I’ve just about had it with these kids and their pun-laden names. Thankfully, the upbeat, jazz-infused pop of Harrison Fjord quelled my initial irritation with their catchy future jams. These newcomers on the local scene just released their debut EP, Puspa in Space, this summer to a sold-out show at Crescent Ballroom. After the short intro appropriately titled “Are You Ready?”, Puspa in Space launches into the funky and dynamic powerhouse “How You Been”. “People I Meet”, the following track, is both the first single from the band and a personal favorite of mine. The forty-second transition through dreamspace called “Ecclesiastes” gives way to the almost eight minute closer. “Approximately 906 Miles” starts with a mellow jazzy rock that I would sooner call “spaced-out” than “smooth”. The track goes through many shifts in temperament without abandoning that unique Harrison Fjord style before submerging the listener is a strange sea of sound. You can catch Harrison Fjord at this year’s Apache Lake Music Festival so get your tickets if you don’t have them already. Until then, I suggest spending some time with Puspa in Space. The EP is available for preview and purchase here.
The quirky Denver pop collective known as Mega Gem released a new EP in September that will lift your spirits starting with the opening notes. The album opens with “Water Filled Holes” and the orchestral pop will immediately make your ears happy. And, when the ears are happy, the soul is certain to follow. The second track, “Do Call me Romantic”, continues this same thread of upbeat and instrumental arrangements, but “Pretty Fingers”, the third track, has a more playful, folksy sound. “Mia’s Hum-Along” will have you doing just that while “Carousel” carries the nostalgia of childhood days passed on outdoor adventures. “Old Reckless” closes the EP on a dreamy note. While you’re listening to Colors of the West: The Arrangments, really take a moment to absorb the layers of sound that emerge from your speakers. With over forty musicians contributing to the arrangements found on Colors of the West, Mega Gem creates an instrumental EP that will stay with you as long as any annoying pop hook, but without, you know, the annoyance. Just a lasting impression of beauty. Listen to Colors of the West: The Arrangments by Mega Gem here and offer up your support.
The lofi bedroom pop of Ash Cashmere falls more to the dreamy side of the effervescent spectrum. The Flagstaff four-piece recently released their debut EP, Where the Snails Go at Night, which was recorded by Travis Coutts. The EP opens with “Oh Sister”, an excellent vehicle for introducing the combined vocal talents of Madelyn Byrd and Rose Clements who, together, sound like strange sisters trapped in the same dream. Possibly, your dream. “Sleeping In” follows with more gentle post-rock before “Sssuunnn” turns up the warmth without losing that sense of drifting through water that prevades all the tracks on the EP. “Greyling” closes the four-track release and while not my favorite song from the release, Ash Cashmere proves their willing to push their sound writing into the realms of the experimental. I’m excited to hear what else this band has in store. They’re definitely on the list of acts I want to check out live. Until then, I suggest delving into the dreamspace of Where the Snails Go at Night. Listen for yourself here.