Web Beat: LaRissa Vienna, SoundRabbit, Erothyme, No Ones, Joshua Trinidad and StéLouse

Published on: April 24th, 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

Regular readers may recall a chat we had with Denver’s LaRissa Vienna back in February while she was gearing up for the release of Strange Siren, the newest EP from the ‘spooky’ gal that’s finally been released in the past weeks. “Underwater” is first in line for the six-song set, and it’s sound presents much of the Vienna’s signature cryptically-personal lyrics on a backdrop of easy drum accent and a mix of soft and sometimes distorted guitar treatment. From front-to-finish the EP’s got an all-water theme going on with other such tracks “Surfacing”, “Ocean”, and “Mermaid” among the list and it’s an interesting premise which helps to tie common storytelling themes together across tracks. Strange Siren is also the first collection offered since her 2014 demo debut. There’s a lot of variety here, but it’s all accessible and simple – a feat which helps boost the potency of the vocal work which sits back seat to no other voice on the album.

Boulder’s SoundRabbit is on the verge of releasing Don’t Forget to Remember and so has let leak four singles available on the upcoming collection. The “Odds of Waking Up” seems a great starting point for the group’s new sound, as bright piano chords are emphasized above strumming, distorted power-chords the vocal layers take over. And, layers there are – from the get-go, listeners will notice some of the unique vocal textures which help round out the overall sound, a theme which is repeated in all four singles and bodes good feelings for future releases from the album. The overall presentation has seen a major growth spurt, and showcases a big jump in maturity since past releases. The production value is top-notch, and in true SoundRabbit style there is more than enough variety offered to keep you interested and entertained. The full album should be fantastic.

“Erothyme douses all of his beats in multiplicitous melting layers of homebrewed extra-sultry sweetsauce.” A more random, truer statement has never been said. Sound in the Living Current should hold a place in every outdoorsman’s heart, the only released track so far (“Lead us to the Sound”) is like a summer hike which washes over you. “Layers of sound” is simply the only way to describe it, and while the sultry musical core builds to waves and back again, somehow the song structure continually takes listeners to unexpected places with each measure that passes. There’s no shortage of voices here, treatments within treatments (treatception?) entertain your mind. Only one other track name off Sound in the Living Current has even been released, but the 18-track offering is scheduled to release May 5th, and should prove to be a unique musical experience.

The 1980s are back, and it’s about damn time. Hailing from Colorado Springs, No Ones presents “I Love My Car”, an ’80s ode to – you guessed it – probably the world’s greatest car. Soft-strum power cords and wailing electric guitar drive the track, with a healthy slathering of trademark ’80s synth production. The stereotypical hair metal vocals call out from behind the ensemble, washed out and ‘under’-produced (in true ’80s fashion). You’ve got to hand it to a group that can stay so true to their target sound, “I Love My Car” tells the story of a real American doing what we do best: driving kicka$$ cars and looking like a boss. Here’s the real challenge: take the track on your next drive and just wait for the eagles to join you in travel formation. Guaranteed to get you laid if you’re the lucky few who do summer cruising without a top on their car.

Joshua Trinidad offers the electronic genre a little something special with “Prisms”. The feature present in all of Trinidad’s work is his focus on trumpet, a unique approach which helps set the artist apart from the booming electronic scene and creates quite a wonderful sound which is both modern and classical. More of his work has been featured in a variety of musical treatments, but “Prisms” is a laid-back, cool sound which could be just as well received as soundtrack to art or life. The production allows the trumpet to undoubtedly remain as the focal point, but still somehow blending into the backdrop of percussion and wailing synth. Layer upon layer of trumpet is hidden beneath the obvious voices and Trinidad’s unmatched control gives way to an urgency as the melody progresses. It’s nice to get a glimpse at the classy side of electronic production, and that’s exactly what “Prisms” accomplishes.

StéLouse’s newly-released “Sunday Chords” is a hard-hitting, ultra-busy track which is anything but conventional. With surprises around every corner, the track progresses through a series of six different acts in just three and a half minutes. The multitude of musical voices is complimented by programmed drum fills and synthetically-produced instruments, with each “act” playing off the versions of previous song sections. The changes are unexpected and highly imaginative, and even though your mind knows the next section is bound to be coming soon, it’s never really prepared for where the sound is going.

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