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Olympic Size / Cowboy Indian Bear / Another Holiday

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Kansas City’s Olympic Size purveys a slow and spacious brand of so-called “sadcore” (it’s not really that depressing) that never rushes to the finish line. The six-piece group has developed over the course of the past eight years, starting as a film-scoring collaboration between Billy Smith and Wade Williamson and finding its present footing with the addition of Kirsten Paludan (vocals, keys), Chris Tolle (bass), John Bersuch (drums), and Mike Walker (trombone). Favoring a sublime blend of reverb-soaked guitars, vibes, light drums, and coed harmonies, Olympic Size is the easiest band to talk over that you might actually want to shut up for. Cowboy Indian Bear is a superb new Lawrence band featuring former Jen Say Kwahs frontman Marty Hillard along with ex-Kennedy Luck Clubbers C.J. Calhoun and Beau Bruns. Picking up where those bands left off, CIB composes deft and brainy indie pop with party-down beats and lots of melodic left turns. Points of reference include Death Cab and Architecture in Helsinki, but these dudes are digging deep into the well to come up with something fresh. We all change, but it's a rare that a musician completely abandons a style for something totally different. These days, Another Holiday's earnest, simple melodies, and signature female vocals call to mind early Rilo Kiley-without a trace of the formative ska origins of most the band. Having released "Landing Space For Leaves" in March of 2007, the band is currently laboring over its next creation.

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