Rumours Follow Set to Release New Wave Single "Mr. Miserable" This Week

By: Norman Hittle

Denver based new wave act Rumours Follow have been steadily gaining momentum in the Colorado scene since winning Denver alternative radio channel 93.3’s Big Gig in 2014. Nearly four years later- not to mention four years stronger- the band are set to release their new single “Mr. Miserable" later this month with a show at Lost Lake Lounge. 

Rumours Follow.

Rumours Follow.

To say the least, the track is an exciting blast from the past, fortified with the tech of modern electronic music. It’s easy to call it new wave and synth pop on the surface, but there’s a lot more going on than can be gleaned on a first listen, such as the band’s nods to 80s greats like Prince and Duran Duran.

Rumours Follow successfully fuse elements of jazz, funk, synthpop, and alt-rock together, while maintaining a high-fidelity production value that definitely couldn’t be heard in the 80s when their brand of music inspiration was in its heyday. Yet regardless of era, this band is making 2018 a staple in their career. Just earlier this year, the band released their single “Spitting Rain."

In accordance with continuing to be noticed, Rumours Follow will be officially releasing their single for “Mr. Miserable” with a debut release show at Lost Lake Lounge Saturday, May 19th. Event details and tickets here.

Keep up with Rumours Follow 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.

Optycnerd & Play Pat Join Forces For 'Nonfiction' EP

By: Norman Hittle

Denver’s latest collaboration EP Nonfiction brings OptycNerd and Play Pat together with four tracks that are certain to get some winter dance parties grooving. Check it out:

OptycNerd is an electronic hip-hop/pop duo based in Denver. After meeting at a party and realizing they both had the same first name, Chris Kimmel and Chris Scott knew immediately that they had to form a group. Over the past few years, the Chris' have been crafting their sound and building up their body of work, including their released December 3rd single “Apollo” which is currently in the top 10 running for 93.3 KTCL’s Hometown for the Holidays - and you can vote on until December 12th!

Play Pat is an indie hip-hop artist with a great deal of work under his belt, including his most recent November 2017 release “Uber to Space”. Although he seems to keep his personal information under the radar, Play Pat has a solid SoundCloud following, including multiple tracks with over 10k+ plays- no small feat!

Optycnerd with Play Pat.

Optycnerd with Play Pat.

With their Nonfiction collaboration, both artists bring a solid hip-hop/rap effort to the table, featuring sounds reminiscent to Disclosure, Macklemore, and even nods to artists like Kendrick Lamar on their track “Photoshoot”. Yet, this isn’t the first collaboration these artists have had together, and likely it won’t be their last. Back in September, they combined their powers for the first time on the single “PM AM,” a far more pop/hip-hop oriented track.

Keep up with both acts via their social media, and keep an ear out for more material to be released. These guys are serious about content creation, so if you like what you hear, keep checking back!

-Norman

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

The Midnight Club Release Debut Single "Close Your Eyes" On Harbor Records

By: Norman Hittle

The Midnight Club has released their debut single with Harbour Records, “Close Your Eyes,” and have a slated headlining release show at the end of November. Check out their single below:

You may recall hearing about The Midnight Club in 2016 when they won the coveted opening slot for Denver’s “Big Gig,” hosted by alternative station KTCL 93.3. But also notable is this Denver-based band being comprised of high school students Owen Coleman, Harry Springer, Miles Bragg, and Sean McCarthy. These young guys have been working the Denver scene since 2015.

The band's single has a considerable similarity to Panic! at the Disco (circa 2008’s Pretty. Odd. album), with the 1970’s era rock’n’roll mixed with synthetic orchestrations and thick vocal arrangements. The track, mixed by Mark Needham (The Killers, Imagine Dragons, Walk The Moon), has solid production quality and highlights the band’s indie/rock vibe without being overly commercial.

Check The Midnight Club out for their next headlining gig this weekend, November 25th, at Larimer Lounge to celebrate the release of “Close Your Eyes” and to debut some new music! Event 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.

The Rocket Summer & 888 Bring Crowdsurfing Alt Pop Tour To Denver

By: Matti Earley

Local icons 888 returned for a stop in their hometown on Friday at Denver’s Marquis Theatre. The alt-pop three-piece first started gaining momentum in 2015 by winning 93.3 KTCL’s Hometown for the Holidays contest, and ever since then, they’ve been busy on a national scale. Friday’s show marked the start of their second tour of the year, following one with Missio in the spring.

888.

888.

“Gold" was an example of the kind of juxtaposition 888 have mastered in sound. It is the ideal pop radio hit, but not formulaic in the way that some top 40 songs can be. Instead, it feels like a much needed moment of honesty about the uncertainty that comes with trying to find a place in the world. Such underlying fears were explored even further and with a more melancholy overtone in “Creepers,” which came out less than a month ago and was great live. Of course, the trio also played their hit "Critical Mistakes," the song that arguably gave them their start on a national level.

The Rocket Summer began his impressive set soon after 888 ended, and played over 20 songs to fans. Ten years after the release of his record Do You Feel, Bryce Avary is still going strong. His choice of what to play Friday was undoubtedly a culmination drawing from his entire discography, and even included songs that he had never been done live before.

The Rocket Summer.

The Rocket Summer.

As evidenced by putting “So Much Love” near the beginning of his performance, Avary is uncontainably joyous about being a musician. This really showed in his interactions with the audience, who were as much a part of the show as him. After playing on a platform in the middle of the crowd, Avary made his way back upfront via crowdsurfing. In between songs, there were moments on the setlist specifically designated for him to talk with the audience. And rather than a preset encore, he asked the crowd what we wanted to hear before finishing with a few fan favorites. One of those, called “Brat Pack,” came from 2005’s Hello, Good Friend and was a seriously popular throwback that was crazy to hear live.

The Rocket Summer with 888’s tour wraps up in less than two weeks on August 29th at Arizona’s Crescent Ballroom. Make sure to catch a show while you can, and in the meantime, check out both acts recent releases on Spotify.

-Matti

All photos per the author. This feature was edited for brevity and clarity by BolderBeat.

Denver's Compliments to the One Release New Alt-Rock Track, "Overdose"

By: Hannah Oreskovich

The alt-rock scene in Denver is on-point. From gigs at spots like Summit Music Hall to festival appearances at The UMS and radio play on Denver’s 93.3, it’s easy to see how alive this genre is in Colorado. One band treading the Denver alt-rock waters is Compliments to the One, a four-piece project that started all the way back in 2012 when some of the members met in high school. Currently, the band consists of Daniel Del Real, Stephen Bell, Dare Otesanya, and Julio JC Santos. Bell, Otesanya, and Santos formed the band in Aurora, CO initially; in 2016 Del Real joined the outfit and the band is now Denver-based.

Compliments to the One.

Compliments to the One.

Compliments to the One have released a few singles since finding their footing in the Denver music scene. The titles of those include “Catch My Breath”, “Keep On Going”, and their latest, “Overdose”.

Check out C21's latest single, "Overdose":

“Overdose” is a stripped-down track recorded DIY basement-style. It started with chords and lyrics written by guitarist Bell; later the rest of the band contributed to the track. It’s an emotive song with vivid descriptions of struggling with addiction and a repetitive, catchy chorus. Compliments to the One have plans to release a full EP soon, and “Overdose” will be one of the tracks included on it. The band also have a live show coming up that you should check out to hear more of their new work! They play Herman’s Hideaway next Thursday, September 29th and you can get advanced tickets here.

Make sure to keep up with C21 for new music and more on their 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.

Signs and Signals Keep On Flashing In The Studio and On Stage

By: Jura Daubenspeck

Find yourself "Human Again" with Denver's Signs and Signals.

Big things are in store for Denver’s alternative rock group Signs and Signals. The five-piece band, made up of Jason Kelly (vocals), Ryan Fraser (bass/supporting vocals), Brian Carpenter (lead guitar), John Ensey (guitar/supporting vocals), and Jimmy Fountain (drums) brings a powerful, eclectic flair to their music that is continuing to build momentum.

Signs and Signals at Denver Rockfest last weekend. 

Signs and Signals at Denver Rockfest last weekend. 

Since their inception in May 2014, Signs and Signals have played a number of shows throughout Denver, including Denver’s Underground Music Showcase, have been featured on 93.3 Locals Only, and raised over $6,000 in their Kickstarter campaign, allowing them to record their album, Human Again.

Human Again, which was recorded at The Spot Studios, has a number of songs that are powerful, catchy, and urge you to get up and move. Personal favorites from the album include heavy hitters such as “Fight or Flight,” “Human Again,” and “Here In The Dark.” While each band member has varying musical backgrounds, ranging from classical training, to the “by ear” technique, to being well-versed in the punk/ska scene, their unique talents all come together to create a fantastic sound. And as they continue to play together, along with newer members Ryan Fraser and John Ensey, the group has plans to tweak their sound to a heavier, more emotional feel. We can expect from their new music more riffs, artist collaborations, and deep-cutting lyrics- and I, for one, am excited.

S&S bringing the house down. 

S&S bringing the house down. 

After listening to Signs and Signals’ recorded music, as well as watching them perform on stage, I found that their music truly comes alive when seen in person. I watched them play at Moe’s BBQ in November 2015, and the energy felt during their performance was unreal. They had everyone headbanging, singing along, and cheering- and personally, those are my favorite kinds of shows. You could absolutely tell that the group has a strong bond and genuinely enjoys rocking out with their fans. To top it off, their music carries an excellent blend of “radio-friendly rock” with ass-kicking melodies.

2016 has been a hell of a year so far for the guys of Signs and Signals. They performed at the Bluebird Theater in January, the Marquis Theater in February, and finally, brought the house down last Friday night at Denver Rockfest at the Oriental Theatre, along with Innerspace, Vermillion Road, and My Own Iris.

Listen to Sounds and Signals title track from their album, "Human Again:

So what do we have to look forward to with Signs and Signals? After the excitement of their recent performances, the group has plans to write more music, record a new music video, and work on their collaborations, including their recent piece “Gravity Lies” with vocalist, pianist, and songwriter Amy Kress. That track will be released by the end of the summer.

Though you may not have many chances to see them play live during the upcoming months, be prepared for an even stronger Signs and Signals next fall. And in the meantime, check out their music on Spotify, Soundcloud, and their website.

-Jura

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

Breaking the Rules of the Music Biz: BLDGBLKS Artist Mawule

By: Jura Daubenspeck

Mawule and his music both have stories to tell.

BLDGBLKS Artist Mawule.

BLDGBLKS Artist Mawule.

Born Ebenezer Yebuah, better known by his artist name, Mawule, was born and raised in Accra, Ghana. He and his family moved to Denver when he was 10 years old and he’s remained here ever since. Music has always been an integral part of Mawule’s life, starting with his active involvement in his church’s gospel choir.

But success in the music industry has never been the only goal in mind for Mawule. His lifelong fascination with human relationships and an interest in becoming a couples counselor drove him to pursue a Bachelor’s in Human Development and Family Studies, as well as a Masters in Student Affairs and Higher Education at Colorado State University. As a student, he produced his first song titled, ‘Let You Go,’ which caught the attention of two producers. While education remained his top priority, he continued to write lyrics, concoct amazing beats, and produce music as a hobby. Upon his realization that a life without music was not an option, he re-emerged as Mawule, which means “Only God Knows” in the Ewe language, native to his birthplace.

Mawule’s music reflects his passion for the human connection and he uses it as a source of both comfort and empowerment for others. He is inspired by what is real about relationships, including trust, doubts, and abuse. His songs bring awareness to the objectification of women, harassment, and sexual assault-- all donned in a cloak of deep lyrics and catchy rhythms.

Mawule recording at   The Spot Studios  in Denver .

Mawule recording at The Spot Studios in Denver.

When he is not in the recording studio, Mawule works for the University of Colorado Boulder as a Hall Director. He is also a workout junkie, a food fanatic, and an adventurer. He loves to travel, and makes the 20-hour flight back home to Ghana as frequently as his busy schedule allows.

While Mawule’s music carries hints of futuristic, R&B, and club-vibe tones, he has no plans of limiting his fanbase by genre category. It’s reasons like these that Mawule is breaking the rules of the music business. On the topic of music categorization, Mawule says:

“I don’t want to be categorized into one sound. My music is soulful. Lyrically, I write in the form of R&B, but production-wise, I am all over the board. Music is always changing, and R&B is not what is used to be. I want to cater to all audiences. I want to be the future of R&B.”

Mawule released his first EP, Reflections, in July of 2014. This year, he was featured in Denver’s 93.3 Radio’s December 2015 ‘Hometown for the Holiday’ event, where his single ‘Mirror Mirror’ was selected for one of the top 10 hits.

With an EP, a multitude of songs on SoundCloud, and a lyric stock folder filled with enough songs for three additional albums, Mawule is one artist to look out for. His newest single, ‘Chosen’ will be released online April 8th of next year, and his upcoming album Anything will be subsequently released on June 3rd, 2016.

Check out Mawule’s website for discography, merchandise, and upcoming news about his music. To get up close and personal, be sure to connect with him on Instagram and Twitter as well.

Listen to Mawule's Reflections here:

-Jura

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