Review: After Remixing A Track For Bon Iver, Nightshifts Has A Debut Single Of His Own

By: Julia Talen

After catching his first break remixing a Bon Iver song and being retweeted by Justin Vernon (who then released the track on JagJaguwar), Toronto musician and producer Nightshifts has released his debut single, "All Along," and its dreamy, lo-fi, vintage-y vibe does not disappoint.

Listen to “All Along”:

Nightshifts shared, "I wrote and recorded the track in my unfurnished apartment when I first moved downtown; just sitting on the floor with my guitar, mics, and synths. I crafted it to sound like it was created at the bottom of the sea."

Nightshifts crafts a wistful, psychedelic track with an underwater vibe that emerges as the tune swims through verse and refrain, fluctuating by way of Nightshift's wailing “oh’s,” echoing guitar, and synths. Nightshifts lyrics like "scratchin' at the surface/like an endless skipping stone/I want to dive into your waters/want to be with you alone" allude to the deep waters of pensive thought one floats in and out of when longing to tell someone that you love them.

Nightshifts.

Nightshifts.

“All Along” vacillates between misty and murky reverberations to a refrain with rooted beats and soulful impressions, like the transition to a night shift; the haze of a bright, neon sign made more visible in the night's obscurity. The catchy bits interspersed throughout blurry, echoing resonances get stuck in your head, making you want to dance a little, as Nightshifts continues to experiment with sound and mixing in this debut single. Nightshifts will be releasing a new song each month over the next year, so keep up with what he drops next here.

-Julia

All photos, videos, and embedded tracks per the artists featured and those credited. This feature was edited for brevity and clarity by BolderBeat.
 

joemurray. Releases Debut Indie Single From Upcoming Record 'Free'

By: Norman Hittle

From his upcoming record Finally, Joe Murray (stylized as joemurray.) has recently released his first single “Free” - a jazz influenced indie rock track about relational freedom.

Listen to “Free”:

With fluttering, fluted synths leading the charge, the song combines the elements of electric guitar, drum machines, and a sax lead with some heavily affected and lo-fi vocals. The sonic combination gives a sort of ominous alt/pop vibe.

joemurray.

joemurray.

Based in Denver, CO, joemurray. is a multi-instrumentalist who has been creating music in his bedroom for years. With the upcoming release of his new music, he is making his first exciting steps into the Colorado music scene.

joemurray. told BolderBeat, “My debut EP Finally is an exploration of self-centeredness. There’s been many songs and topics I’ve written about over the years, and I wanted this album to be a reflection of that. These are things I’ve been feeling for a long time, and have finally found a sound I’m happy with. Finally, while focusing on that self-centeredness, will touch on love, addiction, power, and nostalgia. I’ve been working really hard to create something that I’m proud of, and I hope that comes through in the music.”

The full release of Finally is slotted for November 3rd, so keep an eye out for it on Spotify and Facebook.

-Norman

All photos, videos, and embedded tracks per the artists featured and those credited. This feature was edited for brevity and clarity by BolderBeat.

Review: Get Along's New 'Let My People Go' EP Explores Eclectic Indie Dance Punk

By: Norman Hittle

Monument’s most amazing music couple is back on our radar with their newest EP: a five song track list featuring their previously released single “Death of a Spirit Animal,” and four other brave and eclectic compositions focusing on breaking one’s own chains and embracing destiny.

Listen to Get Along’s single “Death of a Spirit Animal”:

Get Along is indie dance/punk duo Nick and Cara Yanez, and since 2012 they've been constantly upping their musical game with each successive release. Let My People Go is no exception to their continuous upward trajectory, and along with it comes an array of new sounds that should impress existing fans and new ones alike.

Get Along.

Get Along.

The EP christens us with “Death of a Metal Band,” an Arcade Fire type of upbeat, yet mercurial dance/pop number built upon piano and complimented by heavy guitars in the chorus. “Death of a Spirit” animal follows in a Feist-ish indie/pop array featuring delayed guitars and a brass section, flowing into “Let My People Go I” with its nods to Florence + the Machine in a drawn-out orchestral intro that bleeds into an electronic body of the song. “Let My People Go II” follows with an altogether different vibe. This part of the composition features hints of MUSE along with some intelligent usage of a vocoder for backing vocals. Finally, we arrive at “Exodus” and it's somber yet longing brightness in a style that’s familiar to FUN. in it’s piano man lounge-style which invokes a heavy feeling of reminiscence.

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You can check out Let My People Go on all major streaming services. And you can also join the duo in person at their EP Release Show this Friday September 22nd, at Syntax Physic Opera along with Turvy Organ and Ghostpulse. Details here.

-Norman

All photos, videos, and embedded tracks per the artists featured and those credited. This feature was edited for brevity and clarity by BolderBeat.

Where To Catch Matt Rouch & The Noise Upstairs This Fall

By: Hannah Oreskovich

Earlier this summer, BolderBeat’s man on the street Zach Dahmen caught up with singer/songwriter Matt Rouch at Denver’s Underground Music Showcase. It had been a year or so since we’d last chatted with Matt, and the frontman of Matt Rouch & The Noise Upstairs has been busy.

Matt Rouch & The Noise Upstairs 

Matt Rouch & The Noise Upstairs 

After the success of his 2016 self-released debut record, The Beautiful and the Damned, Rouch and his band have been touring the state, opening for acts like Ian Mahan and Kristin Diable. The Americana quartet have also played a number of festivals, like Spread The Word, The UMS, and even Boulder’s Porchfest.

Listen to The Beautiful and the Damned:

Rouch, who describes himself as a “southpaw whiskey-loving Virgininian,” now calls Denver home, along with bandmates Alex Fostar (violin/guitar), Stu Guarney (upright bass), and Ricky Brewer (drums). The four-piece have been in the process of recording new music, some of which you may be privileged enough to here at one of their upcoming fall shows. Rouch still plays solo often as well, which is a special treat to hear if you can swing by one of his shows.

This Tuesday, September 19th, Matt Rouch & The Noise Upstairs will actually share the stage with renowned jazz and blues singer/songwriter Pokey Lafarge at Denver’s Gothic Theatre, marking one of their biggest shows to date. They’ve also managed to lock down a Summit Music Hall set with Cowboy Mouth on Friday, October 13th. Needless to say, Rouch & Co. are rising fast in Colorado’s scene, so make sure to snag tickets to one of their upcoming sets here. We’re excited to see this Americana folk outfit in action.

Keep up with Matt Rouch & The Noise Upstairs on Facebook.

-Hannah

Follow Hannah on Instagram and Twitter.

All photos, videos, and embedded tracks per the artists featured and those credited. This feature was edited for brevity and clarity by BolderBeat.

Sweden's INVSN Bringing Post Punk Dystopian Pop To Larimer Lounge This Monday (09/18)

By: Norman Hittle

Hailing from the more isolated parts of northern Sweden, INVSN (Invasionen) will take the stage at Larimer Lounge this Monday, September 18th for one of their tour stops in a show curated by Brooklyn Vegan. This five-piece dabbles in post-punk/dystopian pop with a backing of alt rock. Check out the video for their single “This Constant War”:

Regarding the name INVSN (Invasionen, which roughly translates to “the invasion”), the band has said: “We did a couple of records in our native tongue under the name of Invasionen but when we decided to take this globally we felt that a change in language and a new name would be in place.”

INVSN.

INVSN.

INVSN's sound definitely has a post rock/punk vibe with a great deal of raw instrumentation and some more refined pop feels to give it a very gritty, yet well produced appeal very reminiscent of Love and Rockets with hints of Broken Social Scene and Joy Division.

Take a gander at INVSN's full album:

Along with Dead Orchids, INVSN will be making an appearance at the Larimer Lounge Monday as part of their American tour. Details and tickets here!

Keep up with INVS on Facebook.

-Norman

All photos, videos, and embedded tracks per the artists featured and those credited. This feature was edited for brevity and clarity by BolderBeat.

Gasoline Lollipops Brought A Storm Of Sound To Debut Red Rocks Performance

By: Hannah Oreskovich

There's a certain feeling of pride you get when you see local artists accomplish something big, like when The Yawpers were signed with Bloodshot Records or when Nathaniel Rateliff & The Nightsweats got their first Jimmy Fallon gig and blasted into the international spotlight. This week, that same heartwarming feeling was much aglow as fans watched Colorado’s Gasoline Lollipops take the stage at the state’s best, Red Rocks Amphitheatre.

Clay Rose.

Clay Rose.

The GasPops, as the band is more affectionately known to fans, first started back in 2009. Founding and original member Clay Rose, who is also the project’s frontman, grew up between Boulder & Nashville’s music markets. Piecing together sounds from each city’s scene, along with other influences, GasPops music combines punk, alternative, folk, country, and rock’n’roll. The Boulder band have been called everything from gypsy punk to “dirt floor folk” and played just about every venue in the state to date over the last six years.

Except for The Rocks. And that's why Monday’s show was just so special.

As the opening entertainment for the film Twister, the last “Film On The Rocks” of the summer for Denver Film Society’s series, Gasoline Lollipops brought a real storm of sound to the stage. There was a boot-stompin’ thunder of drums and standup bass (courtesy of Adam Perry and Brad Morse respectively), tempestuous, warm crackles of sound from Rose’s harmonica mic and Jeb Bows’ (Gregory Alan Isakov) violin solos, and a whirlwind of tight, raining vocal harmonies between Alexandra Schwan and Rose. Donny Ambory’s electric guitar playing also added a swirl of heated rebelliousness to the mix, an element the Gasoline Lollipops are well-known to evoke in their live shows.

GasPops on the Rocks.

GasPops on the Rocks.

The band opened their hour set with “Smoke and Steam” and played songs from several of their records, including “Death,” “Longest Night,” “Love Is Free,” “The Wire,” and “White Trash.” The six-piece also introduced us to some new tunes from their upcoming record Soul Mine, “Leaving Alone” and “Burns.” And the crowd, who sat for the film, were on their feet for the entirety of the GasPops’ set. There were hollers, cheers, and a lot of dancing happening between the night’s glowing rocks, which seem to be common sights and sounds at the punk rock hoedown that is a Gasoline Lollipops show.

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Overall, Gasoline Lollipops played a very Red Rocks-worthy performance for their debut at the venue. After the show, several crowd members voiced that they hoped for a GasPops storm to hit the rocks again next year. I'm hoping for it too but until then, catch them at the Fox Theatre this December for their Soul Mine vinyl release show, or drop everything and roll with them on their upcoming overseas tour this fall, where the GasPops storm of sound will be raging on.

Keep up with Gasoline Lollipops here.

-Hannah

Follow Hannah on Instagram and Twitter.

All photos, videos, and embedded tracks per the artists featured and those credited. This feature was edited for brevity and clarity by BolderBeat.

Festival Of The Muses Set To Cultivate The Feminine Spirit Through Music, Workshops, & More

By: Mirna Tufekcic

It’s called the Festival of the Muses, but more than just a festival in the general sense of the word, it is an intentional gathering of like-minded people meant to cultivate the creative, feminine spirit through music, skilled workshops, meditation, and oh- soaking in hot springs.  

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The idea for such a gathering came to Mackenzie Page, the frontwoman of Gipsy Moon, a couple of years ago. Her and I sat down this summer to talk about her idea as it was coming to fruition.  

After spending a lot of time on the road with her bandmates, predominantly surrounded by men in the van and at music venues across the nation, Mackenzie would longingly meet the occasional female artist in passing, wishing she could keep that energetic field with her longer.  After awhile of witnessing the overtly masculinized music scene, Mackenzie felt how much she missed the feminine energy around her while being on the road. She realized the lack of female artists and the feminine spirit in the music scene. Eventually it became obvious to her that the feminine goddess is missing in many ways from our modern, Western way of life- and that it needed a reawakening. So, about a year and a half ago, she decided to bring the idea of the Festival of the Muses into reality. With the help of a very supportive, active, and visionary community, the event is set to take place this weekend at the Joyful Journey Hot Springs near Crestone, Colorado.  

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Spearheaded by three powerful women, Bonnie Paine and Bridget Law of Elephant Revival and Mackenzie herself, Festival of the Muses is welcoming men and women to shift away from patriarchy and a masculinized way of being in the world and experience what it feels like to approach an art form and skill through the feminine lens. The workshops at the festival are intended to awaken creativity within each person and empower the feminine nature of equality and non-competitive aspirations. The workshops range from bookbinding, painting, and tarot readings to meditation and making medicine through movement and herbs. Each is led by skilled men and women who have cultivated their craft over the years through a dedicated practice, and by honoring the divine feminine. The evenings at the fest will fill the air with music by various local artists, including the power trio of Mackenzie, Bonnie, and Bridget. The Joyful Journey Hot Springs spa will have open doors throughout the day to soak in the springs and, depending on your lodging and ticket purchase, even extended hours into the evening.

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I would wager a weekend of intentional and powerful immersion with the feminine is likely something most of us need, whether we want to accept it or not. So, if you’re one of those people who reads this and immediately dismisses it as hocus-pocus stuff, then you should definitely attend. And if you’re one of those alternative peeps looking for something less mainstream, less focused on external highs and intoxication and more focused on an intentional and purposeful gathering of beings, then go spend the weekend with these muses to fill your cup.  A happy journey and transformation to you all. It is surely going to be a fulfilling experience.

For more information on the festival, tickets, lodging, and everything you need to know before you attend, click here.  

-Mirna

All photos, videos, and embedded tracks per the artist featured and those credited. This feature was edited for brevity and clarity by BolderBeat.

Deckhead Records Tells Us Why Cassettes Are Still Cool & How They're Helping Artists Release Them

By: Hannah Oreskovich

Ask anyone over 40 and they might tell you the cassette is dead and then lament over their melted collection, the one that was formerly housed in their red ‘83 Camaro. Heck- even just a few years ago most millennials might have moaned that the tape deck in their car was useful only as a cassette adapter before the ever-present auxiliary (aux) port became standard in car radio. But just as high-waisted jeans and vinyl have made their way back into many of our hearts, so too has the cassette tape. I was recently gifted a Savage Blush cassette by Deckhead Records’ Duncan Bryant, which prompted me to chat further with the classic tape expert about why cassettes are back and how he’s bringing them to ears, cars, and living rooms worldwide with some of Colorado’s own talent. Read on:

Who is Deckhead Records?

Deckhead Records is a two man operation out of Boulder, Colorado. Chris Ferguson and I started the label to help our friends’ bands put out physical music releases. Deckhead is centered around the DIY ethos- we design and assemble all the tapes in-house. It’s definitely a labor of love! We also publish the Chowder Zine, which covers art, music and skateboarding “stuff.”

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How did Deckhead start?

I had the idea of a tape-based record label for a good while. I saw some of the bigger guys like Burger Records and Lolipop Records doing it, and then when I saw what First Base Tapes was doing for the Front Range indie scene, I thought that was something I wanted to do for the garage/psych/alt scene. And it kind of snowballed from there. We’re now working on releases nine and ten, with a few more in the works, so it’s been really rad to see it grow!

Why cassettes?

I’m a big music collector. It started mostly with records, which if you collect records you know how quickly that drains your wallet. Then I rescued an old tape deck out of my work’s dumpster and started getting tapes. At $5 a pop, I could get a few albums for the price of one record, and if I was at a show, I could just shove it in my pocket and carry on. I also started noticing that the bands I love were all putting out tapes in addition to their records. So that whole experience opened up my eyes to how popular tapes are getting (again) and it seemed like a realistic way for Deckhead to get off the ground on a nearly non-existent budget.

Also, from a label standpoint, cassettes are one of the more approachable means of a DIY physical music release. The entire process of making the release can be done in-house for fairly cheap, while still putting out a really high quality tape.

One of Deckhead's releases.

One of Deckhead's releases.

How does Deckhead find the artists you work with?

It’s really a combination of us finding projects and projects finding us. The big thing is we’re not a “tapes for order” company, and we put a lot of consideration into all the releases we take on. I guess what I mean by that is we put out music we’d listen to, and that’s really the first and last thing that we’re concerned with. So if any bands out there have demos, send ‘em to us! We’re focusing on garage/psych/alt stuff and we’re starting to expand into the heavier side of things, but we’re down to check out anything!

What does the tape making process entail?

We basically do the entire process out of my apartment! We get blank tapes and cases, and the rest is on us to dub, design, and assemble the cassettes. It is insanely time-consuming (anyone out there selling a tape duplicator?! hit us up!), but we love doing it, so it’s worth the time and effort that goes into every release. There’s something cool about doing it all yourself and putting out a quality release too.

The Deckhead release that started the author's recent cassette obsession.

The Deckhead release that started the author's recent cassette obsession.

Why do you think cassettes are making a comeback?

I think it all stems from a lot of people still really, really enjoying collecting physical music despite the world being in the “digital music age.” There’s something cool about walking into someone’s living room and seeing a record collection or a tape collection. You flip through that and can learn a lot about a person based on what they decided to make the effort to buy.

Cassettes are funny though. A lot of people seem to be buying them without even having tape decks. It’s kind of the “trading card” mentality. It seems like a lot of people will snag a tape at a show because it’s a cheap keepsake and they can slide it in their pocket and not be bogged down with a big record or poster tube for the rest of the show.

Deckhead's first tape release.

Deckhead's first tape release.

What does the Deckhead current catalogue look like?

We release music we love, and that’s everything from garage/psych stuff, to shoegaze, to stoner metal. We just love good tunes. Here’s a rundown of what we’ve put out since we’ve started:

Past Tape Releases:

  • (DHR001) - GHOSTS (Richomond, VA) - “i don’t know what i’m doing”
  • (DHR002) - GHOSTS (Richmond, VA) - “Ugly Kid”
  • (DHR003) - GHOSTS (Richmond, VA) - “Stupid Boy”
  • (DHR004) - GHOSTS (Richmond, VA) - “Super Star”
  • (DHR005) - False Peaks/Adult Colour (Boulder, CO) - “Split EP” (Local Label Day 2017 Release)
  • (DHR006) - The Savage Blush (Denver, CO) - “DUST EP”
  • (DHR007) - Nocturnal North (Phoenix, AZ) - “Radicle”
  • (DHR008) - The Savage Blush (Denver, CO) - “The Savage Blush”

We also have some more releases in the works for the next six months. We’re really stoked to be focusing more on the Front Range, but we’ll also be doing our first international release early next year with London psych metal band Green Lung.

Coming Up:

  • (DHR009) Slynger (Denver, CO) - “Sharp Teeth”
  • (DHR010) The Amphibious Man (Boulder, CO) - “Silver Alert
  • (DHR???) The Kinky Fingers (Denver, CO) - “Garbage Plate”
  • (DHR???) GHOSTS (Richmond, VA) - TBD
  • (DHR???) Green Lung (London, UK) - TBD
The Deckhead cassette logo found on every release.

The Deckhead cassette logo found on every release.

Righteous. Anything else we should know about Deckhead?

First and foremost, support small music and especially your local music scene! Find shows and go to them. Buy some merch. Tell a band you dig them. “Smaller” bands bust their asses to bring us good music, so we gotta help them stay stoked!

Also, Deckhead Records publishes a zine called Chowder that I mentioned. It’s the brainchild of Deckhead dude Chris Ferguson. It’s art-centric, but also covers skating and music. Volume 1 just came out and is 20 full-color pages of insanity! Check it out!

I think that’s it? Thanks for talking with us. BolderBeat is the sh*t!

Keep up with Deckhead Records and snag a tape for yourself to join the cool kids here.

-Hannah

Follow Hannah on Instagram and Twitter.

All photos, videos, and embedded tracks per the artists featured and those credited. This feature was edited for brevity and clarity by BolderBeat.

Everything We Know About The Killers' New Record 'Wonderful, Wonderful' Based On Their New Music Videos

By: Benjamin Tillis

On September 22, almost exactly four years after their last album release of Battle Born, The Killers are set to release a new album, Wonderful, Wonderful. Leading up to the 10-track release, the band has shared three singles and two music videos, both of which differ tremendously in style and sound.

The Man,” The Killers first shared track and music video from their new album, is a disco infused, first person narrative of an overconfident Brandon Flowers. It is over the top and hokey, but the video makes it clear that this is intentional. In it, you see Flowers, the band’s lead singer and biggest personality, living what looks to be the perfect life in his hometown of Las Vegas. He shows off his muscles, performs at Vegas shows, and seems to be a hit with his surrounding female counterparts. But as the video continues, the watcher learns that Brandon is nothing close to “The Man.” The video reminds us all that we’re not as great as we think we are.

Deviating from the funky vibes of “The Man,” “Run For Cover” has the same sound as The Killers’ original hits, “Mr. Brightside” and “Somebody Told Me.” The music video stays true to the song’s most repeated line, “Run for cover…don’t look back,” as the storyline focuses on a woman running away from a man she presumably used to be romantic with. All is vague in the video. The band members watch, emotionlessly, a story of a man and woman told not in chronological order. A mysterious white cassette, which is marked only with the single’s release date, July 7, 2017, is sought by both the man and woman. The final scenes show the woman running with the cassette and escaping, after throwing a Molotov cocktail at her ex-lover’s car. The video is mysterious and tells an interesting story behind the somewhat dark lyrics of the song.

Listen to The Killers' title track "Wonderful, Wonderful": 

On August 24th, the band released the title track of their upcoming new album. “Wonderful, Wonderful” is bizarre and eccentric, and the distorted, deep-voice Brandon Flowers belts sounds similar to “Tranquilize” and other older songs found on their compilation album Sawdust. With unique background instruments and biblical-like lyrics, it will be interesting to see if The Killers release a music video for this track. Until then, stay tuned for September 22nd when The Killers release Wonderful, Wonderful, which has already proven to be a combination of both the band’s new and old sounds.

-Benjamin

All photos, videos, and embedded tracks per the artists featured and those credited. This feature was edited for brevity and clarity by BolderBeat.

Review: Morning Bear Wrote His Newest Single During Iceland Airwaves Festival

By: Trevor Ryan

Hailing from Denver and releasing new music for the first time in two years is the fiery, folksy project Morning Bear (John Runnels), with his newest single “You’re Right.”

Morning Bear.

Morning Bear.

With hints of Bon Iver and City and Colour in the mix, Morning Bear’s new track is an emotional hitter. The amount of effort put into the instrumentals alone on “You’re Right” is pretty astounding, and when you add those soft, clear pipes from Runnels, it’s hard not to listen to the song on repeat a few times through once you hear it. Although the production is what most stands out with this track, there is still something to say about Runnels’ ability to write a catchy, articulate tune.

When asked about the inspiration behind the track, Runnels told us, “‘You’re Right’ was written in a tiny Airbnb in Iceland during Iceland Airwaves. [It’s] about being stubborn and fighting for something despite all odds, as well as accepting when it's time to give up. It's a song about the struggle between what you want and wish, and what must be.”

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Runnels will be performing “You’re Right” live, this Friday, September 8th at Denver’s The Walnut Room, along with many of his other tunes. He will be joined by a full string quintet, making for a stellar night of orchestral indie folk. Snag your tickets to the show here, and make sure to keep up with Morning Bear and more of Runnels’ new music on Facebook.

-Trevor

All photos, videos, and embedded tracks per the artists featured and those credited. This feature was edited for brevity and clarity by BolderBeat.

Dallas Thornton Creates Intimate Storytelling Environment With Live Performance

By: Hannah Oreskovich

Just a year ago, Boulder’s Dallas Thornton was fresh off a Berklee graduation and roaming Greece, Netherlands, Portugal, Italy, and Lebanon filming his documentary series “My Key To Happy.” But this year, it’s likely you’ve caught Thornton exploring one of his other projects: music. Since his move back home, Thornton has been playing across the Front Range on his debut record In Case It Rains. Recently, I caught his live show at Denver’s Globe Hall, where Boulder artists Julian Peterson and Hunter Stone shared the bill, and here’s what I discovered about Dallas:

Dallas Thornton.

Dallas Thornton.

Thornton likes dabbling in several creative mediums- music, performance, production, and of course, documentary filmmaking. At his live shows, you’ll get a piece of all of of these, whether it’s the stories he tells of his time abroad, many of which he admits have inspired his songwriting, or his self-deprecating jokes between tracks. There will be the funny parts, the sad bits, and some good ‘ol indie rock music laid right in between. Thornton will ask you as the audience, on more than one occasion, to move in “just three steps closer so I can see your eyes.” Later, he’ll ask everyone to hug their neighbor. It’s moments like these that Thornton really splays his entire artistry across the palettes of his audience live- in sound, in dance, and in an almost theatrical stage presence that may leave you questioning whether or not his performances are always so engaging (according to several fans at the Globe show, I was told that they are.) Thornton clearly uses his strength for storytelling not just in his music and anecdotes, but in the way he creates an intimate environment for fans in any space to connect to his performance.

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Thornton played several tunes from his debut record at Globe Hall’s show- “If You’re Lonely,” “Beauty By Firelight,” and “Diamonds and Gold” were a few crowd favorites. He also played a slew of new songs, including his upcoming single “Let Somebody Love You,” which he’s currently recording in studio. Thornton was joined onstage for his set with Forrest Raup on drums (Eldren, BANDITS) and Halle Tomlinson on bass (2016 contestant on The Voice).

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Thornton has more Colorado shows on the books- make sure to catch him live and stay tuned for his next record by keeping up with him on his website.

-Hannah

Follow Hannah on Instagram and Twitter.

All photos per the author. All videos and embedded tracks per the artists featured and those credited. This feature was edited for brevity and clarity by BolderBeat.

GoGo Penguin Bring Their Jazz Electronica To Boulder Theater

By: Mirna Tufekcic

It’s always such a rush to find new music and get excited about the prospect of hearing it live. Are you into jazz? If so, you’re in luck! The UK’s GoGo Penguin trio are playing the Boulder Theatre this Wednesday, September 6th.

GoGo Penguin.

GoGo Penguin.

To music lovers and musicians alike: these guys are about to blow your musical brains out. Trippy, jazzy, trip-hop, and classical melodies meshed with modern beats and deep bass jives, concocted into a potion that gently pushes the envelope and makes your ears perk up- that’s GoGo Penguin. Just listening to them on Spotify made the hair on the back of my neck stand tall.  

Check out GoGo Penguin:

If GGP are anywhere as playful live as they are on record, Wednesday’s show is bound to be a sonically bountiful evening for your ears to feast on. Get tickets while you can, folks! Who knows when this talented crew will cross the pond again.

-Mirna

All photos, videos, and embedded tracks per the artist featured and those credited. This feature was edited for brevity and clarity by BolderBeat.

Premiere: Treehouse Sanctum's Music Video For "Shebiy," A Jazzy, Instrumental Duet

By: Hannah Oreskovich

Earlier this year, we premiered Treehouse Sanctum’s music video for “Chacala,” a single from their 2017 release Vivere. Today, we bring you another video by the band for “Shebiy.” The track is also from Vivere but unlike “Chacala,” it’s purely instrumental. “Shebiy” is jazzy and vacillates between TS members Andrew Horwath on keys and Dewayne Rymer on trumpet.

Horwath, who wrote the song, was inspired to create this track when he was studying the Babylonian Exile of the Jewish people, found in the Book of Daniel, from the Old Testament of the Bible.

Said the band, “The frustrating lack of resolution that is achieved in the 7/8 timing, prevalent in the song, adheres to this premise of a captive being seeking escape.”

Watch "Shebiy": 

Frontman Sam Rymer also shared with us, “I’ve been playing music with Andrew for five years now- our humble drummer never played piano in front of me, other than doodling on it in passing. One winter day last year, just before we were scheduled to start recording Vivere at The Keep Recording Studio in Denver, Andrew sat down while we were taking a break during rehearsal. And then he took off. Dewayne Rymer, our trumpet player, improvised around the chording and we all felt like we were listening to an old conflicted jazz recording for a moment. I asked them both to try that again when we hit the studio and the result is what you hear on the album’s final track, ‘Shebiy.’”  

Treehouse Sanctum. 

Treehouse Sanctum. 

The video for “Shebiy” was filmed at Regis University with Ben Fout of thebande.co. It’s Treehouse Sanctum’s third video release of the year, following “Chacala” and “Play It Cool.”

This Sunday, September 10th, Treehouse Sanctum will take the stage at Denver’s newest outdoor venue, Levitt Pavilion. They’ll share the stage with Nashville’s Humming House and the show is FREE to the public! Make sure to catch them to hear “Shebiy” live, and give their video for the track a view for yourself above.

Keep up with Treehouse Sanctum here.

-Hannah

Follow Hannah on Instagram and Twitter.

All photos, videos, and embedded tracks per the artists featured and those credited. This feature was edited for brevity and clarity by BolderBeat.

Red Bull Sound Select Brings The Hotelier, Thick Business, & Overslept To Globe Hall Denver

By: Hannah Oreskovich

Red Bull Sound Select and Consequence of Sound have joined forces this month to bring The Hotelier with Thick Business and Overslept to Denver’s Globe Hall Wednesday, September 6th. You can save $10 off tickets and snag entrance for only $5 by RSVPing at this link. Curious about the bill? We’re glad you asked...

The Hotelier.

The Hotelier.

The Hotelier, who are touring on their third record Goodness, are a Massachusetts alt rock outfit who first gained wide attention in 2014. Pitchfork once said their record Home, Like NoPlace Is Thereburns with a five-alarm intensity… with rousing group chants, call-and-response hooks, and collegiate jangle.” It’s been considered a “classic of the emotive rock-revival cannon,” meaning you should join us at this show for the feels.

Thick Business.

Thick Business.

Thick Business, who we actually caught at The UMS in 2016, are a Boise, Idaho based four-piece who mix indie with prog rock and psych pop. Apes On Tape recently said, “Thick Business borders on the epic while still being a damn good time.” We concur. Your $5 is worth it for this band alone.

Overslept.

Overslept.

And then there is local quartet Overslept, a mixture of “heartwarming indie rock and acoustic-forward pop.” The Denver band are currently playing shows in support of their record That’s Not Very Punk Rock Of You, which the band describes as “a collection of low gain songs.” Cool.

So grab your tickets now for this 18+ show and get ready for sweet sounds and BBQ at Denver’s Globe Hall with Red Bull Sound Select and Consequence of Sound. Tickets are only $5 at our link; $15 at the door. More information in the Facebook event. See you on Wednesday, September 6th Denver!

-Hannah

Follow Hannah on Instagram and Twitter.

All photos, videos, and embedded tracks per the artists featured and those credited. This feature was edited for brevity and clarity by BolderBeat.

Too Many Zooz Are Ready To Boogie With Denver For Two Nights At Bluebird Theater

By: Hannah Oreskovich

Brass House trio Too Many Zooz are making their way back to Colorado for their second run this year, and are slated for shows at The Bluebird Theater Thursday, September 7th and  Friday, September 8th.

Comprised of baritone saxophone prodigy Leo Pellegrino, trumpeter Matt Doe and percussionist David "King of Sludge" Parks, the NYC three-piece first made waves busking in subway stations in 2014. They’ve released four EPs since then, and last summer, dropped their first full-length record Subway Gawdz. The trio manages to blend jazz, EDM, Afro-Cuban rhythms, and funk into one boogie-down sound that even caught the attention of Beyoncé, who had the trio guest on her Lemonade tour.

Recently, the band premiered their new video for their song “Bedford,” which was filmed where the band began their whirlwind of success: in an NYC subway.

Make sure to snag tickets to one of Too Many Zooz upcoming Colorado shows; keep up with the energetic trio here.

-Hannah

Follow Hannah on Instagram and Twitter.

All photos, videos, and embedded tracks per the artists featured and those credited. This feature was edited for brevity and clarity by BolderBeat.

Specdrums Rings Turn Color Into Sound With A Drum Kit At Your Fingertips

By: Hannah Oreskovich

When Steven Dourmashkin first went away to college at Cornell University, there was one thing he couldn’t pack up and bring with him to his dorm room: his drum kit. After two years of design and product development, nine major iterations, and one issued patent, Dourmashkin, who is now a PhD candidate at CU Boulder in Aerospace Engineering, finally developed a solution. Meet Specdrums: 

Specdrums, a simple and comfortable ring you wear on your fingers, turn colors into sound, “allowing you to tap on different shades to create an infinite combination of tunes.” That’s right- whether you cover your dorm room in post it notes, tap your clothes on your coffee break, or head to Boulder Creek for a sound sesh like Steven did in the video above, Specdrums will register colors with sound you tap out, all while fitting in your pocket. You can also record your sounds and share them with others, who can add or listen to the tracks, all through the Specdrums app. And the rings can be connected to Garage Band or Ableton, giving those more experienced in music and tech a chance to further produce the compositions they create, and leading us to ask, "Where's that Specdrums sample at?!"

Steven Dourmashkin.

Steven Dourmashkin.

Said Dourmashkin, “Growing up as a drummer, I would tap on everything whenever I was away from my drum set. I was determined to create the most portable drumming machine, capable of turning my taps into real percussion sounds. But what we’ve created is more than just a drumming tool- it’s a new instrument that makes musical creation in general more accessible, welcoming, and fun.”

Specdrums.

Specdrums.

Specdrums recently completed a successful Kickstarter campaign to fund further production of the rings- they’ve raised close to 81k (their goal was 15k) with about 930 backers at the time of this publication, and they still have two weeks to go on the campaign.

Needless to say, CU Boulder’s Steven Dourmashkin is on to something, and thanks to him, you may soon have that much needed drum kit at your fingertips…

Read more on Specdrums here.

-Hannah

Follow Hannah on Instagram and Twitter.

All photos, videos, and embedded tracks per the artists featured and those credited. This feature was edited for brevity and clarity by BolderBeat.

Review: Grunge Pop Duo Stereoshifter Release Fuzz-Driven, Drum-Pounding Rock Record 'Whatever it is to You'

By: Norman Hittle

Denver duo Stereoshifter describe their sound, somewhat tongue-in-cheek, as “grunge pop.” What is this seemingly contradicting genre? You’ll have to listen to find out:

Check out Stereoshifter's latest single, "Catch Fire":

Whatever it is to You, the band’s sophomore EP, which drops this week, features three guitar-fuzz-driven, drum-pounding rock songs that seem to have come straight from the 90s. Of course, it’s hard not to jump to conclusions and find the EP reminiscent of Nirvana and The Vines, but upon deeper listening, there are also traces and snippets of inspiration from acts ranging from Dinosaur Jr. to Weezer.

Stereoshifter.

Stereoshifter.

Following the release of their Dumb Luck EP (2016), Stereoshifter, which is Josh Cal (vocals/guitars) and Peter Higgins (drums), continued to write, record, and create new music. Starting 2017 with a brand-new single “All I Can Stand,” the two-piece is now closing out the summer with Whatever it is to You.

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The EP is produced by the band, and starts out with the heavy and frantically anthemic “It’s Not You, it’s Me” that gives the kickstart needed to keep listening. The single “Catch Fire” comes in at track two and starts out with a very Thin Lizzy-esque “Boys Are Back in Town” riff before going into a pseudo Green Day-sounding chorus. The final track is the more mellow “Spoon Fed,” which I feel really caters the most to the traditional grunge vibe with a touch of post-rock for good measure due to its droning and sludgy riffs.

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In their live performance, the two musicians adopt the approach to IAMDYNAMITE and similar rock duos of overlapping guitar and bass tracks, making it possible to sound like a four-piece act. Though minimalistic in setup, anyone who has seen any of these bigger acts can attest that the sound is anything but minimal.

Check out Stereoshifter at the Hi-Dive with OverUnder this Thursday, August 31st to hear their new EP; tickets and event info here. Keep up with Stereoshifter on their Facebook.

-Norman

All photos, videos, and embedded tracks per the artists featured and those credited. This feature was edited for brevity and clarity by BolderBeat.

Review: A.J. Fullerton's 'Kalamath' Is Slide, Blues, & Incredible Fingerpicking

By: Trevor Ryan

Colorado’s award-winning A.J. Fullerton is releasing his new album Kalamath today, and let me tell you, it’s a whirlwind of that fingerpicking blues that we all love him for.

A.J . Fullerton.

A.J . Fullerton.

Hailing from Western Colorado, Fullerton has recently exploded onto the state scene. In just two years, he’s been the Colorado Blues Society solo/duo winner, and won the organization’s “Member’s Choice” awards for best slide guitar, best acoustic act, best young performer, and best solo/duo act. Utilizing these skills and more in his own playing, Kalamath also features several talented local artists, including Megan Burtt, Taylor Scott of The Taylor Scott Band, and Stud Ford and Sharde Thomas of North Mississippi Allstars.

Kalamath Album Cover.jpg

The album, a solid addition to Fullerton’s catalogue, definitely showcases his outstanding slide ability, steaming vocals, and his incredible fingerpicking style, which almost sounds as though he brought the blues back from the dead to teach him how to play it. Gems like “She's So Cold,” “Lover Come Back,” and “Smoke and Mirrors” will all leave you reflecting on Fullerton’s intricate playing. Overall, Kalamath will introduce you to a new world of blues while certainly appreciating the greats in the process.

Keep up with A.J. Fullerton on Facebook.

-Trevor

All photos, videos, and embedded tracks per the artists featured and those credited. This feature was edited for brevity and clarity by BolderBeat.

Motion Trap Release Alluring Single + Video In Anticipation Of Their Forthcoming Record 'Heavenly Bodies'

By: Hannah Oreskovich

Denver’s Motion Trap have been referred to as “Tycho with dance moves” and “Mogwai on crack.” The nu-dicso duo, comprised of Kyle Williams and Nathan Rogers, formed back in 2012 and have been making ears everywhere drip in thick synth dance hooks ever since. This September, Motion Trap are releasing their newest record, ‘Heavenly Bodies.’ The indie electro dance album mashes guitar tones with synth, distorted vocals, and all things digital into something impossible not to groove to. It's mysterious, alluring, and dancey as hell. Recently, Motion Trap released their single from the record, “Youth Blood,” and the track’s accompanying music video. It caught our eardrums, so we chatted with the band to learn more about this glow-in-the-dark two-piece and their newest vid. Read on:

What is the story behind the video for “Youth Blood?”

Recently we have been writing more upbeat songs, like our first single 'Molecule,' but with 'Youth Blood' we decided to showcase a darker side to our songwriting. I have heard people describe this sound as being ‘a more sexy Motion Trap.’ It has a deeper feel, and a possibly deeper meaning, one that is open to interpretation, but also means something to us. We love double meanings in our songs and this one has the internal dialogue of a person struggling with a feeling and trying to cope or figure it out in that moment.

Watch Motion Trap's music video for "Youth Blood": 

Who filmed the video?

Jeremy Pape shot it and Shaun Burder edited and directed it. They are both from Collective Culture out of Denver and do an amazing job. We also had the opportunity to work with some great actors, JoJo Lupe and Rob Ferrell.

Motion Trap. Photo Credit: Blake Jackson

Motion Trap. Photo Credit: Blake Jackson

Where did you record the single?

We always record all of our songs in our home studio and when they get to a spot we call 'almost finished,' we sit in without our engineer Rocky Tran at Conway Sound to put some final love on the tracks before sending them to be mastered.

Of all the tunes on upcoming Heavenly Bodies, why’d you choose to release “Youth Blood” to us as one of the first?

I would say because it is so different than most of our music. We love the deeper feel this song has. That is why we chose this- to showcase a different side of our songwriting capabilities. Also the dark tone of this song felt like it lent really well with our black light theme. We had a great time experimenting with different lighting and painting techniques with this video.

Kyle Williams. Photo Credit: Hannah Oreskovich

Kyle Williams. Photo Credit: Hannah Oreskovich

Cool! What’s up next for Motion Trap?

We have our CD Release Show at Larimer Lounge September 8th! The record will contain both singles, 'Molecule' and 'Youth Blood,' as well as six other tracks. We are bringing a massive light show along that we are collaborating on with our good friend Nate Davis from Color Shadow Productions. We have some special things up our sleeves for this show and can't wait to release the new album!

Make sure to catch Motion Trap at Larimer Lounge on Friday, September 8th with Get Along and Time Scale for their release show! Tickets here; keep up with Motion Trap and their new record ‘Heavenly Bodies’ by peeping their website.

-Hannah

Follow Hannah on Instagram and Twitter.

All photos, videos, and embedded tracks per the artists featured and those credited. This feature was edited for brevity and clarity by BolderBeat.

Rocky Mountain Folks Festival Resounded With Resistance Of Current Political Happenings

By: Riley Ann

Woody Guthrie would have rolled in his grave this weekend, not in disdain, but in delight had he heard the music at this year’s Rocky Mountain Folks Festival in the hills of Lyons, Colorado. In the spirit of Woody, along with Pete Seeger, Bob Dylan, and so many others, the music of Folks Fest was charged with political messages, the call for solidarity, and the stand for social justice.

The crowd at Ramy Essam's set.

The crowd at Ramy Essam's set.

The festival opened with the Songwriter Showcase, and Heather Mae stole the show with two of her original songs truly about the times, one she introduced as, “my kind of love,” and for the other, she addressed the significance of what happened in Charlottesville. After winning, she shared on her music Facebook page, “I performed ‘Wanderer,’ my song about being queer. I performed ‘Stand Up,’ my song about fighting discrimination. I asked the audience to stand with me and join the cause.” And stand they did. She had the festival grounds filled with people standing and singing along, many with tear-filled eyes. You can watch her chilling music video for “Stand Up” here.

Heather Mae.

Heather Mae.

Heather Mae offered more insights into her performance, saying, “With everything that’s going on right now, what a waste it would be if I didn’t say something and use this opportunity to show that we can’t stay silent anymore. I chose my songs that weren’t necessarily the best for competition, but they were perfect for this platform. The mission I’m on right now is to make music that matters and that makes people think, and I feel like it was really heard, and that’s the most validation I’ve ever felt. It’s like the universe is saying, ‘Good job, kid, keep writing the music you’re writing’ and I feel a lot of gratitude for that.” With her winning performance, Heather Mae earned a one-hour slot on the main stage at next year’s Folks Festival. In the meantime, you can keep an eye on her tour schedule via her website.

Rhiannon Giddens.

Rhiannon Giddens.

Later that evening, Rhiannon Giddens lit the stage on fire with her performance, ignited with the stories of despair, fury, and hope in her latest album Freedom Highway. She opened with a rock version of “Spanish Mary,” a tune she co-wrote with Bob Dylan that’s dripping in satire about imperialism in the name of the Catholic Church. She left the audience on the verge of tears with “At the Purchaser’s Option,” a song she wrote after finding a 19th-century ad about a 22-year-old slave woman’s baby for sale. She left listeners breathless with her tune “We Could Fly,” a song based on the African-American folktale about the people stolen from their homelands as slaves who lost their wings. Rhiannon is a force of nature onstage, and her music has earned its rankings as modern classics, songs that will be forever immortalized in the canon of folk music. You can hear more of her first-hand insights in her NPR interview here.

Ramy Essam.

Ramy Essam.

In the tradition of Sunday morning spiritual sets at Planet Bluegrass festivals, Ramy Essam, the unassuming singer/songwriter who became the voice of the Egyptian Revolution, opened the day with a riveting set. Though he sang mostly in his native Egyptian-Arabic dialect, he introduced his songs in English. The subject matter spanned from honoring the strength of women and girls who fought in the revolution, many of whom were jailed and tortured, to making fun of the police, an agency Ramy described as being corrupt and dangerous in Egypt, and many of his songs challenged tyrant leaders and their wrongdoings. Despite singing in a language very few attendees knew, people began joining his refrains by the end of almost every song. The crowd also sang along with his cover of John Lennon’s “I Don’t Want To Be A Soldier.” At one point, Ramy proclaimed to the audience, “Music is the most powerful peaceful weapon we have.” His set concluded with a chant-like refrain begging for peace “for just one day.” Instinctively, the audience sang along, linking arms as they stood together in unity.

Dave Rawlings.

Dave Rawlings.

While the main stage was filled with outstanding performances, spanning the high-energy acts like The Revivalists and Lake Street Dive, the introspective meditations of Elephant Revival and Gregory Alan Isakov, the down-home tunes of Dave Rawlings Machine, and everything in between, the through line of the festival resonated with resistance. Nearly every performer mentioned the need for solidarity, peace, acceptance, resistance, attention to social justice issues, or, in the lighthearted case of Korby Lenker, putting politics aside momentarily with family in “Let’s Just Have Supper.” In the spirit of the folk music tradition, this year’s Folks Festival was truly of and for the people.

Gregory Alan Isakov.

Gregory Alan Isakov.

You can stay tuned for next year’s Folks Festival lineup at the Planet Bluegrass website here. If it is anything like this year’s lineup, it’s one you won’t want to miss.

View our full photo gallery from Folks Fest 2017 here

-Riley

Find out more about Riley on her blog.

All photos per the author. All videos and embedded tracks per the artist featured and those credited. This feature was edited for brevity and clarity by BolderBeat.