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Over the next few days, One Track Mind will be spotlighting music from artists performing at this year’s Underground Music Showcase here in Denver, Colorado.
Catch today’s featured act, Gauntlet Hair, performing tonight, Thursday, July 21st, at 9:00 pm at Hi-Dive.
For a duo, Gauntlet Hair manage to make a lot of beautiful noise. The pair hail from the Denver suburb of Lafayette and first made waves with a show at the Rhinoceropolis art space run by (previously featured artist) Pictureplane. That performance led to the inclusion of this track, “I Was Thinking,” on Pictureplane’s MtyMx showcase mixtape.
From its opening moments, “I Was Thinking” demands the listener’s attention, shaking them into consciousness with heavily processed guitars and the sharp slap of a digital beat. It’s easy to see what made Pictureplane a fan of the band’s sound; there are undoubtedly some similarities between the two bands’ approaches. However, Gauntlet Hair’s influences tend toward other musical orbits, as well. There are trippy, tribal nods to Panda Bear in some places, while the guitar work elsewhere recalls A Certain Ratio’s minor key moments.
Of course, a band’s influences are hardly important if they don’t to something exceptional with them, and this is precisely where Gauntlet Hair excel. Over the course of five minutes, the pair turn in a singular performance which makes allusions to their musical heroes without ever sounding much like any of them in particular. It is a mesmerizing single, full of unexpected detours and ripe with melody and dissonance. Most of all, “I Was Thinking” piques interest about what these two gentlemen have in store for us next–namely their debut LP for the Dead Oceans imprint.