Web Beat: Modern Suspects, Olivia Blu, Harn SOLO, Josht88@gmail.com, The River Arkansas, and V for U

Published on: March 6th, 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

Told You So is the newly-released single from Modern Suspects, a Denver-based trio producing “popternative” tunes which are very reminiscent of the work from the likes of St. Lucia and Digitalism. The track features a heavy focus on a generic piano voice layered over synth and guitar texture, click, and a solid dose of vocal harmonies. The most attractive aspect of the production comes in the form of the vocal fidelity which could stand up to some of the best in the industry. It’s a solid offering which comes on the tails of the group’s first single released in December of last year. Although the group is new, they aren’t new on the scene – their previous project, Claymore Disco, won Denver’s 93.3 KTCL Hometown for the Holidays 2013 competition.

Olivia Blu, self-proclaimed “alt-c#%t” artist lends her voice to the human rights struggle with Spirits Like Moths, a folksong highlighting the importance of communication and conversation when it comes to understanding one another during the short time spent here on Earth. Simple songs are often deceptively difficult to produce, but “Musical Midwife” Ethan Stark is clearly no slouch as Olivia’s message comes across loud and clear. The analogy between the voices of moths and our own may be lost to some, but it’s a beautifully-crafted visual image which drives the message home.

Harn SOLO strikes again via The Product, a collaboration between the Denver hip-hop artist and producer Prospek, who’s trademark is a much darker soundscape then that of our original review months ago. The Product prefaces the pending release of Harn SOLO’s sixth studio album set to come out later this year which showcases numerous other collaborative creations. The Product is another fantastic example of Harn SOLO’s excellent and effortless wordplay, continuously referencing his music as a drug being distributed to the masses (a major nod towards Colorado’s budding marijuana industry). If fans want to scoop up the track free of charge, hurry off to Harn SOLO’s bandcamp page to be one of the first 200 supporters or else check iTunes soon for both the single track and the rest of the album.

In what could either be a terrible typo or quite possibly the best band name ever, Boulder musician Josht88@gmail.com showcases his recent recording of Something About Me, an acoustic folk country tune. While the production isn’t up to the task of competing with the professionally-done pieces from across the state it’s an honest, soulful ballad which certainly captures a distinctively desperate voice just trying to make a connection with the people around him. The song wouldn’t go over in nearly the same way if it wasn’t for the soft caress of the guitar strings which help to reiterate the vocal presentation. It’s a great song and again, that band name… so good. If you need to contact Josh, it’s probably fairly easy to guess where to send correspondence.

Pueblo’s The River Arkansas, new project of Mike Clark (The Ghost of Michael Clark, The Haunted Windchimes, The Sugar Sounds) recently released two tracks from the upcoming album titled Golden Light set to come out at the end of this month. The band features members from local acts Clouds + Mountains, Spirits of the Red City, and Princess Music; a uniquely Colorado-driven experience. In Find Our Hearts blues-flavored vocals are prominently delivered over rhythmic guitar accents which wane between moments of loud, high energy back to the folksy, rhythmic drone. The musical voices compliment the vocal style completely, and it’s rare to find pieces with such a strong representation of bass work.

Uploaded just in the nick of time V for U’s 3-song-play Chaser features the Denver-based shoegaze/noise artists in a short run-through of their newest tunes. (It’s got that) Weekend at Bernies Feel is the first song on the album, and is a prime example of the band’s sound overall. The group has yet to release any full-length album, as they have traditionally released these small LP-style releases as well as a single which was released back in 2013. It’s certainly the most safe song on the album, and while all the tracks feature the trademark washed out lyrics typical of shoegaze or drone the instrumental treatment is very different track by track. With two years since the last published release, here’s to wondering if something else is right around the corner or if it’ll be another year before anything else surfaces.

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