Cole Becker of the Oakland-based band SWMRS woke up in the Middle-of-Nowhere, Nebraska, earlier than usual to chat with me about their new album, Drive North, and to give me a little history lesson on what he calls "populous music."

"We wanted to create something unique that not a lot of people were doing in terms of diversity of song type," Becker said of what sets the group's third studio album apart from their previous projects. "We kind of like, shamelessly incorporate all of our influences...[all the extremes] of alternative music."

Referencing their 2015 hit "Miley" that received critical acclaim from the media, Becker says they're not afraid of sounding "pop-y."

"I call it 'populous music,'" said Becker. "Populism is a form of politics. It's born out of...the masses being really dissatisfied with status quo, popular politics...It speaks to a lot of people."

Yes, Cole Becker is super-duper intellectual. So much so, that if he wasn't playing music, he'd choose to be in school the rest of his life to learn "all sorts of things." He also knows all about the Ogallala Aquifer, the underground reservoir that gives life to the many, many, many...many, many fields of Nebraska. (How he knows or remembers this, I have no clue!)

Hear SWMRS' single "Figuring It Out" on 94.3 The X, and catch the band at Lost Lake Lounge in Denver Tuesday, March 22 at 8 p.m. Listen to Mollie's interview with Cole below!