Review: Elder Grown Release First Record In Seven Years & With It, They've Found Home

By: Julia Talen

The Durango-based band Elder Grown released their sophomore album last month, and though the band's been playing music for a little over 10 years now, they haven't released a record since 2011 (Fire on the Way). Sam Kelly, the band's saxophonist gave insight into why the group decided to self-title this record: "[it] well represents the band because the group… blends so many different genres throughout a set and can kind of sound like a mixtape… this felt like the best representation [of us as a band]."

Elder Grown.

Elder Grown.

The record certainly showcases a range of talent and skill with a bit of a mixtape vibe. The tunes are explorative organically, highlighting the group’s knack to dig into different genres, yet because Elder Grown has a "jam band" improvisational quality to their compositions, the movement between each genre, whether it's funk, jazz, reggae, or hip hop, flows and works.

The motif nature, a connection to Colorado's landscape, runs throughout the record. The first track, "Feel you in the Sun," brings listeners into the album slowly, like a sun peaking onto the Front Range. The instrumentals including the soft percussion and whiny saxophone linger and wander before the band begins to sing lyrics, "Home lies in this dirt, in this earth/Hope lies in your hands, always now, in your hands." The group's vocal harmonies are rich and layered, similarly to their instrumentals, as the track traverses jazz and rock genres over the course of seven minutes, ending full circle on the same notes that it opened with.

The next track, "I Like You," is a more upbeat switch from the opener. The tune has a lo-fi feel with hazy vocals. The funky sax and bass carry through this short track, and the song has an energy to it similar to the adrenaline rush of having a crush that the lyrics allude to, with twists and turns that reflect the ups and downs of human emotion.

The third track "Dreamin'’" showcases another side of Elder Grown: hip-hop. It opens up with a bit of a disco feel but dives into hip-hop with facets of the track and a reminiscence to Jurassic 5. Once again the sax brings a bit of a funky edge to the tune as the lyrics tell a story we can all relate to of a relationship that has ended, but both parties "dream" of what it would be like to go back to the good times.

As the album continues on, the tracks continue to survey the skillful variability this group's tapped into. "Animal" reminded me of Portugal the Man (another very versatile band), "Rolling Thunder" has an Eastern European feel to it with rootsy instrumentals, and "Never Stop Dancing" has a catchy electro-pop ambiance.

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"Made or Ate the Bread," another longer track, was one of my favorites. Lyrically the tune is poetic: "Be mindful how you made or ate the bread/Remember you don't always catch the fish you’re fed/With this in mind I give my thanks and I get my rest." The tune picks up with a groovy beat and more reggae vibes before cascading into a dreamy and wandering interlude juxtaposing the upbeat pieces of the song and holding a mirror up to one of the albums themes: that though you may wander or stray, you always come home to yourself.

Elder Grown has come home to themselves with this album. The sax carries through their tracks, as do the themes of relationships, human complexities, and nature allowing them to seamlessly and organically survey all sorts of musical genres that represent the band's musicality. There's a fearlessness embedded in the tracks. Elder Grown goes for it because they've come home to themselves in this self-titled record.

Check them out this weekend Saturday, May 26th at Denver Day of Rock at the Welton Street Stage.

-Julia

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

The Weekend Six: Six Shows to See Memorial Day Weekend

By: Hannah Oreskovich

If you’re not at the ‘Squatch, you should probably be at these spots:

Today (Friday 05/27):

Natural Motives and Intergalactic Peace Jelly at Boulder House in Boulder 9PM-Close

Boulder House has recently been booking live music, and for a venue that was formerly known for only booking DJs (Absinthe House), this place has the possibility to bring a refreshing jolt to the local scene. Tonight’s lineup at the House will really get you movin’! Local jam/funk band Natural Motives is joining forces with Boulder’s Intergalactic Peace Jelly, an improv rock band, for a night of experimental and groovin’ sounds. Catch their sets; show starts at 9PM.

Check out Natural Motives’ latest release “Stress Less”:

Jus Sayin at Conor O’Neill’s Irish Pub in Boulder 10PM-Close

Jus Sayin.

Jus Sayin.

Funk neo-soul outfit Jus Sayin are holding down the stage at Conor’s tonight for the holiday weekend! Fronted by Boulder’s own Dechen Hawk, the five-piece boasts a solid lineup of accomplished musicians who are prepared to help you get down on the dance floor this evening. Roll over to Pearl and check these guys out!

Listen to Jus Sayin’s live version of their tune “Questions”:

Tomorrow (Saturday 05/28):

Denver Day of Rock at the 16th Street Mall in Denver 230PM-Close

King Cardinal.

King Cardinal.

Amp the Cause is throwing a free one-day music festival on the 16th Street Mall tomorrow! There will be food trucks, a beer garden, and 25 bands sprinkling performances across five outdoor stages. Dearling, Gipsy Moon, HONEYHONEY, King Cardinal, and The Burroughs are on the list of our acts to see at the fest, and you can view the whole lineup here. Stop by and dance around! (PS: Peep our exclusive chat with King Cardinal and our recent review of The Burroughs’ new singles.)

Read more about Denver Day of Rock and how Amp the Cause gives back.

Slow Caves Desert Minded EP Release Show at Downtown Artery in Fort Collins 8PM-Close

Slow Caves.

Slow Caves.

Just this week, we dropped a review on Slow Caves’ new Desert Minded EP. We dig the band’s surfer rock vibes, and we have a feeling you will too. Tomorrow night, the group will be shreddin’ for you live in their hometown at Downtown Artery. They’ll have physical copies of their new release ready for you, and they’ll be playing the tunes live. Get ready to stage dive! This is gonna be a fun one.

Read our review of Slow Caves’ Desert Minded EP.

Card Catalog featuring Georges Octobous at The No Name Bar in Boulder 10PM-Close

Card Catalog.

Card Catalog.

There’s a new bluesy folk act on the scene and tonight is their debut performance at The No Name Bar. Card Catalog is a recently formed four-piece comprised of Jenn Tatro (vocals/guitar), Dalton Clayton (lead guitar/bass), Rob Spears (bass/guitar/synth/drums/backup vocals), and Ricky Brewer (drums/bass/guitar/backup vocals). Each musician packs their own punch, which is why this new project is totally worth checking out live! Plus they’ve got a special guest on the lineup, George Octobous. Get yourself a seat behind the big brown door tomorrow night! We’ll see you there.

All Weekend

Boulder Creekfest at the Boulder Creek in Boulder - Various Times and Stages

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Eats, music, and brews! That’s how we want to spend our Memorial Day Weekend. And lucky for us, it’s time for Boulder’s annual Creekfest! There is a slew of local talent on the lineup, including: The Alcapones, Analog Sun with Special Guests, Augustus,The Delta Sonics, Farmer Sisters, Gasoline Lollipops, Let the Beat Speak, Monocle Band, Riley Ann, Whiskey Autumn, and more! Grab your raincoat and head out peeps. See you from the Ferris wheel!

Get Creekfest’s full schedule for the weekend here.

Cheers to the holiday weekend!

-Hannah

Follow Hannah on twitter and instagram.

All photos, videos, and embedded tracks per the artists featured.