More Moovers & Shakers picks

Categories: Lists

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By now, hopefully you've had a chance to peruse this year's Moovers & Shakers. A lot of great stuff released this year, yeah? Too much, in fact. There were more releases that moved us than we had space in the paper. Thank God for the web, eh? As promised, here's more Moovers and Shakers picks. By no means should any of the following albums be considered also-rans. Each of the releases listed after the jump had just as big an impact on us this year as the others. Oh, and this is the first batch. Be on the lookout for more write-ups to come, all of which will be added to this post in the interest of keeping things tidy. -- Dave Herrera


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Animo, Blood In the Water (Self-released). Few things have been as gratifying as watching the affable doofuses of Dork grow into the mature men of Animo. After enduring several personnel shifts, the band changed its name and shored things up with the addition of Brian Johannsen. Blood In the Water, the act's second release, finally delivers on the pop promise hinted at in the sneer of Dork's juvenescent punk. -- DH

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Breathe Carolina, It's Classy Not Classic (Rise). On paper, Breathe Carolina's unlikely fusion of sugary, vocoder-laden synth pop with screamo harmonies seems as ill-conceived and unappetizing a notion as a ketchup popsicle. Somehow, though, David Schmitt and Kyle Even pull the union off with remarkable dexterity and accessibility. -- DH

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Clinging to the Trees of a Forest Fire, Omega Drunk on the Blood of Alpha (Debello Recordings). With a sound that's every bit as brutal and unsettling as the cover art on this debut and as convoluted as the act's moniker, Trees has risen the ranks to become a titan of Denver metal. It hardly surprising to see Flatline Audio's name on this one. Dave Ottero's recorded some of the best metal records to ever to come out of Colorado, including this one. -- DH

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Dan Craig, Skin Grows Thin (Self-released). Dan Craig has a warm, gently worn croon that lends a tangible pathos to contemplative sketches of heartache, particularly on tracks such "See You Around." As his voice quavers, you can feel a geniune sense of longing in lines like, "It hurts to be so close to love/And it's worse when it's almost enough/We were almost enough." -- DH

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Dent, Confi-Dent (Self-released). Dent has always been one of the nicest MCs in Denver, whether freestyling or in the studio, and on this 21-track odyssey, he keeps things compelling from end-to-end. His casual flow and old-school delivery is bolstered by the fat grooves of frequent collaborators Sol Powa and Noel Zancanella, as well as a cast of other maestros. Remember when hip-hop was all about love for the game? Dent does. The cat lives it. -- DH

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Oblio Duo + the Archers, Nuclear War EP (Self-released). While it might be tempting to hang a desultory handle like Americana or alt-country on the ragged, rambling rock Oblio Duo and the Archers make, it does the music no justice. There's a depth to these pastoral odes - overdriven rhythms that give way to freewheeling leads and glinting Rhodes passages -- that drives this outfit from unpaved country roads onto heartworn highways. -- DH

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Jessica Sonner, All We Need (Self-released). On songs like "Be With Me," Jessica Sonner, a Colorado native who came back home after a stint in the Windy City, has a charming, soulful, sunkissed delivery that splits the difference between Colbie Caillat and Joss Stone. Make room on the Hear Music rack, Starbucks. A fresh shipment of wholesome goodness has arrived. -- DH


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