Music News

Critic's Choice

Denali -- which hits the 15th Street Tavern on Saturday, September 21, with Gogogo Airheart and Navy Girls, and joins Black Black Ocean and Façade at CU-Boulder's Club 156 on Sunday, September 22 -- specializes in atmosphere that occupies a middle ground between benign and unsettling. On this Virginia-based band's self-titled debut album, released earlier this year on the Jade Tree imprint, guitarist Cam DiNunzio, bassist Keeley Davis and drummer Jonathan Fuller provide dramatic backdrops against which singer/multi-instrumentalist Maura Davis pitches her thin but evocative voice. Because she's equally adept at purring and caterwauling, tracks like "Relief," which plays the volume-dynamics game to good effect, give off an odd, jittery vibe. Even songs as outwardly static as "Time Away" and "Prozac" maintain a palpable tension. Denali's music may sound familiar at first, but the longer it plays, the moodier and more unpredictable it becomes.
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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts