Denver Dalley’s artist recommendation: “Years ago, I was playing bass for Har Mar Superstar, opening for Sia. On the first day of the tour, I met my “long lost twin brother,” Gus Seyffert, who was playing guitar and singing backing vocals for Sia. Gus had a very similar hairstyle/color, we’re the same height and both grew up in the Midwest. We had a whole tour full of “Parent Trap-esque” hijinks (sound men especially couldn’t tell us apart) and became great friends. Willoughby is Gus’ solo project – he pretty much plays everything with some guest vocalists/musicians. Outside of Willoughby and Sia, Gus has also played bass for Norah Jones, and more recently, The Black Keys.”
Not familiar with Willoughby? Denver suggests you start here:
“Take a listen to I Know What You’re Up To, Willoughby’s first record. This album is a true beauty – one of the most chilled out, layed back, minimal (yet full of layers of headphone candy) and relaxing albums I’ve ever heard. With each listen, you’ll discover more layers and things that you hadn’t noticed before.
Gus gave me a copy and it has been on HEAVY rotation on my iPod ever since. It’s my favorite relaxation album – my ‘go to record’ when I’m unwinding on planes, trains and tour buses. It’s mastered perfectly, all of the songs are at a nice level, and they are each like perfect lullabies. Gus has a very mellow and soothing voice and each instrument on the record is played and mixed to perfectly compliment the others. I love each and every track, but my favorite would probably be Frankenstein at a mere 2:19. It’s a catchy song with one of my all-time favorite guitar solos and it has an almost southwestern spooky vibe. I can’t say enough about this perfect album.”
About our guest author, Denver Dalley: As far as alt-rock resumes go, it’s hard to top Denver Dalley’s. Denver is from Omaha, Nebraska and grew up playing in alternative garage bands. Denver moved around a bit, but found himself back in Nebraska for college and eventually hooked up with former childhood friend (and alt-rock hero) Conor Oberst. They formed the band Desaparecidos in 2001 and Dalley served as the primary songwriter. Their sound has been labeled as ‘anthemic thrash’ by Rolling Stone and the group recently reformed, released a single and is preparing for a tour that starts in late August. In the time since the Desaparecidos’ release of Read Music/Speak Spanish in 2002, Denver has been busy playing bass for Har Mar Superstar and the Watson Twins, but he also launched his own solo effort, Statistics, which yielded an EP in 2003 and two stunning follow-up albums that are less abrasive than the sounds of Desaparecidos. The records are electronic based but don’t stray too far into danciness – instead they feel closer to the Postal Service or U2’s tinkering with beats and keyboards. The Statistics project is back with a new album (hear it below) called Peninsula and it doesn’t disappoint. Strong hip movers like Take the Lead and the quieter back-to-back Picture of Success (a Rilo Kiley cover) and Sendoff are making this collection a Rock Torch Summer favorite. Be sure to get your free download from the album at the Afternoon Records website.