more collaboration between the two parties. Death & Taxis is by far the most mellow song in the set, and each is so wonderfully different and still uniquely The Washboard Abs.

Taarka sends their love from Lyons with Heart and Song, the first track off the soon-to-release Making Tracks Home. Taarka has been described nationally as a new acoustic “supergroup” by the likes of weekly publications in SF and elsewhere siting their influence on neighboring musicians spanning now into their 6th studio production. Two tracks are currently available for free streaming online, but the rest of the album won’t make an appearance until March of this year. The band itself boasts 4 musicians on this recording, but is spearheaded by husband and wife duo Enion Pelta-Tiller and David Tiller on violins and mandolins respectively. Enion’s songwriting and vocal work is especially enjoyable; many are anxiously awaiting the full product once it hits the shelves and digital retailers in just over a month.

I AM aka Ramaya Soskin recently posted an electronic version of Phoenix, a track originally released by the Boulder jam band in January of 1998. It’s a funky tune featuring six artists and no less than one digeredoo. Clocking in at almost 8 minutes in length, the song builds a pretty strong groove in which instrumental and vocal sections compliment each other easily. Phoenix is only one of many works which are being given the online treatment years after the fact as Soskin has been on some sort of uploading spree, treating listeners with gems from 2007 and earlier in recent additions. His most recent collection includes a myriad of tracks up until products of 2014. I AM is a different type of love song, but fans of the many other Colorado jam bands will feel right at home cutting a rug with their sweetie this weekend with this tune belting out of home stereo systems.

Denver artist Al3k5_1188 applies his unique production style to VD, a single release of Valentines Day with four separate treatments to help spice up our Local Music Scene Valentines Playlist. Moreover, it’s doubly interesting that we’ve got him rounding out a playlist primarily comprised of the songs he sites as part of the problem with his posthumous love life when it comes to this special time of year. VD is enough of an incentive to give listening time to any of the many releases by Al3k5_1188 available online.

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