Tap Into Your Third Eye With Denver's Wilderness Rock Group Open to the Hound

By: Jura Daubenspeck

Get your third eye on.

It is my pleasure to introduce Open to the Hound, the Denver-based musical group that can be best described as “Wilderness Rock”. Founded by the curious Garrison Owen York in 2006, Open to the Hound started as a solo singer/songwriter project, but York always intended for it to become a band. And with that, Open to the Hound became what it is today: a three-piece with York on vocals and guitar, Jarrod Allen Lacy on drums and keys, and Russell Anderson on bass and vocals. 

BLDGBLKS band Open to the Hound. Photo Credit: Aurora Lane

BLDGBLKS band Open to the Hound. Photo Credit: Aurora Lane

Open to the Hound explores the mountains, valleys, and trenches of alternative grunge-folk music. Their music tells the very personal tales of the artists, and it is a testament to the strange and expansive beauty of life. It is about the complexity of human relationships and the even deeper complexity of our relationship with nature. While listening to their music, I hear similarities to other musicians like Arcade Fire, Devotchka, Beirut, and Neil Young. However, Open to the Hound still very much holds their own with their peculiar way of playing.

Wilderness Rock. Photo Credit: Aurora Lane

Wilderness Rock. Photo Credit: Aurora Lane

In 2012, the band released their self-titled album, which includes ten songs written over a six-year span. I enjoy this album most when I close my eyes and let their music-induced images run free, an action I believe York and the gang would appreciate. Listening to each song is a very visceral, stimulating experience. The song, titled “Fish from the Sea” touches on the thoughts I often find myself drifting to on a semi-regular basis:

Just outside the window in the neighboring tree

lives many more creatures than people I’ll ever know.

You talked of this and we sat in benches around a fountain that had no water.

Tropical fish from the sea: what if they’re aware of their ancestry?

Birds on rooftops they do know they are perched.

Perched today!

The trio in action. Photo Credit: Kenneth Hamblin III of WestWord 

The trio in action. Photo Credit: Kenneth Hamblin III of WestWord 

The live performance of their hit song, “Fire” also taps into the trippier elements of their music, which I particularly enjoy. It’s one thing to listen to these guys, but it’s pretty cool to watch them do their thing. Another song that stood out to me is “Black Blood”, which, simply put, tells the story of a young girl’s self-discovery while living in New York City. But like the rest of the songs on this album, the complexity and creativity of the lyrics is just as intriguing as Open to the Hound’s overall sound. The accompanying music video is also a fairly psychedelic experience. Check it out:

Open to the Hound is still making moves, with their recently released single, “Big Deal”, from their sophomore album Starsystem. Their upcoming 5-song EP Way of the Critter was recorded at The Spot Studios and will be released this spring.

So stay tuned for the latest news about Open to the Hound. You can scope out their music on Soundcloud, Spotify, Bandcamp, Reverbnation, and of course, their website.

And give "Big Deal" a listen:

-Jura

All photos, videos, and embedded tracks per the artists featured and those credited. This feature was edited for brevity and clarity by BolderBeat.