Music News

The Pseudo Dates

Denver has long been a home to intelligent, sophisticated pop music. In their relatively brief time together, the Pseudo Dates have established themselves as purveyors of thoughtful, ambitious, infectious pop, with songs that recall the Kinks, early Floyd and various acts from the Elephant 6 collective. On the eve before its inaugural tour of the Pacific Northwest, we had a casual conversation with the bandmembers about their songwriting and the new EP.

Westword: Who is Jude Morales, and how did his painting "Hummingbird" become the cover art for your new album?

Nathan Brazil: His art was at St. Mark's. I was having coffee there one day, and I thought his stuff was just beautiful. It has this childlike, cartoony quality, but not cheesy — more emotionally deep somehow. It's all clouds and birds and the city jumbled together. I e-mailed him and asked him about us maybe using a piece of his for our album cover. He liked the music, and he said he had always wanted to have his art on a band's CD. The "Hummingbird" picture had a feeling to it. His work has a melancholy quality that at the same time isn't depressing or dark.

John Fate: The fact that it's pouring down rain in this picture and there's this beautiful hummingbird with these beautiful flowers — even though it's pouring and you might not want to be outside, there's still a beauty there.

Is your songwriting in any way autobiographical, or do you use music to explore these issues?

Suzi Allegra: A lot of my song lyrics are inspired by autobiographical events and people in my life, but then they can evolve into something else that's not just about the factual event; it can become more conceptual. Two of our songs are about relationships gone awry, but also about this sort of seasonal feeling of being overwhelmed by how beautiful everything is.

NB: "Tambourines and Toasters" is about someone from a long time ago, but it's much broader. My other songs on the EP are about giving up and panic attacks.

Why did you call your EP Because We Love You? Considering some of the subject matter of a good number of the songs, it might seem somewhat tongue-in-cheek.

JF: Why do you do anything for anyone you care for? It's because you love them.

SA: I'm putting what I love out into the world because I love it, even though sometimes there are things about it that could be better.

NB: For me, it was kind of a reaction to cynicism. There's so much damned cynicism. Yeah, lots of things suck, and there's lots of problems, and I don't suggest you turn your back on those things. But there are plenty of bands that have contempt for their audiences, and they're dark and scary — all of that sort of depressing stuff. Not that there's anything wrong with that. It's just another angle for the whole thing.

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Tom Murphy is a writer, visual artist and musician from Aurora, Colorado. He was a prolific music writer for Westword and a documenter of the Denver music scene.