Concert Reviews

UMS Night Four Travelogue: The Conjugal Visits, Constellation of Cars and more

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Hardly anyone decided to check out Constellations of Cars, but that just meant the show was more intimate, and no one did any talking. Honestly, that alone made the show with the trip to the side of the festivities. This project was a duo. One half the act was Andy Tanner who used to be in what might best be described as a pop punk band with better than average artistic ambitions called Laymen Terms. The other was Kellie Palmblad whose delicate yet passionate voice was (and still is) one of the hallmarks of notable Colorado Springs dream pop band Eyes Caught Fire.

Cars is a much more low key affair with Tanner and Palmblad taking turns at piano and other instruments including acoustic and electric guitar. Palmblad also played the bells and percussion. The two musicians served almost as point and counterpoint in vocals and musical performance, complementing each other well whether texturally or tonally. On the surface it was kind of a singer-songwriter thing but both musicians have a strong knack for using space and quiet in each song.

A song in the middle featured a subtle but emotionally stirring build as Palmblad's vocals wove together phrases that seemed to crescendo for a longer and more subtly than you generally hear in most other singers. It's tempting to say the music was earnest but it was more accomplished than that and more thoughtful.

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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.