This was an exciting week for music at Radio 1190. Three new records dropped from bands we’ve been spinning for a while now, and they’re all going on air this week. Here’s what you’re about to hear.
Guerilla Toss, an art rock band out of Boston and New York, dropped their album “Twisted Crystal” this week. The band’s lead vocalist Kassie Carlson never fails to deliver energetic and off-the-wall lyrics, and she continues to do so on this album. The record combines complicated time signatures with synthy pop-like textures, creating a complex sound like no other. The songs seamlessly switch from classic punk tones to experimental rock jams, and always manage put you into a disorienting psychedelic trance. The album is upbeat and danceable, but feels like it belongs in haunted dance party in Berlin. If you’re in Denver this weekend, Radio 1190 is presenting their show at Hi-Dive on Friday. If you love to dance and thrash around, you definitely can’t miss this show.
An old favorite at Radio 1190, Blood Orange just released his fourth album, “Negro Swan.” The album covers the topic of black depression, with the title alluding to the stigmas against black swans created by European colonizers. Dev Hynes, the producer and writer of the entire album, intimately sings about the black experience and his personal plight with depression over stunningly beautiful R&B and lo-fi pop instrumentals. He expresses his vulnerability and the vulnerabilities of those in his community, and speaks for problems that so many people face but so few people talk about. From childhood bullies to the current political climate, “Negro Swan” confronts Hynes’ pain head on with music that matches the depth of his feelings. Artists including Diddy, Tei Shi and Steve Lacy join Hynes in creating an all-encompassing album to represent the feelings of many. The album features gorgeous jazz melodies, dreamy synths and astounding vocal layering which combine to form an unforgettable experience.
The quintessential slowcore band Low released the album “Double Negative,” a strikingly experimental album that distinguishes itself from many of the bands other very straightforward slowcore rock albums. The first track on the album, “Quorum,” sets the tone for the album as a whole, beginning with 30 seconds of pure distorted noise. The song breaks into a gorgeous ballad, while using the heavily distorted synth throughout the song as an instrument. The album transports you to a cold and quiet world, filled with almost broken-sounding synths overlaid with intricate vocal harmonies and pads. The songs are sentimental but offset by their heavily experimental nature. I’ve found myself coming back to this album over and over, taken away by its unconventional beauty and the way it puts me at peace in an unsettling way. It is an unforgettable ambient experience everyone should have the chance the experience.
Koett is one of Radio 1190’s music directors. Read more reviews: coloradodaily.com/columnists