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It’s debatable which is more striking: Gauntlet Hair‘s awesome name or its explosive sound. The duo of Andy R. and Craig Nice is originally from Chicago, but relocated to Colorado, which has become one of the country’s leading incubators of glazed-over art pop. The group’s self-titled debut, which was released in October on Dead Oceans, is full of ear-catching yelps, woozy guitar reverb, and bumping drums. Gauntlet Hair has earned something of a reputation for being elusive, and this email interview won’t change that. But they did discuss their dream tour (Seal in 1993!) and their lack of familiarity with the District. They play DC9 tonight with Mercies.

Washington City Paper: It seems like a lot of blogs define your genre as “unclassifiable”. How would you describe your own sound?

Andy R.: I couldn’t say really…All I know is that it is going to change.

WCP: How long have you two been playing music? How has the Denver music scene developed since then?

AR: Craig and I have been making music together for about 10 years. We’re from Chicago so we don’t know how the Denver scene has developed since then. I can say that in the past three years that we’ve been here, it hasn’t changed very much. There have always been talented people there.

WCP: Did you have any particular influences when recording the album? What were they?

AR: I personally try to stray as much as possible from any specific influences while recording and I’m sure Craig feels the same. We don’t really listen to a lot if music…Nothing current at least. Yeah.

WCP: Is there anyone you’d like to collaborate or tour with?

GH: I couldn’t name anyone current. Maybe with Orange Juice back in like ’84’ or opening for Seal in ’93.

WCP: Have you ever played in D.C. before? What are you looking forward to seeing in the city?

GH: We played D.C. while on tour with the Dodos. I don’t know much about the city, though. Maybe you can give us a tour while we’re in town?

Gauntlet Hair performs tonight at 8:30 p.m. at DC9. $10.

GAUNTLET HAIR – I WAS THINKING from ( . )( . ) on Vimeo.