Category Archives: Reviews

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Colorado College’s own Jeremy Zucker Releases Great New Tune

If making an awesome song wasn’t impressive enough, Jeremy Zucker, a sophomore at Colorado College, shot and directed the music video for his new song, “Dramamine”. The video features a very lovely Elizabeth Ellinger, another Colorado College student, who stands in the middle of the frame in front of a very well known landscape among CC students, Pikes Peak. The video effortlessly flows with the lyrics and vibe of Zucker’s track. The girl being like a drug, dramamine, is further illustrated through her being the absolute center of attention of the video. To further the message of the track, trippy visuals and changing colors are scattered throughout the video.

Zucker’s sultry, smooth voice is perfectly layered over a lush synth melody and simple beat. Zucker’s voice perfectly compliments and fills in the song, locking in it’s position as a sure fire hit. Zucker also brings in something that hasn’t been around for awhile, autotune. The way he uses it in this new track is unbelievable, Kanye-esque one could say. Just when you didn’t think Zucker could get any better, he comes out with a new track and blows you away.


EP OF THE DAY: Tom Misch & Carmody – “Out to Sea”

Tom Misch & Carmody’s debut EP “Out to Sea,” released on December 8th, strikes a beautiful combination of R&B and electro-dream pop. The EP features five duets from the London-based duo. Misch, at 19, is an up-and-coming songwriter who makes tracks from his bedroom studio and just created a new label called Beyond the Groove (check it out here).

Their lyrics speak of love and loss and have their illustrative strengths and downfalls, but I think the most striking aspect of the EP is how Misch and Carmody’s voices gently interweave to create a real groove. On “So Close,” the EP’s strongest song, syncopated handclaps, quick guitar riffs, and other beats create a lively backdrop for the close harmonies between the two. Misch’s voice also carries a few traces of James Blake. He’s definitely one to watch. Check out the EP for yourself.

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An Interview with Shane Lory

I was waiting for Shane downstairs in Worner when I felt my phone vibrate. It was a text from Shane, saying that he was waiting upstairs for me in the ballpit. I walked upstairs and found him neck deep in an inflatable kiddie pool full of colorful plastic balls, reclined and relaxed. I took off my shoes and climbed in next to him.

Shane’s musical career started at an early age, experimenting with the recorder, the clarinet, and choir by the time he was in fifth grade. He decided he did not like any of these that much, but when his granddad gave him a guitar in sixth grade he found something he wanted to stick with. While teaching himself how to play the guitar, Shane also began writing his own songs and lyrics. Shane described his creative process to me, and although I had trouble following his initial explanation, after some further clarification I realized how unique an approach it was.

“A way that I’ve been going is instead of writing a song that necessarily has a meaning, is starting with the instrumentals, figuring out what the song sort of feels like and then singing nonsense babel until it sounds good, then figuring out what the nonsense babel sounds like in real word terms and ascribing real words to the babel.”

It may sound confusing, but this approach lends itself to songs that stray away from specific intentions that may restrict potential and creates songs with a more vague meaning.

“I read something somewhere that said, ‘you really mature as an artist when you can write songs that aren’t about yourself,’ so I try to do that more often that not. However, I don’t really think I’ve gotten to that maturity yet because they always end up a little autobiographical.”

Shane’s skill as a performer reached a new level when he took a year off between high school and college. He originally intended to spend the year working on farms, but after getting kicked off a farm in Canada full of “hardcore, post apocalyptic, punk, redneck, Canadians,” he found himself in a country he was not familiar with and without any means of making money. All he had with him was his guitar, so he decided to utilize his talent and became a street performer. He paid $20 to get a street performing license and began to play in the Canadian city streets on Victoria Island, learning how to attract an audience and make a good bit of money doing it.

“When you’re on the street it’s important to be louder than everyone else. That only lends itself to success if you can also be really animated and energetic. I got into the style of playing really loud, jumping up and down, dancing, and I was usually barefoot, too, which got a lot of people’s attention.”

He also made his way down to Boulder where he performed on Pearl Street, focusing on improvisational playing on his acoustic. His guitar became the focus of his year abroad, allowing him to make some money while exploring a different style to his musical composition.

Shane has found a confidence in his singing, utilizing it as a way to express his opinions. For Shane, writing and performing are a way to convey his thoughts and ideas to people in a thoughtful and calculated way, whether it be standing on a corner or playing for friends.

“It’s an opportunity to yell my opinion at people and not have that seem like I’m forcing anything on anybody, but also being to premeditate how I’m going to articulate those emotions, which is pretty cool. It’s great to be able to stand on a street corner and express myself to strangers in a way I can’t even express myself to my friends.”

Despite his talent, Shane has been largely absent from the music scene this year. Between running Colorado Springs Food Rescue and the woes of being a junior, Shane has little free time to devote to his music nowadays. He’s hoping to change this and get more involved (heads up to any low commitment bands or musicians searching for a partner). Look out for him at open mic, Food Rescue events, and occasionally downtown playing on a corner. Shane is a really talented musician and songwriter, and if you haven’t heard his stuff I encourage you to check it out. His music is easy to listen to, thought provoking, and has a specific style that is reminiscent of how Shane carries himself day to day.

Link to his music page:




But Who is Randy?

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


SONG OF THE DAY: Bon Iver and James Blake-“Fall Creek Boys Choir”

This song has been around for a few years now, yet every time I listen to it I find something else that I love. It is a beautiful song. James Blake and Bon Iver are two of my favorite artists, and this song remains my favorite of both their work. When I first heard that they had made a song together I was ecstatic. I think the reason this song works so well is because they complement each other. Justin Vernon (Bon Iver) provides what James Blake usually doesn’t- a softer, rawer, sound with the help of his heart-gripping vocals. Blake provides what Bon Iver usually doesn’t- an increasingly complex (and always impressive) multilayered instrumental background that marks all of Blake’s songs, and that works harmoniously with Vernon’s vocals. Focus your attention on the small details- it’s easy to overlook the complexity of this song. There are tons of unique sounds and delights that make up the background, yet can only be heard when listening closely.


SONG OF THE DAY: Lily & Madeleine – “Devil We Know”

Lily & Madeleine are two Ohioan sisters who write simple, quiet songs that express a depth of emotion for their understated image. Their voices match with an eery quality when they sing in unison (you can tell they’re related), and their close harmonies will make you want to listen over and over again.

Their song “Devil We Know” sings about April and incoming spring. The piano riff gently cascades throughout, but it’s the harmonies between the two that truly shine. Enjoy.


SONG OF THE DAY: Blondie- “Heart of Glass”

I would say that ‘pop’ is not something that catches a lot of my interest, however Blondie’s 80’s single “Heart of Glass” is everything that’s  right about this genre of music. It’s upbeat, catchy, and well produced. Her smooth high pitched vocals are deliciously combined with melodious instrumentals and a peppy background beat. Everything about it screams 1980 (in a good way). I can assure any listener that it is impossible to not tap your foot and/or nod your head while listening to this tune. Blondie is and will always remain a total babe, and “Heart of Glass” is a truly great song that demonstrates her striking talent. 




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.





EP OF THE DAY: Alpenglow – “Solitude”

Alpenglow /alp?n?gl?/ – “the rosy light of the setting or rising sun seen on high mountains”

Vermont-based band Alpenglow, formed at Middlebury College a few years back, released their debut EP “Solitude” this past October. Their atmospheric sound paired with the soaring vocals of Graeme Daubert place this band in a ripe spot for future success in today’s indie folk-rock scene.

I had the good fortune of seeing Alpenglow this past summer at a small music festival in Burlington, and I came away with one word: POLISHED. Although this band is in its beginning stages, they have a definitive, artful sound. The songs on this EP will inspire you to go bask in the glorious wilderness of Colorado and perhaps find that rosy glow on the snow-capped mountaintops.

On the title track, the fiddle and three-part harmonies contrast heavily with the amplified sound of the rest of the band, creating a country vs. city dynamic, also present in the lyrics: “If I wanted my solitude, I’d move to the city.”

The band bends these genres and images together with a delicious result.