This week was a perfect opportunity to reflect and reminisce on some of my favorite bands we recorded a few years back in the Colorado Daily newsroom offices for our live music video project Second Story Garage.
If you caught the end of my last column, you know it was a bittersweet week in which we said goodbye to the fearless leader of our music project, the late Daily Camera executive editor Kevin Kaufman. I hadn’t visited the Second Story Garage YouTube channel in a while, and the memories began to blast like a geyser once I started watching.
One of my favorite recording sessions, and actually one of my favorite groups of people that stopped by our makeshift recording studio, was Boulder’s own Eminence Ensemble. As I fired up one of the fantastic videos we made of them, I remembered that the jazzy prog-rock/party band/good-times outfit has just released a brand new album, “Real News.”
That’s how introductions to new music go for me. I wish I had time to scan online lists and wade through new offerings every week, but with a toddler and a penchant for time-intensive outdoor adventures, I really don’t. It’s basically blind luck and Spotify’s Discover Weekly that leads me to something new and good.
What I do bring to the table is an interesting perspective and, I think, an ability to recognize something special when I hear it.
My perspective on Eminence Ensemble’s new album comes from a long afternoon I spent with them a few years back when I recorded their music — and the hilarious moments between takes.
It requires intelligence and creativity to be consistently funny, and the band is full of solid jokesters. We were struggling to find silence between the laughter to start new takes. So it’s not really a surprise for me to check in on the guys a few years later and be absolutely blown away by the creativity and brilliant composition of “Real News.”
This is a big deal for our area’s music scene. This is a record that grabs you immediately and never lets go. It’s not an audiophile record — a bit more poppy and accessible — but it sounds big, smoky and smooth, and frankly, this album straight sizzles.
This week, it’s less about the sound and more about the composition and content I’ve got to tell you about, in the hopes that you’ll fire it up today. The music geek in me hears these chord changes and mixed timing and rejoices. The headbanger in me loves the throbbing pulse of the bass drum and unleashes a pair of devil horns in the air.
Song after song, I hear sonic journeys leading to memorable hooks. Each chorus is a perfect match for what came before it. And then you get to unexpected changes and breakdowns like the second half of “Gravity” — five-star musical moment right there.
Don’t think you’ve figured these guys out before you listen to “Booty for Days.” I won’t give that one away — it’s a surprise.
Run, don’t walk to fire this album up. Three cheers to Eminence Ensemble for a local music gem!