If you go

What: Varlet

When: 10 p.m. Saturday

Where: hi-dive, 7 S. Broadway, Denver, 303-733-0230

Cost: $6

More info: hi-dive.com

D enver five-piece Varlet (pronounced phonetically, in English) sound like a conglomeration of psych, folk and pop rock, with 1940s vocals and an activist streak. That's exactly how the music gets made. Ahead of the band's show at the hi-dive this Saturday, we talked to frontwoman Lilly Scott about her many influences and the band's next record.

First, the origins of your name -- it's Shakespearean, isn't it?

Oh yeah, I'm actually a huge Shakespeare nut and it's actually from the play King Lear and it means a knave or scoundrel. It's a cool name that I like a lot and, also, it's definitely easier to understand and pronounce when you realize it's not French.

Do you get other inspiration from Shakespeare?

Definitely. I do kind of admire his comedic, dreamy and also depressing ways that he writes his plays. So yeah, I draw most of my inspiration for the band from music, but definitely Shakespeare.

What kind of music?

I definitely adore Billie Holiday and '40s music, like Andrews Sisters and Doris Day. I'm really infatuated with Harry Nilsson, like everyone else in the band, and Tom Waits.


I also noticed you've listed an interest on Facebook as "questioning the fuck out of authority."

I'm a huge animal rights activist and mega-feminist, so that all goes hand-in-hand with questioning authority.

Does that come out in your music?

Definitely. A lot of my lyrical inspirations are of things that can't seem to be solved in life, like the strife of animals and people's liberation.

Do you think people notice that? Do they approach you to talk about it?

I have received feedback from fans saying that it does sound original, maybe they can't place what the song is about per se. But the new record is very outspoken and blunt, for sure, and I like it. That's how I like to roll.

So you're working on a new record?

We're done recording. We did the entire record in 10 days in the Hideaway Studios, and that was really rad. We're basically just waiting on the mixing process. James Barone, who's the drummer for Tennis, is mixing the album and he's busy with stuff with Tennis. We'll postpone on the release 'til early August. Other than that, it's all done.

How did it go?

It was awesome. We had the chance to use a lot of vintage equipment up there. The whole studio is analog, so it's staying with our lo-fi sound we had on the Drifter EP. So that's cool. It was an awesome experience to be able to do it all at once instead of trying to schedule each of us to do individual tracking here and there, which is hard for a five-piece band with jobs. It was awesome to do it together ... It's about as collaborative as it can get. The record is half and half songs that I wrote the lyrics to, and our drummer Will Duncan wrote lyrics to the other half. I have kind of a psychedelic, Broadcast, weird vibe to my songs, and his are kind of '70s pop, Elton John, so we have this Lennon/McCartney situation going on with the new record. Hence, why we're waiting on James to mix it because he really has our sound down.