Rich Fury / Invision
Things are heating up outside, but Radio 1190 is keeping cool in the basement of the UMC with awesome bands playing live in the studio. Friday, Denver weirdo-legends Little Fyodor and Babushka played the Local Shakedown set and Tuesday, Missoula-based dinosaur hip-hop collective Mesozoic Mafia stopped by for a session. Catch the performances here: soundcloud.com/radio-1190 or Radio1190 on YouTube.
While you’re doing that, stream the station at radio1190.org to hear these rad albums spinning in rotation:
Though London-based FKA twigs‘ roots are alternative R&B and electronic music, her heavy flourishes in experimental art pop make her the most interesting character in her genre. After her successful debut LP1, twigs dazzled and enchanted indie, electronic and R&B audiences to no end. Her style is dark and mysterious, yet her sensual and piercing vocals makes each track exhilarating and hypnotizing. On her latest album, M3LL155X, we see twigs growing as a songwriter, without compromising experimentalism.
Each track on M3LL155X is rich with pop hooks, but contains enough eclecticism to make them fresh, exciting and innovative. The lead single “Glass and Patron” contains an earworm chorus, but before the song gets too predictable, unexpected tempo shifts and vocal manipulations give it a sensually strange transformation.
With the artistry and unique style she has built for herself, it’s apparent that FKA twigs is not only one of the more interesting figures in music, but also the most important. M3LL155X by is Radio 1190’s CD of the Month for September.
Since its inception, Beach House‘s signature dream pop has ruled the indie music-sphere. Early records Devotion and Teen Dream showcase a mastery of musicianship in the ability to convey nostalgia, sadness and affection. With simple rock instrumentation the duo creates warm walls of noise, engulfing the listener in synths and guitars. The musicians utilize their strong suit of tweaking pop structures to the point where the songs don’t sound experimental, just otherworldly.
Beach House’s fifth studio album, Depression Cherry, fills every little void possible with noise. The opener “Levitation” is a beautiful track with uplifting major chords. From there, the record progresses Beach House-style without many surprises. The result gives us not too much to chew on as far as sound experimentation or substance goes. But ultimately, aside from standout tracks such as “PPP,” Depression Cherry is just Beach House doing business as usual.
Though Dan Bejar found success as a part of The New Pornographers, where he truly strides is with his solo project, Destroyer. Over his 11-album career, Bejar has perfected his brand of string-laden baroque pop. After his critically lauded 2011 effort, Kaputt , Dan Bejar is back with a lush, beautiful follow-up, Poison Season, that offers listeners a truly realized version of his sound. With exuberant horns and waves of strings alongside his nasally voice crooning romantic lyrics, the listener can’t help but swoon.
The opening track “Times Square, Poison Season I” sets the stage that this album is all about New York City — more specifically, falling in love with the city. Though the record has an overall urban feel, Poison Season conveys the wonderment and whimsy of being in New York City for the first time. On Poison Season we see Bejar in his truest form — elegant, witty and audacious.
James Calvet is Radio 1190’s music director.