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Artist of the Month
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August 2016
Coco Columbia
"When the Birds Begin to Walk
"
mp3

 Jazz tends to get a bad name among the younger crowd. Its association as the musical preference of parents, teachers and basically anyone that may be considered "lame" can deter a welcomed reception, but Coco Columbia has rebranded the genre in a way that's easily accessible for even the most stubborn of ears.

A force that first began with her 2014 debut, The Weight, Coco's newest release When the Birds Begin to Walk packs the same punch. "Weight on Limb," the first track to come off the album that premiered on The Deli Portland back in March, opens up the album in a way that you can't even keep up with. The track spurts and spats about as Coco's voice exquisitely flutters about the track's duration, setting the tone for what's left to come.

"Coveted Creatures" teases a hint of harder sound in the beginning before bringing it back to the funky jazz she does best. "9 Steps" stands out sonically from the rest of the album employing more rock elements and incredible shred work by Grant Sayler. Interesting key playing creates somewhat of an "under the sea" atmosphere on "Radiant in My Abyss," which contrasts a more barreled drum beat.

Her bold and unexpected cover of Kate Bush's "Running Up That Hill" climbs to the top of the list of Kate Bush covers. Coco took what was one of Bush's biggest and most influential hits and made it her own in a way that satisfies diehard Bushians and Coco fans.

When the Birds Begin to Walk holds up as a more than animated sophomore effort on the Coco Columbia front. The songs offered varied range while still holding up to her established jazzy ways and if anything, decrees Coco Columbia's voice as an instrumental force itself.


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Kansas Bible Company preps new album release with "She's in the Garden," live this Friday (06.03)

It's just a taste, just a tease, but the dreamy "She's in the Garden" from Kansas Bible Company's upcoming Paper Moon shows that the band is drinking deep from a pool of laudable influences. Centered around the reliable tenderness of a Rhodes and leading into a horn breakout bound for who-knows-where, "She's in the Garden" sounds something like Jason Molina with a smile on his face.

The Bible Co. has a hometown show at the Beast coinciding with the release of the album on June 3, this Friday, so check out the track and then be sure to show these talented locals some love in-person style. -Austin Phy


Drop what you're doing and listen to these demos from Teddy & the Rough Riders

Way back in the mids of April, I saw a previously unknown band set the stage for Natural Child at a VFW Post in town, of all places. "These guys are great!" I said. "I sure hope there's some music online so I can share it with folks!" There wasn't. So imagine my excitement finding out today that at some point in the interim, Teddy & the Rough Riders got some demos together and oh boy, do they ever hold up in comparison to the live experience. There are only six tracks on display, but they all showcase what this band does best—sophisticated country tunes held tight by an accomplished band and lifted into orbit by some truly incredible pedal steel (the ever-magnificent Luke Schneider), let loose to wander by way of the frayed, croaking vocals on top of it all. It only took one live show to convince me that these guys are headed in exactly the right direction. Give 'em that same chance next time you can, yeah? -Austin Phy


Taco Dreams delivers on new wave punk irreverence with "John Cougar Watermelon Camp Counselor"

John Cougar Watermelon Camp Counselor, the tape-ready debut from Taco Dreams, is relentlessly energetic throughout without being exhausting. There are notes of The Smiths, Echo and the Bunnymen, and Stone Roses, only with a great deal mopre levity than any of those new wave forebears. It's not a brand new sound per se, but between Taco Dreams and several other new-on-the-scene groups, it's incredibly exciting to see the Nuggetsy-garage vibe that overtook East Nasty for the longest effetively exploring some other sounds. -Austin Phy

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The forecast calls for warmth and a strong chance of sunshine pop on Father Tribe's self-titled EP

This one slipped by my radar when it first came out, but Bandcamp's search likes to make up its own rules sometimes. Occasionally, that causes a gem to surface, such as Father Tribe's self-titled EP. All the hallmarks of summertime listening are there—the 'verb, the lilting vocal sustains, the laid back tempo. Of course, these things can get a little one-dimensional. Fortunately it isn't all sunshine and rainbows; it's got that modern beach pop shimmer for sure, but it's balanced out with the sense of urgency of 1980s synthpop. Give it a spin if you're so inclined. We'd recommend it. -Austin Phy

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Boom Forest explores all different faces of electronica and folk on "Post Knight Errant"

Post Knight Errant, the latest from ex-Wisconsinite John Paul Roney's Boom Forest project, explores a range of folk and electronica influences, deftly using the natural ebb and flow of that exploration to cover the entire spectrum of emotional experience. There's a current of tenderness running through the album, but it proves to be tonally versatile and adapts to the highs and lows from song to song and within a single track. It's a polished effort, and you ought to give the video a watch below and then go check out the entire album. -Austin Phy

Boom Forest "33" (We Are All One & Holy Ghost) from Elder on Vimeo.


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