The good folks at the Hi-Dive in on Broadway treated Denverites to a line-up of great music last night. On the bill were three relatively new groups, all having been founded after 2009. More than worth the ten bucks to get in the door! Once inside, we were greeted by the creative sampling sounds of Young Man. This signaled the start of rocking. Young Man stands largely on the talent of front man Colin Caulfield. This Chicago based singer-songwriter popped into the public’s eye first with his YouTube performances, then a solo EP, and now as the leader of this solid rock outfit. Young Man creates a soundscape utilizing equal parts with the use of distorted guitar arpeggios (light on the grunge, heavy on the reverb) and haunting synth harmonies. Tight riff building, a driving rhythm section, vulnerable lryics, and the soulful desperation in Caulfield’s voice captivated the crowd. I for one am definitely excited to hear more from these young men as their music continues to “grow up.”
The Raven and The Writing Desk were up next with their potpourri of jazz, folk, and prog-rock stirred up by the powerful vocals of Julia Libassi. One wonders at the name for the of this Denver-based band. Brushing off any immediate Carroll The Raven must be the beautifully haunting sound from combining the piano, violin, distorted guitar, marimba, jazz bass, and Alanis –like vocals, giving their music an air of both whimsy and despair. And to those willing to listen closely, we must conclude the writing desk is clearly well-worn, given their musical and lyrical depth. Another group deserving of having their work published.
The headliners, Suckers, came with something to prove as well. Hot off their second full length album, Candy Salad (from Frenchkiss Records, also home to Young Man), Bright and crispy clean brit-pop from these New-Yorkers left one reminiscing of some of Bowie’s upbeat jams. Lead singer Quinn Walker draped plenty of falsetto and whistling throughout. On songs like “Chinese Braille”, it’s hard not feeling a little more optimistic. The driving arpeggios from guitarist Austin Fisher also gave that same insistence: all at the Hi-Dive had reason to rejoice. The rest of the world were suckers themselves for having passed on some quality tunes from these up-and-comers.