Charles Manion was asleep as his van hurtled down the highway, bound for Cincinnati. He wasn’t at the wheel after spending the previous night at a wedding. At 2:30 p.m., he was still hungover.
Cincinnati is far from home for Manion, who plays in the Denver, Colorado-based emo band Floating Teeth with Selena Kelley and Reychel Saflor. The band will play the Bishop Monday, July 3, alongside local bands Lindsy and Jacky Boy.
Floating Teeth’s current tour — its first in the Midwest — is going well, Saflor, the band’s guitar and bass player said. The turnout at shows in the Midwest has been better than the band had expected, and the reception is better.
“There’s not a lot of bands like us in Denver,” Saflor said. “There’s more folk and indie rock up there.”
While indebted to indie rock — Saflor said Modest Mouse is a big influence — the band also draws inspiration from the post-hardcore of Washington D.C.‘s Dismemberment Plan and the energy of Chicago’s Cap’n Jazz.
Lo-fi — a term sometimes used to describe the questionable fidelity of a record and other times used to refer to an entire sub-genre of indie rock — has also left its mark on the band, according to Floating Teeth’s Bandcamp page.
The static on the band’s demo and debut album, “MISS,” is as much a stylistic choice as it is a resourceful use of what equipment Manion had available to him during the recording process, Saflor said. In the absence of a proper studio, Manion tied microphones to whatever he could in the band’s practice space.
The DIY-attitude carries through to the band’s live show, Saflor said. Everyone in the band plays more than one instrument and writes their own songs, and the lineup during any given song reflects that.
Most of the time, a song is sung by whoever wrote it, but that’s not always the case. When the band cover’s Modest Mouse’s “Shit Luck,” they change instruments after every verse.
“We take on whatever roll is needed at whatever given time,” Saflor said. “Sometimes there’s a lot of shuffling.”
In spite of Floating Teeth’s three songwriters, band members refute any notion of McCartney/Lennon/Ringo dynamic; their songs reflect a singular voice, one whose hesitant and self-deprecating lyrics underscore the cathartic power of its music, Kelley and Saflor said.
Floating Teeth’s next project, “Daisy” is due out this fall.
Tickets for Monday’s show at the Bishop are available online and at the door for $5.