Looking to catch a show? Denver's music scene has you covered. Here are four must-see concerts going on this week.
Thursday, February 27, hi-dive.
I, for one, was hooked on the Shivas after a single spin of “You Make Me Wanna Die,” the sludgy, swinging psych single with old-school lyrical simplicity. “You run around and treat me cruel/But I’m still in love with you,” bemoans singer and guitarist Jared Molyneux, really dragging out the “ooh” in “cruel.” Molyneux, drummer and singer Kristin Leonard and bassist Eric Shanafelt started the band while still in high school in Portland, and, not unlike many of their garage-psych peers, came up through the local DIY scene before turning into rock-and-roll road dogs. Fifth LP Dark Thoughts arrived last year — lean, mean, and throttling as ever. Not that we would expect anything less.
Friday, February 28, hi-dive.
The ’80s shlock-pop revival is rather inescapable within bedroom and indie pop at the moment, but there’s something refreshing about Luna Luna’s self-aware spin on the trend. Case in point: the song the Dallas-bred band titled “80's Tune,” a highlight of the group's 2018 debut LP, For Lovers Only. Most recently the group released its second album, the short and sweet Carousel, which includes collaborations with Pretty Boy Aaron and Victor Internet, both rising bedroom-pop stars in their own right. Fans of Part Time, BOYO and Banes World will find plenty to love. And in this case, if you're not into super-gauzy synths, Luna Luna can't help you.
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Friday, February 28, Lost Lake.
Friday is something of a special occasion for local indie-pop outfit Modern Leisure, led by former Shady Elders member Casey Banker. The new music he promised at the start of 2020 is coming to fruition, and this week's show will celebrate the release of new single “Heartstar,” dropped online on Valentine’s Day. It’s the first Modern Leisure track to be recorded on tape — a genuine Tascam, no less. Let’s sidestep the tape-versus-digital debate and get to the point: On the single, Banker is basking in the bittersweet glow of a new long-distance relationship with plucky guitar work and a tenderness not unlike that of the Shins or Bright Eyes. It makes us want to fall in love all over again.
Anna of the North
Saturday, February 29, Larimer Lounge.
Feel free to take the “of the North” part of rising electro-pop star Anna Lotterud’s stage name seriously — and not in some tired Game of Thrones-related way, either. Lotterud was raised in the small Norwegian town of Gjøvik and now lives in Oslo. She met her producer and co-writer Brady Daniell-Smith while studying graphic design in Melbourne, Australia, and the two got to work making music together. After the viral success of a handful of initial singles and the release of 2017 debut album Lovers, the creative pair split amicably. Left to her own devices, Lotterud released Dream Girl, one of last year’s best and breeziest electro-pop albums, chock-full of vintage R&B beats and a newfound lyrical confidence. It's more than enough proof that she's cut out to go it alone.
Listen to The Shivas, Luna Luna, Modern Leisure, Anna of the North and more favorites from Westword writers on our Westword Staff Picks playlist.