Precious is Cedar Falls’ Oliver Weilein, and “He Has Abandoned Us” is a concept album based around the story of a man (of unspecified historic time) who loses his family to the plague and retires to an abandoned temple to beseech God, who never answers him.
The opening track “Before We Go” on the reunited Koplant No’s new album “Elker” is a compound of skittering synth decay and dripping percussion flitting around a lone trumpet carrying a mournful melody. It’s a track that would fit perfectly on a Jack Lion record — which seems obvious when you consider that fellow Iowa City group Jack Lion shares Brian Lewis Smith on trumpet and Drew Morton on bass.
Hearing a tune like “Variations on a Heartbeat” is a bit like visiting an old friend. It’s the kind of skillfully addictive pop tune that has you singing along by the second listen. But for Dizzy Bridges, the solo project of Iowa City musician SJ Gonzales, that isn’t enough. […]
Texas Hold’Em Lava Dome consists of a “Venn Diagram of brothers and physics grad school classmates” who use their scientific knowledge of sound and space to launch the listener into another world. […]
Dennis James and Lauryn Shapter are an Iowan roots/country duo who tour constantly around the middle of the United States. Their music is based in the folk tradition that wouldn’t seem novel 50 years ago. […]
A self-described sententious high school student, Jordan Adams (Conetrauma, Jailbus) was frequently skipping class and finding herself in Saturday detention, where she would spend her time in the art room. One day, when sorting through stacks of art prints as she usually did, a particular picture caught her eye. The dark photograph was of a blank wall that read “Peanut Ricky as a thunderbolt.” Adams, now 20 years old, has since released all of her solo music under the namesake. […]
When long-time Iowa City scene staple Dave Zollo and Lee County troubadour William Elliott Whitmore started performing together a couple years ago as Middle Western with members of Zollo’s band The Body Electric and Chicago guitarist Stevie Doyle, it seemed a natural fit. […]
“Layers” is storytelling symphonic rock at its best. There’s an epic, synth-y feel that could set it as the soundtrack to an ’80s fantasy film — but the narrative is more concise. These aren’t the kind of instrumental tracks that exist to travel alongside someone else’s story. They’re self-contained tales.
Phillip Klampe is a veteran of the dark ambient scene, self-releasing his first cassettes in the mid-1990s. His nom de ambient is Homogenized Terrestrials, which is a nod to his similarly long career as a grocery store dairy department manager. […]
The early 1970s was a dynamic time for country music. The old guard of ’50s and ’60s country artists started taking a backseat to the rise of artists crossing over with rock and R&B who took over the Top 40: artists like Glen Campbell, Mac Davis, John Denver, Elvis in his post-’68 Comeback period, Jerry Reed and J.J. Cale. […]