ALBUM REVIEW: Seal Eggs – “Sunday Will Be Snow”

https://sealeggsmusic.bandcamp.com/album/sunday-will-be-snow

Gwen Wolfenbarger is behind one of Colorado College’s most unique sounds. Also known as Seal Eggs, her new album Sunday Will be Snow is a beautifully ethereal collection of layered and looped tracks, she describes as “drinking Sleepytime Vanilla tea….” that truly “sounds like winter.”

I remember the first time I saw Gwen perform in Cornerstone last year, I was brought to tears during her performance of “One Day”, which is featured on the new album. She drew on many inspirations during the composition process, one of the most important being the journey of understanding her transition, which expresses itself thematically through the development of the tracks. Gwen describes the progression of the tracks to reflect her transition: “begins hopefully, kind of sinks into depression through the middle, and then ends on another positive note…I think the most depressing part is dysphoria”.”

Gwen’s process of composing, recording and performance is extremely unique. During composition, Gwen describes the process as a “snowball effect”. Sound-layer upon layer build up after long periods of improvisation, to produce a sound she didn’t plan out. Because of the complexity of her tracks, I am dumbfounded at her ability to reproduce this in live performance. During performance, she describes her experience: “I forget that I’m even performing for anyone, and so its incredibly jarring when at the end there’s an applause…I am extremely vulnerable to the memories and experience of the transition.” She describes getting lost in the music and the performance; music is her form of escape. The songs themselves are intimate and exposed, and this is clear through Gwen’s raw emotion. It is a beautiful experience just to witness a Seal Eggs performance.

I asked Gwen about what music means to her and what she thinks it could do for others. Of course this is a big question, but she comments on how music has always been the biggest and most important part of her life. Even before she could play any instruments (which she plays many and if she doesn’t, could learn in an unfair amount of time) baby Gwen was found chewing on her family’s upright piano. To this day music envelops her life, “I don’t even know where I would be without it, music is my best friend.” There are clear resonances of Gwen’s musical background in choir throughout Sunday Will Be Snow. Music frames Gwen’s experiences of the world and in terms of her new album; music has been a very healing experience. It was not only a healing experience for Gwen, but as a huge fan of her music, a restorative experience for all listeners.

Catching up with Gwen on her new album also led to some entertaining responses about Sunday Will be Snow:

Q: “If you could collaborate with any musical artist who would they be?”

A: “One of my big influences, Grouper. She’s a drone singer and guitarist from Portland who uses a lot of tape loops…. A lot of it sounds like it’s underwater.”

Q: “What colors and shapes embody the essence of this album for you?”

A: “Powdery blue and pink definitely, I mean those are the trans flag colors. Also warm colors like burgundy. Shapes would be spirals and circles.”

 

CONCERT REVIEW- Ominous Animals and Kauzmann On Ice

 

leo (use)This past Saturday night CC students gathered at 666 Uintah to let out some energy to the sounds of CC student bands Ominous Animals and Kauzmann On Ice. Above the roar of friends gathered around, upbeat guitars and smashing symbols keeping the room sweaty, lively, and full until the bitter end.

 

While I personally showed up late to the Ominous Animals set, friends like Lena Farr-Morrissey shared that they brought a lot of energy to the room with groovy jams like their rendition of “Whiteguitar (use) Room” by Cream. They have been consistently creating an incredible atmosphere for every live set. These talented musicians have been around the CC music scene for a few years now and they that have come together under the name of Ominous Animals. The crowd always adores their performance and were sad to see their set end.

After the crowd filed out quickly for a short smoke break, Kauzmann On Ice followed Ominous Animals to complete the night. While Kauzmann On Ice was the name of this band this past Saturday, the official name of this group has yet to be decided. So continue to keep an ear out.  With influences from CC student bands such as the beloved Randy and the Reptiles, curiosity elevated the crowds excitement.  Extended downtempo jams on the guitar gave the room a spacey ambience as those nexdrummer (use)t to me began to shut their eyes and dance for nobody but themselves. As the tempo increased so did the amount of collisions in the crowd. A perfect mixture of groovy bass, upbeat guitar, and loud, rhythmic drums riled up the crowd for the climax of the night. A crowd surfer passed overhead and fell soon after, but everyone still had smiles on their faces.

With another dynamic performance from  Ominous Animals and Kauzmann On Ice’s lively debut show, Saturday night was one to remember. The intimate venue, the abundance of tigers, and high-spirited music created an exhausting yet refreshing experience for those who were lucky enough to attend. Keep an ear out for these bands next show, you don’t want to miss it.

Photos by Leo Turpan ’18

Concert Preview: Part Time & Touchit – Gaylord Hall

 

Lots of plastic bins, overflowing trashcan, eager freshman and opening convocation all mark the beginning of the new school year. While most people are forced to transition from summer break to a heap load of academic work, many students such as Quinn Webb, current events manager of Sounds of Colorado College (SOCC), have been working to make sure this transition and the bustle of first week is also complete with a music event and of course, free food.

This Friday August 28th from 9:00pm-12:00am in Gaylord Hall, Bay area band Part Time and student band Touchit will be providing the musical entertainment for the night. Featured on music blog Stereogum’s artist to watch, Part Time is a must see for anyone into synth pop, nu wave, rock or just having a good time. If you are a bit unfamiliar with the band, I suggest listening to their songs “Seashells” and “Night Drive.” Of course, a musical performance at the college would not be complete without a student band opener, which would provide a very special opportunity for new students to have their first Colorado college student band experience and a special opportunity for us returning folks to remember just how talented some of our friends are on campus.

After all the fun and entertainment, the night will be complete with midnight breakfast to feed hungry bellies after hours of dancing. What truly makes this event special other than the fact that this will be a great first weekend event to bring the community together but also that the SOCC staff has been working extremely hard over the summer to ensure that more musical performances will be happening throughout the school year with the hopes of something new and exciting happening blockly.

But Who is Randy?

LINEUP
Nic Titus – Keyboard, moral support
Emily Naranjo – Rhythm Guitar
Eliza Densmore – vocals
Kyle Lutz – Bass, chief negotiator of internal affairs
Austin Langsdorf – Guitar and Vocals, Keeps the reptiles blood warming up to survive

It’s 6:30pm and I’m sitting in the main room of some house on Monument, as Randy and the Reptiles get set up to play. I have never been to a band practice, but the imagine of teenagers banging on instruments in someone’s garage while the neighbors cringe in fear always comes to mind. However, Randy and the Reptiles were a bit better than that. In this room clad with blue walls and stained with the smell of cigarettes, great music was created.

“I think it’s the full moon, I’m feeling crazy” says Austin. Maybe it was the full moon or maybe we can blame everything on the weird telekinetic vibes that were occurring between members in that room because the music was electrifying. There was not a moment when my foot was not dancing and tapping to the tunes. This is the music that people want to hear: good music from good people. If you ask them how to describe their sound they may use terms such as “mediocre,” “demonic,” or ” or even “cold-blooded.” However if you ask me, I’ll be a bit boring and say funky, soulful and electric. In many ways the sound was warm and vibrant, but this would be interrupted with a nice strong attention catching attack. An attack that had the potential to send your body into chills after being caught by surprise.

Oh and how could I forget about the vocals? Eliza Densmore, although small, packs a big punch and has the power to knock you off your feet. Combine that with Austin’s bluesy voice and Kyle’s vocal pizazz and you get the creation of something like hard cider, sweet and delicious yet powerful.

So, how did these wonderful people all come together? Apparently Austin asked Kyle, who was playing his guitar in Rastall, if he wanted to play in a band. Then on a separate occasion Nic drunkenly explained to Austin that he really wanted to be in a band and it turned out that they were looking for someone to play the keyboard. Depending on whom you ask, the big group came together out of love and mutual passion and it’s a good thing they did because they are definitely going to bring more to the music scene at CC.

What’s next for the group? Kyle screams out “World Tour” and Nico replies “The International Expo.” Apparently they are both wrong and Acacia Park is really what’s next. Are they actually serious about this, I’m not really sure but I guess we will find out soon. More realistically, they are planning to write more originals this semester and practice some new covers. Lastly, Austin explains that they are planning to “create a safe space for people to get groovy without fear of judgment, competition, repercussions. We would really like to be just a fun band that everyone can get down to. We aren’t trying to do it for being cool or winning or being the best band. We just want to get down.”

Honestly, I’m excited to see more of Randy and the Reptiles playing this year. If they are anything like what I saw in their band practice then we all should be excited. As for who Randy is? That’s something I’m still trying to figure out. Kyle explains, “We had just climbed Mt. Everest and Eliza was half dead on account of oxygen.” Nico adds, “A lizard scurried by and we thought wait. Reptiles.” Somewhere along the way Emily realized “that’s the only life up here.” There you have it. Randy was born. I do not know how legit this story is and you do not have to buy it, but you can buy their music because that was something honest and pure.

Photo Credits: Hannah Fleming

Video Interview: Touchit

SONG OF THE DAY: Fit$gerald

Before coming to CC, I heard so much about the outdoorsy culture, liberal mindsets, ski-lovers, and hippie lifestyles, but the music scene was not mentioned at all.

As a result, I was always curious about the music scene at Colorado College and how it thrived. Fortunately, I’ve been pleasantly surprised. Not only does SOCC play a major role but there is a wonderful music department, music ensembles, numerous student bands (Battle of the Bands was amazing by the way!), Open Mic Night, Llamapalooza, and other groups of students who are contributing to music and creating a community.

Good for news for me, my curiosity has allowed to me to find amazing people who have the same passion as me, inspiring me to continue to create music whenever I can.

Because of this I thought it’d be a wonderful idea to share the song Fit$Gerald by CC Students Romell, Sherman, Clay, Mamoun, and Alejandro.

 

 

 

 

YOU ME & APOLLO Rocks Out @ CC

Yet again, The SOCC brought an awesome band to campus. I would be really bummed if I hadn’t made it to the You Me & Apollo concert on Thursday night in Shove Chapel. You Me & Apollo is a band based in Fort Collins, CO, started and now led by the talented singer/songwriter Brent Cowles, a Colorado Springs native. With great variety in their musical repertoire, their songs range from country-ish, almost folky music, to a more mellow bluesy vibe. Only half-way into the first song, CC students couldn’t resist getting up and rushing the stage to dance along with the band. While listening, I was trying to place who Cowles sounded like from other bands I know. Finally, I figured it out. His voice and overall vibe was a mixture between Dan Auerbach of The Black Keys, Nathan Willett of Cold War Kids, and even Brittany Howard of the Alabama Shakes (because, lets face it, we all thought that her voice was a man’s the first time we heard it). Great combination if you ask me. They seamlessly interacted with the audience which I always appreciate, because what’s worse than awkward interactions between band members and their audience? They especially appreciated the animated dance moves of the students and called attention to them more than once.

The band released an album entitled Cards for Cheats back in 2011 which I highly recommend. They are expected to release their second album on May 9, so be sure to keep an ear out.

 

 

 

CAMPUS CONCERT: You, Me, and Apollo; ft. Maxwell Hughes

YOU, ME, & APOLLO FT. MAXWELL HUGHES

Shove Chapel

Thursday March 27

Doors open at 8:00pm

Come one, Come all. No Tickets required, just bring yourself your friends and your friend’s friends. Here is a little teaser for your enjoyment.