First Listen: Whiskey Autumn's 'Modern Doubt' Is a Synth Pop Hollywood Dream

Today, we’re proud to premiere Whiskey Autumn’s new record ‘Modern Doubt.’ The Denver four-piece are releasing the record this Friday, April 12th at Lost Lake Lounge with fellow Denver bands The Milk Blossoms, OptycNerd, and a DJ set from Motion Trap. Synesthesia, who hosted The Pink Party earlier this year, is presenting the show. Take a listen:

 ‘Modern Doubt’ is the follow-up to Whiskey Autumn’s 2017 EP Ice Cream In The Sun. The first single from the album “Birds That Flew,” premiered with 303 Magazine, followed by the premiere of “Let’s Go Sailing Instead” on CPR’s OpenAir. The studio recording of “Monochrome Actress” premiered with our friends at Ultra5280 recently, and the band’s live music video for that song just debuted with Westword last week. Whiskey Autumn will also be on CPR’s OpenAir this Friday for a live session in support of their release and Lost Lake show. Clearly, this is a Denver band with a trajectory worth watching.

Whiskey Autumn. Photo Credit:   Vossling

Whiskey Autumn. Photo Credit: Vossling

Overall, ‘Modern Doubt’ is a psychedelic pop rock album with an overarching theme rooted in modern anxieties such as technology, political doubts, and navigating an always connected world. The album features dancey synth lines, jangly beach guitars, a Hollywood film noir sample, natural sound interludes, and produced hip-hop drum breaks. The record was written by frontman Greg Laut, produced by band members Laut and Jason Paton, mixed by Chris Scott (OptycNerd, Young The Giant) and mastered by Jim Wilson (David Byrne, Neko Case, The Yawpers). Recently, Laut answered a few questions for us about the band’s new record, Friday’s show, and Whiskey Autumn’s 2019 plans:

Tell us more about ‘Modern Doubt’.

Modern Doubt was written and recorded throughout 2017 and 2018 and reflects my experience of the tumultuous landscape of our current times. My bandmate Jason Paton and I threw out any preconceived notions of what our sound is supposed to be and challenged ourselves to create a record that transports the listener to the world that each song exists in, whether it be a dreamy beach, an old Hollywood film, or a crowded airport. For us, that meant looking at the songs through a cinematic lens and setting the scene with natural sound samples and production choices that catered to the storyline.

That’s really cool. It seems like you’ve already had a lot of attention surrounding this record. What else can you tell us about the release show this Friday?

This will be a Whiskey Autumn show like you've never seen before! We have a new rhythm section and a batch of new songs that will be played live for the first time. Synesthesia is presenting the show and they're bringing along Andy Ai and Kat Phenna who will be providing dystopian, film noir visuals that tie into the themes of Modern Doubt. It's going to be a wild night!

What else can we expect from Whiskey Autumn in 2019?

You can expect a vinyl release of Modern Doubt later this year, summer tour dates to be announced soon, and more surprises coming your way in the next few months!

Catch Whiskey Autumn live this Friday, April 12th at Lost Lake Lounge for the release of ‘Modern Doubt’. Tickets are $10 right now if you Venmo @whiskeyautumn; $15 day of show. Find more information on Friday’s gig at this link and keep up with Whiskey Autumn here.

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

Premiere: Kyle Emerson Invites You Into His Living Room In New Video For "Wise Blood"

By: Hannah Oreskovich

2017 was arguably a breakout year for Denver’s Kyle Emerson. The former Plum member released an EP, Worth It, in May of last year, which he followed up just a few months later with Dorothy Alice, his debut full-length album via Guilty Pleasure Records. OpenAir CPR called Worth It one of the best records of the year, and both Denver Post’s The Know and Marquee Magazine listed Dorothy Alice as one of the top Colorado albums of 2017.

Kyle Emerson.

Kyle Emerson.

Though Emerson’s solo sound careens with components of his former life as a psych-rocker in Plum, there are more traces of jazz and folk in his latest work. He’s combined drippy guitars with synth sounds, a slide guitar with Beatles-esque pop harmonies, and soft, Elliott Smith-like vocals with upbeat and catchy melodies. These elements paired with the slacker-rock revival vibes of someone like Kurt Vile and the production work of Sunboy’s Justin Renaud have formed much of what you’ll hear on Dorothy Alice, and more specifically on Emerson’s single “Wise Blood.”

Today, Emerson has released a video for “Wise Blood,” which you can check out in our exclusive premiere below. It showcases Emerson and his bandmates (who are somewhat of their own Colorado supergroup, with members from Paper Bird, Shady Elders, Bluebook, and Sunboy) in a living room performance interspersed with scenes of the band cruising around Denver and generally hanging out. The video has a vintage film look in certain parts and meanders with the song’s melody from scene to scene.

Kyle Emerson has arguably made more noise in the Denver music scene in mere months than most, and is a Colorado artist you should be following if you weren’t already. Make sure to give Dorothy Alice a listen here and “Wise Blood” a view above.

What will 2018 hold for Emerson and his supergroup? We’re stoked to find out.

Keep up with Kyle Emerson 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: Dragondeer Breathe Fire On New Record 'Topanga Canyon Sessions Vol. 1'

By: Ben Jewell

Dragondeer, a self-described psych-blues band from Colorado, released Topanga Canyon Sessions Vol. 1, their latest 7” record, today! And tonight they’re celebrating with a hometown show at the Bluebird Theater in Denver. The album is just the right length to occupy your time on the way to the show, so I suggest downloading it for the trip here.

I listened to this album before knowing anything about Dragondeer. I must say, Dragondeer is one of the most aptly chosen band names I’ve heard in a very long time. It describes the album in one word better than I can surely do. Topanga Canyon Sessions Vol. 1 has three songs (including the digital “Bonus Track”), three moods, and three contradictory stories. Much like viewing a dragondeer creature for the first time, you’ll likely tilt your head slightly to get another perspective and check just what you thought you heard.

Dragondeer.

Dragondeer.

If you are not a self-described psych blues lover, fear not! This album is for almost everyone. For me, this is best described as a modern soul blues album. Soul blues is a bit like a mood ring. It can be light and frothy, sexy, mean and gritty, optimistic, even down-right depressing. The beauty of it is, that much like people, it’s a complicated array of styles and emotions all mashed together to make something awesome, and yet surprisingly easy to listen to. Topanga Canyon Sessions Vol. 1 succinctly conveys this in three songs, and will have you moving the entire time.

Listen to Topanga Canyon Sessions Vol. 1:

It breaks down like this…..

Track 1, “When I See You” is light and sexy. Snare on the quarter notes, a motown bass line, rhythm guitar dancing up the fretboard, a baritone vocal exclaiming, “I got a feeling, I just can’t hide,” and background “ooo's” in falsetto, which make this a well executed ode to love makin’ that will get you winking at your significant other, or that soul across the bar.

Track 2, “Broadway Avenue” is driving and gritty. If Pinocchio was remade today, this would be the song played when the naughty boys were dancing around on Pleasure Island. Harmonica and guitar are intertwined in a rhythmic, sometimes wavelike mix of ebb and flow, while the rhythm section creates a swinging march like cadence. Frontman Eric Halborg’s vocals showcase his blues side as he sings of a place where “what ya gonna do… there are so many fine, fine things for children to do;” and I can assure you, they’re all naughty!

Bonus Track, “If You Got The Blues” is a soulful song with great blues instrumentals. The harmonica sets the tone, the rhythm section gets you swaying back and forth, and the lapsteel sings over the whole thing. The vocals are strong, yet as each note is held out, they emphasize the longing and almost begging plea: “Don't leave me, ma please don’t leave.” The melody doesn’t always end up where you think it will, and that gives it a nice originality to a song type and story that is often all too familiar.  

This brings me back to the mythical dragondeer. Topanga Canyon Sessions Vol. 1 makes love to you, breaks your heart while running around on you, and then begs you to come back with promises that it’ll be there for you when you have the blues. It is fun and playful, and simultaneously breathes fire. It is soul blues performed in a very respectable way. Enjoy!

Get tickets to Dragondeer's Bluebird Theatre Release Show here.

Deets: Topanga Canyon Sessions Vol. 1. was recorded by Dragondeer featuring Eric Halberg on Vocals, Guitar, and Harmonica; Cole Rudy on Mandolin, Lap Steel, Guitar, and Vocals; Carl Sorensen on Drums and Percussion; and Casey Sidewell on Bass. The album was produced by Mark Howard and Executive Producer Peter Bowers. Artwork was created by Ryder Evan Robison. For more information on Dragondeer visit www.dragondeer.com .

-Ben

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

Talking Festivals, Politics, & New Music with Dressy Bessy's Tammy Ealom

By: Claire Woodcock

Dressy Bessy was one of the first bands remnant of the Riot Grrrl movement in the early 90s based in Denver, CO. Lead vocalist, guitarist, and lyricist Tammy Ealom instituted the indie band, associated with the prolific Elephant Six Collective Recording Company, with guitarist John Hill (who also plays with the E6 band The Apples in Stereo), bassist Rob Greene, and drummer Darren Albert in 1996. After the band released four albums, Craig Gilbert superseded Albert on drums in 2005, and DB released 'Electrified' that same year on a new label, Transdreamer Records.

Dressy Bessy.

Dressy Bessy.

In 2008, when Dressy Bessy released their second record with Transdreamer, the stock market crashed, and the band learned the consequences of trying to tour through an economic recession. Then the country didn’t hear much from Dressy Bessy. In 2015, bassist Greene left, and the end of the Obama era was in sight. As a result, Ealom, Hill, and Gilbert started recording again, this time in their home studio. The product of this recording was 'Kingsized,' which Dressy Bessy released a year ago. Since then, the band has toured the country on the frontlines of a new wave of protest music.

Recently, Ealom spoke with me about upcoming shows and plans for a new record. Read on:

So I heard you went to D.C. recently for the Women's March on Washington.

I did, I did.

What did you think?

It was completely overwhelming and beautiful, and I'm glad I did it. It was beautiful to see so many like minded people come together to protest. I'm still in shock with all of these politics just like everybody else. I had never been in a crowd that big before and it was emotional. But you actually did feel a camaraderie and to feel in camaraderie with that many people at once can be overwhelming. It was incredible, and I'm glad I did it, and it doesn't stop there obviously.

What was your takeaway from being in D.C. that day?

I learned that we not in this alone; there are a lot of people who are freaked out and not standing for the way our government and our world is going with this new Trump administration. I think I'm suffering from some sort of post traumatic stress syndrome just over this entire year. Our album came out almost a year ago and we toured the country a couple of times all the way around, the whole time just sort of reaching out to people and just trying to get across how important it is and was that we're paying attention. I was a true proponent of Obama and I felt really comfortable with him as our president. He is an intelligent, calm person [who was] in charge of our country and it made me comfortable. I didn't obsess about politics everyday. Now I do. I wake up in the middle of the night and I reach over and I grab my phone just to check to see and make sure we don't have to put on gas masks, you know what I mean? Like this is such a crazy time.

Tammy Ealom.

Tammy Ealom.

Dressy Bessy dropped 'Kingsized' about a year ago-

February 5th last year.

So coming up on exactly a year after taking a considerable amount of time off, what has it been like to jump back into the world of album releases and tours during an election year?

It’s been amazing. The record came around about the same time civil unrest was starting, so it was amazing because I was able to go and let it out. I live for this shit. I've been doing it for 20 years and we're continuing on. We're planning a new album hopefully next year. I'm halfway there with new songs, and they just keep coming, so I'm going to take advantage of it and get it out there.

Any ideas on what Dressy Bessy’s next album’s going to be like?

That's a tough question because I don't question where my songs come from, I just let them develop like, ‘Okay, cool cool’ and a lot of times I'm not exactly sure where they came from. I don't sit down like, ‘Oh, I'm going to write a song today.’ Sometimes I just get this feeling as I lay there like ‘Oh God;’ it's like a ball of [noise] and I just let it out through song.

Rock, you just rock.

Rock and roll, that's all it is. It's all rhythm and blues.

Dressy Bessy got its start in Denver over two decades ago. How do you see the topics and songs you guys write about and play evolving over time?

Well, the internet was a big game changer. When our last album came out, Myspace was the place to promote your music. So I think [the internet’s] opened up a world where people can get their music out there. One thing, around 2008 before Obama came in, it wasn't feasible for a lot of bands to tour because gas was so expensive and people didn't have the money to go to shows. So that was kind of part of the reason we stepped back for a second too, because that was the way we went out and made a little bit of money to pay our rent. Now there's like a thriving DIY scene that's happening that more people hear about because of the internet. You kind of just take it day by day or month by month, it's like, ‘Okay let's go out and see what's happening.’

That's such a great point you make about the internet being a promotional tool for musicians. A lot of times I feel that my generation, millennials, myself included, take the access that the internet provides for music exploration for granted.

I mean, it used to be you'd have to send flyers out to street teams and you'd contact them through snail mail and then get their address and send packets of flyers. Now it's just as quick as Facebook. People are paying attention and they see [music] that way.

That makes me wonder how the internet has affected both your pre-existing fan base, as well as your new beginning. Because the people who were listening to 'Pink Hearts Yellow Moons' and were turning out for Dressy Bessy shows are a little older now...

We kind of knew that we'd have to rebuild our fan base, which is what we're doing right now and what we have done this year. It's just what we do, but we are finding our fans range from ages 4 to 70, which is pretty incredible. There are literally all ages at our shows, which is amazing. And a lot of our old friends who aren't paying attention every day are finding out. It happens every time we leave a city; the next day we get a load of messages: ‘Oh my God you guys are still going!’ And this happens every day: ‘Oh my God you have a new album! See you next time!’ And then they see us the next time.

I feel like 'Kingsized' definitely lends itself to a new generation of listeners that are looking for or to hear some sort of sanity in music, you know?

I appreciate that. It's a crazy world [laughs] it's just a crazy world. But yeah the struggle is always there and if it weren’t there, I don't think I'd appreciate what I do as much. It makes it real.

So speaking of the internet, your website teases more shows this year. Any idea when and where they'll be?

In March we're doing the Treefort Music Fest, which is a festival in Boise, Idaho. So we're planning to do some Northwest shows around that. The festival invites are coming in and we're sort of just using those as anchor shows to tour sections of the country at a time. Going out and covering the country all at once can be exhausting and physically, mentally taxing. We used to do six to eight week tours and just go do the whole thing and then come back just like [exhausted] you know? We've discovered that [for us] to keep our sanity, it's best that we go out max two weeks at a time, and just do regions of the country, and then come back for two weeks and go out and tour another section of the country. In March, we'll start doing some stuff. And we'll have Colorado shows within there too. We love Fort Collins and Grand Junction.

Awesome, right on.

Yeah it's coming. We're just trying to get a handle on it.

That's great that you're planning Colorado shows.

Oh of course. Denver is great, you know? There's a reason I've lived here for 23 plus years. I've always loved Denver. Whenever I travel, I'm excited to get home you know?

16473301_1311941575534250_2067741229250307108_n.jpg

It seems like everything went really well for Dressy Bessy since 'Kingsized' came out. I know you were sort of going into it without any real expectations, you were just kind of seeing what would happen, right?

Right. Just going in and doing what we do. I mean, if you put a record out and you expect the world to embrace you, you're bound to be let down. We do it because we have to, we don't do it because we strive to be rockstars or to be rich. We have to do this, so whether lots of people like it or not, we're still going to do it. It's a life calling for us. It's satisfying to go out for 300 people or 30 people or three people; it doesn't matter. If [the crowd’s] all into it, for us it’s completely satisfying. It’s like I always say, I just keep doing it, I keep doing it, I keep doing it, and after I'm done I'll have a legacy. It'll all be there for other generations to pick up on and perhaps be influenced by and it's much bigger than me. My music will live long after I'm dead and that's awesome. I'll take that. If the planet's still here, oh my God.

That's very forward thinking of you. So you see Dressy Bessy as a necessary voice in the industry right now.

I always have. My lyrics are always up for interpretation but I'm of the girl power generation, you know what I mean? Just speak your voice and don't take any shit. And a lot of my songs come about when there’s some sort of conflict, whether it be in my personal life or the world around us... it's sort of my way to just get it out. It could be protesting a relationship I have with a friend, or whatever. Writing songs is my way of getting any negative energy that I have towards a situation or a person or the world in general, just getting it out through song, if that makes sense.

Dressy Bessy is one of several Colorado bands who will perform at the Treefort Music Fest March 22nd-26th. CPR’s Open Air reported that local bands Trout Steak Revival, The Still Tide, Bud Bronson & The Good Timers, Dragondeer and Brent Cowles have also made the list. For the full lineup, which includes Angel Olsen, Mac DeMarco, The Growlers and plenty of other big names, go here.

-Claire

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

Breaking Up The Boys' Club: The Seratones’ A.J. Haynes Is A Female Rock Powerhouse

By: Riley Ann

The Seratones are blowing up the rock scene as we know it. My advice? Go see this band the next time they’re in town, when you still might be able to catch them play a basement show.

Seratones played two consecutive nights at the Larimer Lounge last weekend, and the shows were sponsored by Colorado Public Radio’s OpenAir. The band actually played for OpenAir in a session last fall, and they returned to Denver packing both nights at the Larimer. The first night, The Kinky Fingers and The Guestlist opened the show; the second night Wes Watkins’ Septet and Quantum Creep shared the stage.

Wes Watkins' Septet.

Wes Watkins' Septet.

At heart, Seratones is a garage rock band with funk, soul, and jazz influences combined with a touch of Southern flavor. Fronted by the powerhouse vocals of A.J. Haynes, the band compels you to dance with heavy, driving guitar chords, bluesy rock riffs, and syncopated rhythms. Haynes’ vocals are equally powerful as they are playful, as is her stage presence, making for a captivating show both sonically and visually. Haynes isn’t shy about her feminine energy either, whether in her vocals or her dancing, and she also isn’t afraid to headbang on stage while hammering out guitar chords, dive on top of the crowd while belting out a chorus, or stomp through a horde of people dancing and singing along with her.

The Seratones.

The Seratones.

Having already appeared on NPR’s Tiny Desk and Audiotree, this band continues to gain national and international recognition, and are making waves with their album Get Gone. Immediately following their Denver shows, the band flew to Paris to begin their European tour this week. Inevitably, their future holds sold-out theatre shows, so see this band as soon as you can, because nothing beats the intimate show of a band like this in a dive bar, a basement, or a garage.

More about the Seratones’ music and tour dates can be found on their website.

-Riley

Find out more about Riley on her blog.

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

Denver's Indie Shoegaze Outfit Corsicana Play The Mercury Cafe This Thursday

By: Hannah Oreskovich

Denver’s Corsicana is the brainchild of 18-year-old Ben Pisano, who started the project in 2014 while still in highschool. With influences including Bon Iver, Death Cab for Cutie, Sufjan Stevens, and Tycho, Corsicana has evolved into a three-piece band live, with atmospheric soundscapes and a shoegaze ambience. Pisano (guitar/vocals) is accompanied by members Amos Chase (drums/synth) and Ryan Skiles (bass) for performances. And speaking of shows, you can catch this crew this Thursday (01/19) at The Mercury Cafe in Denver.

Ben Pisano of Corsicana. 

Ben Pisano of Corsicana. 

Pisano has recorded two EPs under Corsicana, the second of which caught the attention of Pandora Radio and is featured in the online radio’s catalogue. In September of 2016, Corsicana’s first full-length album Haven was released, a work which Pisano recorded himself in full as well. After the release of Haven last fall, Corsicana found themselves touring the Pacific Northwest and getting radio play on CPR’s OpenAir.

Check out Corsicana’s Haven:

Following their show at The Mercury Cafe this week, you can keep up with Corsicana’s 2017 gig schedule here. Whether you peep this ambient indie act digitally or at their show this Thursday, this is a band starting off the year with some sweet buzz from their release last fall, so lend them an ear. Listen to more Corsicana on their Bandcamp page.

-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.

Colorado's Edison Announce New Album, 'Familiar Spirit', & String of Hometown Shows

By: Hannah Oreskovich

Most bands dream of touring the nation and hitting the pavement on the reg, and Denver’s Edison have spent the last year doing just that, playing shows from coast to coast, and everywhere in between. The Colorado folk rock trio, consisting of Sarah Slaton (vocals/guitar), Dustin Morris (drums/vocals), and Grammy-nominated guitarist Maxwell Hughes (formerly of The Lumineers), made the joint decision in 2015 to quit their day jobs and pursue music full time. And that choice has sure paid off: Edison was recently signed to Rhyme & Reason Records, are coming out of a busy festival season with another full tour planned for the fall, and their album, ‘Familiar Spirit’, drops next Friday, 09/16/16. In anticipation for its release, Edison are actually headed back to the CO for a bit, with hometown shows planned at Boulder’s Fox Theatre this Friday, 09/09/16 and Denver’s Larimer Lounge next Tuesday, 09/13/16. Make sure to snag your tickets now, and in the meantime, check out our interview with Edison below:

How did the three of you come to be a part of the Colorado music scene?

Dustin and Sarah were initially involved in the Denver music scene, and Max had strong roots in his hometown music scene up in Fort Collins. In 2014, Sarah opened for Dustin and his former project on a tour to SXSW. By the end of the tour, they were collaborating on stage, and continued working together after returning home. Fast forward a year later, and Maxwell joined the Edison duo project on a co-headlining tour to SXSW 2015. [Edison’s] missing piece came together on that trip, and we've been a band ever since. 

Edison. Photo Credit:    Kristen Wrzesniewski

Edison. Photo Credit: Kristen Wrzesniewski

We know that you made the decision to hit the road and foster relationships with people on tour before releasing much music as a band. How did you have the courage to take this approach? And how has this route defined this project for you?

The courage to commit to such aggressive touring came after years of each of us touring solo with our own music. Within the last decade, each of us had traveled alone across the country with just our instruments and clothes in our car. When we finally made it into a car together, the chemistry clicked and we immediately agreed to give this project 110%. The road feels like home to all of us already, and [this project] has been defined by our joint love of traveling, and trying to carve out our future. [We will continue to tour this fall] with Jared & The Mill after Familiar Spirit is released next week, and we're so excited to take this record to the West Coast.

Denver is quickly becoming a massive launch pad for national acts, two of which you’ve had the chance to share a stage with (ie: Hughes as formerly of The Lumineers and Edison’s performance with Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats). In your experience, why do you think Denver is a growing music hub? And what do you dig most about the Denver scene?

The scene in Denver stands out from other markets because there is a culture of collaboration. Musicians build community with one another instead of opting to view it as a competition. There are more systems in place to support the scene [in Denver] than most cities too. Things like CPR’s OpenAir, Illegal Pete’s, Levitt Foundation, SpokesBUZZ (R.I.P.), The UMS, and Youth on Record all make supporting local musicians part of their core mission. Artists in Denver have access to music business education, philanthropic opportunities, and media exposure all at their fingertips. It's something special.

Photo Credit:    Kristen Wrzesniewski

Photo Credit: Kristen Wrzesniewski

Sarah- As an out female fronting a successful indie folk project, you’re in a position of power to bring your background to your audience. How do you harness that power in your artistry to empower women, and LGBTQ individuals?

I'm proud to be an out woman and to stand on stage beside two men who support me and the LGBTQ community. It's been really rewarding to get feedback after a set from girls who are wanting to pursue music, or who have questions about my experience being an out musician. I hope that they take away something from the set that adds to their confidence in wanting to go for it themselves. 

When it comes to releasing ‘Familiar Spirit’ this month, what are you most excited about? Sharing the new tunes? Getting back on the road? All of the above?

All of the above. This record is something we've been sitting on since recording [it] last spring, and we have been anxiously awaiting the release date. We're so proud of the album, and to finally see people take the music home at shows will feel like Christmas.  

Photo Credit:    Kristen Wrzesniewski

Photo Credit: Kristen Wrzesniewski

What can your audiences expect from your sets while you’re in Colorado for these hometown shows?

Our hometown shows will be the perfect cap to the first leg of our 2016 tour. We have been working hard on the set for each show, and can't wait to get in a room with our hometown audience. They're family. We may have a few tricks up our sleeves for them, but folks will have to come see for themselves!

Well played, Edison. Stoked for the shows.

Make sure to catch Edison at Boulder’s Fox Theatre this Friday, 09/09/16 and Denver’s Larimer Lounge next Tuesday, 09/13/16. And keep up with this Colorado folk rock trio 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.

The Weekend Six: Six Shows to See 08/26, 08/27, & 08/28

By: Hannah Oreskovich

TGIF yo. Here’s The Six:

Today (Friday 08/26):

RiNo Music Festival at RiNo Neighborhood in Denver 430PM-Close

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Channel 93.3, Westword, and Twist and Shout are throwing a festival bash for you today in Denver’s RiNo neighborhood, and it’s just in time for happy hour. The music lineup includes Silversun Pickups, St. Lucia, 888, Bishop Briggs, and A Silent Film. Tickets are $40 for the whole shebang, and you can nab ‘em here. Festi while you can, folks.

Watch 888’s official music video for their song “Critical Mistakes”:

Local Songwriter Showcase at Club 156 in Boulder 7PM-9PM

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CU’s Program Council is putting on a cool event tonight at Club 156 that features several local talented singer/songwriters, including Cameron Bailey, Jobi, Jarocki, Ethan Cohen, Nate Harvey, and Sophie Kloor. The event is free and open to the public, so whether you’re new to CU and wanting to learn more about the music scene, or a longtime Boulder resident wanting to check out some new tunes, get to this show! 

Listen to Sophie Kloor’s demo for her song “Losing Myself”:

Kutandara Kombi at The Laughing Goat in Boulder 8PM-Close

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Boulder’s Kutandara is a world music group, fusing “African music traditions with indie-pop, rock, jazz, gospel, [and] classical” sounds. And tonight, they’ve got a gig at Boulder’s LG that is sure to make your spirits dance. Kutandara are well known for their eclectic sets, playing every show with the intent of “exchanging energy of music and movement with our audiences”. Sounds like a rad time- and it’s free! Head on down.

Sample some Kutandara tracks here.

Tomorrow (Saturday 08/27):

Eros and the Eschaton Album Release Show at Larimer Lounge in Denver 8PM-Close

Colorado Springs’ Eros and the Eschaton dropped their sophomore album Weight of Matter recently, and we have been diggin’ on it. Major. Read more about it in our review of the album, and celebrate with the band tomorrow at their Larimer show. Denver’s I Sank Molly Brown and Maybe Baby & The Bitch Boys are joining the party, and OpenAir CPR is putting on the show. Tickets are only $10 in advance. Get ‘em now, and while you’re at it, get Weight of Matter. Your ears will thank you.

Listen to Eros and the Eschaton’s single “Rxx”:

Mayhem Gulch at Conor O’Neill’s in Boulder 10PM-Close

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If you’re looking for a solid bluegrass show for the weekend, look no further Colorado! Boulder’s own bluegrass/newgrass five-piece Mayhem Gulch will be strummin’ at Conor’s tomorrow night. The group describe themselves as “a whiskey-fueled campfire jam”, which sounds pretty perfect for a summer Saturday. So get to it!

Listen to Mayhem Gulch’s “Run for the Hills”:

The Next Day (Sunday 08/28):

Magpie, Ethan Griggs + Sonder Ensemble, & Chloe Tang at Lost Lake Lounge in Denver 8PM-Close

magpie-ethan-griggs-sonder-ensemble-chloe-tang-20.jpeg

Back in March, we featured Denver’s soulful folk outfit Magpie. The “orchestral folk rock” project, led by Zach Dunn, is playing The Lost Lake this Sunday, headlining a bill that features Ethan Griggs + Sonder Ensemble and Chloe Tang. The show starts at 8PM and is only $8, so ease into the week with a good drink and the sweet sounds of these Denver acts. More info here.

Watch Magpie’s live performance video of their tune “Trembling”:

See you at a show CO! Xoxox

-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.

Eros and the Eschaton Release Sophomore Album, 'Weight of Matter'

By: Hannah Oreskovich

Back in 2012, Eros and the Eschaton were a North Carolina-based experimental duo comprised of couple Kate Perdoni and Adam Hawkins. In 2013, the two put out their debut record, Home Address for Civil War, on the coveted indie label Bar/None Records (Alex Chilton, Yo La Tengo), which gained critical acclaim as a shoegaze pop hit. Fast forward to 2016, and you’ll find Eros and Eschaton at their new home base in Colorado Springs, CO with members Alex Koshak (drums), Ryan Spradlin (bass), and Mitch Macura (keyboards) filling out their lineup. Just last Friday, the group released their sophomore album, Weight of Matter, also on Bar/None Records. And we have really been diggin’ on it.

Eros and the Eschaton.

Eros and the Eschaton.

In the span of just a few days, Weight of Matter has garnered some major buzz with reviews in Consequence of Sound, Scene Magazine, and more. The band’s single, “Rxx”, has been all over CPR's OpenAir, and this Friday, the group is throwing their album release show at Larimer Lounge with Colorado favorites I Sank Molly Brown and Maybe Baby & The Bitch Boys.

The album artwork for  Weight of Matter .

The album artwork for Weight of Matter.

Weight of Matter remains loyal to the band’s pop styling roots from their previous release, while also showcasing the talents of each musician in the group. There are beats to keep you moving mixed with Hawkins’ atmospherically dreamy vocals on the band’s tune “Cry”, there are tasty bass lines behind Perdoni’s flawless garage-y vibes on the album’s single, “Rxx”, and Macura’s keys can be heard stringing together fantastic melodies throughout the album while Hawkins riffs you away into shoegaze oblivion. Weight of Matter manages to play with elements of alt rock, classic pop, atmospheric indie, and garage punk (sometimes even within the same song), all the while remaining a smooth, well-composed, and lyrically inventive work of art.

The album’s single, “Rxx”, which is worth mentioning all on its own, is everything a great neo-psychedlia/shoegaze track should be: poppy keys that invite you to the stage over rocking guitar riffs, a low-end of bass bumps and drum thumps that keep you moving, and Perdoni’s echoey vocals carrying you through the 60s and 70s in what could be a massive indie radio hit. As Perdoni told Consequence of Sound in a recent interview, “Rxx” is made up of “novel flashes in rock and roll history”, and it’s done with an infectious energy that feels exciting and upbeat rather than longingly nostalgic. It’s addictive to listen to.

Eros and Eschaton are an exciting act to have floating around the Colorado music scene, and Weight of Matter is a stellar album. Check it out for yourself here, preview a few songs from the record on Bar/None’s website, and make sure to get yourself to the band’s Larimer release show this Friday! Tickets are $10 in advance; $12 at the door.

Keep up with Eros and Eschaton 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.

The Final Day of The UMS 2016 Showcased Powerful Females & More

By: Hannah Oreskovich

The final day of UMS 2016 started off slow, which was unsurprising given the late night slew of shows on Saturday. Small crowds of zombies, still with a rock’n’roll twinkle in their eyes and glow stick goo on their shoes, wandered into the main stage area around 2PM in a noticeably lower attendance than the day before, but no matter. There was shade. And shade at The UMS is a hard commodity to come by.

DeCollage.

DeCollage.

As I wandered around South Broadway in those early Sunday hours, I found myself reflecting on what was overall an amazing weekend in local music. Having the chance to bounce around from venue to venue for four straight days checking out bands was this girl’s dream come true. It was a heck of a weekend Denver! So let’s chat about yesterday’s shows:

My favorite thing about Sunday at The UMS was the number of female-fronted performances I saw. Say what you will; the music industry is still very male dominated, whether you’re looking at artists or those behind the scenes. But ladies repped The UMS stages yesterday, from the smaller venues to the main shabang.

Millicent.

Millicent.

Let’s start with Millicent. Fronted by Emily Knurr, Millicent is a vibe pop project making Colorado waves. Knurr delighted a growing crowd at 3 Kings Tavern, many of whom admitted to being pulled in by the sound of her voice echoing outside of the venue. Her deep and magnetically smooth vocals pulled people close to the stage as she sang songs from her last EP Deux, a Drake cover, and some of her newer music (which has been all over OpenAir, so tune in!) She was stellar.

Shady Elders.

Shady Elders.

Shady Elders took the stage next, an indie rock/dream pop four-piece out of Denver fronted by Fox Rodemich. Rodemich also plays lead guitar and soon after starting the set, she turned the dance floor into a vibey haven of indie. 3 Kings was really the spot to be for indie over the weekend, and Shady Elders fit right in. They had an impressive crowd for an early Sunday show, and kept people groovin’.

Adia Victoria.

Adia Victoria.

Adia Victoria played the main stage mid-afternoon Sunday. The Nashville-based songwriter and vocalist's most recent album, Beyond the Bloodhounds, was produced by Roger Moutenot (Yo La Tengo, Sleater Kinney). Her lyrical poeticism wrapped us up in Victoria’s world, which she describes as, “falling in love, dealing with loss, confusion, anger, love, and loving myself”. Victoria had an Erykah Badu sound wrapped in a tasty indie sandwich. It was delicious.

The Velveteers.

The Velveteers.

Ready to rock, I rolled to the Hi-Dive, where The Velveteers were already performing. Frontwoman Demi Demitro was ablaze onstage in a glittering golden jacket belting out powerful heavy rock tunes. Her golden curls covered her face, giving her a mysterious glow that you couldn’t look away from. She jumped around stage while slamming on lead guitar and headbanging with the crowd, and her drippy choruses were catchy and captivating. Demitro is one lady you have to see live, Denver.

Cold River City. 

Cold River City. 

Cold River City, who dropped their latest full length album Thank You. Sorry. Love You. earlier this year, took the Hi-Dive stage in the early evening. The Boulder/Denver five-piece, who describe themselves as, “the love child of funky soul and dirty blues” brought a party. With grooving bass lines, strummy licks, and frontwoman Emma Fields’ killer voice, the crowd boogied throughout their set. Fields jumped between guitar, shakers, lead vocals, and even some toy instruments. CRC rocked, and they kept the evening moving along with a fun energy.

San Fermin.

San Fermin.

San Fermin took the main stage next, a Brooklyn-based eight-piece who are as fun to watch as they are to listen to. The group has had a lot of steam behind them recently, thanks to their release Jackrabbit, and after hearing them live, it’s easy to see why. With a robust horn section (John Brandon, Stephen Chen), Rebekah Durham’s violin playing, and lead vocals running between Charlene Kaye and Allen Tate, this group brought incredible instrumentation to the outdoor stage that echoed throughout the bellows of Broadway.

Polica.

Polica.

Polica then closed out the main stage as Sunday’s headliner. The brainchild of Channy Leaneagh, Polica played across their catalogue for their set, but are currently touring on their release, United Crushers. And that’s fitting since the Minneapolis-based project crushed their set! With dual drummers and Leaneagh’s commanding vocals, Polica was the perfect outdoor close to a great weekend of music.

BANDITS.

BANDITS.

Once the main stage shuttered shut and the crowds funneled to smaller venues, I took to the Hi-Dive again, where Denver’s BANDITS were straight shredding. Sibling duo John and Lulu Demitro are the creators of this three-piece, with the multi-talented Andrew Oakley on drums. John (guitar/vocals) was an alluring showman, with a rock’n’roll edge that kept us locked on the band’s set wondering what he would do next. Whether he's scratching his guitar on the monitor or running into the crowd, energy at any BANDITS set is guaranteed to be high. And Lulu, on bass and vocals, was equally powerful in her stage presence, holding down tight bass lines, and getting the crowd to sing along with her on tunes like, “Kill Tonight”, which she’s described as a track inspired by “a modern day Jekyll and Hyde, a psychotic way of looking at yourself and letting the crazy side take over”. The crazy did take over, as BANDITS slayed into the final night of the festival.

Beyond all of these female-fronted acts, I caught some rockin’ dudes on Sunday as well that are obviously worth mentioning. Denver’s DeCollage helped people get weird with their opening set of the day, with crazy visual props, a live painter onstage, and even a dancing oyster. Ian Cook brought a beautiful grace to the stage with his amazing cello playing and a set of songs inspired by fossils and dinosaurs. Modern Leisure, who we recently wrote about here, had a super chill and groovy set at 3 Kings that kept the afternoon moving along nicely. And last but not least: Denver’s The Yawpers managed to not only rile up a half-dead crowd into a riotous dance party of foot-stompin’, head shakin’ fun, but they somehow even got the sun to come out for their set. They brought life to the stage in more ways than one; you just gotta love these guys. Seriously- take a listen.

We had a blast at The UMS this weekend, and hope you did too Colorado! Make sure to head over to our Facebook for all of our exclusive photos from The UMS!

-Hannah

Follow Hannah on twitter and instagram.

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

The Weekend Six: Six Shows to See 12/11, 12/12, & 12/13

By: Hannah Oreskovich

Snow or not, we’re hittin’ shows this weekend! Here’s where you should trek to franz:

Today (Friday, 12/11)

The Haunted Windchimes at Chautauqua Community House 730PM-Close

The Haunted Windchimes. 

The Haunted Windchimes. 

We always love a cozy show at Chautauqua Community House and tonight The Haunted Windchimes are playing. They’re a folk/roots four-piece from Pueblo, CO signed to Blank Tape Records who have been touring the state quite a bit this year. They’ve played A Pairie Home Companion and OpenAir CPR

Haunting is an accurate inclusion. Listen to their track "Make It Rain" here:

Samsonic at The No Name Bar 10PM-Close

The No Name.

The No Name.

Samsonic is one part Miles Wide and one part we’re not sure what else! But we always love a good No Name performance. There’s nothing like sipping whiskey in a warm, wooden room with all of your best friends and great tunes. Go check ‘em out.

Tomorrow (Saturday, 12/12)

BolderBeat Presents: The 9th Annual Homevibe for the Holidays Concert at The Walnut Room 630PM-Close

John Craigie. Taylor Carson. Augustus. Danielle Ate The Sandwich. We’ve brought you holiday tidbits with these performers every day this week. And tomorrow is finally the night! We are ecstatic to be hosting a show with Homevibe Presents and can’t wait to see all of you in your best ski-themed clothes! Come eat pizza with us, escape the cold, and listen to some amazing tunes. Tickets still available here. See you soon.

Get stoked with a John Craigie vid from "The Day Off Sessions":

Whiskey Autumn at Jamestown Mercantile Co. 8PM-Close

Whiskey Autumn. Photo Credit:   Hannah Oreskovich

Whiskey Autumn. Photo Credit: Hannah Oreskovich

Jamestown’s even prettier in the snow. So join the WA boys for dinner and a show at The Merc this evening. They just dropped a new single this week (see below) and rumor is they’ll be playing it tonight for your listening pleasure, harmonies and all. We’ll be bringing you more info on them next week when their new music video drops. So stay tuned! And in the meantime, go catch these boys tonight.

Listen to their latest single 07.04.07 here:

XMas Sweater Soiree with Ben Hanna & the Knighthawks and Hunter Stone and the Getaway at Studio 700 930PM-Close

You're our idol too Ben Hanna.

You're our idol too Ben Hanna.

We recently checked out Studio 700 for a feature we’ll be bringing you in January, and we gotta say, it’s a pretty dang sweet spot. Formerly an insulated recording room, the guys at Studio 700 have worked hard to turn the place into an awesome performance space with cool lighting and great sound. Tonight, for only $5, you can check it out and wear your best Christmas sweater while Ben Hanna and Hunter Stone croon your ears off with their bands. Go go go!

Watch Ben Hanna’s latest music video here.

The Next Day (Sunday, 12/13)

Sister Speak with Riley Ann and Emily Shreve at The Walnut Room 8PM-Close

Sister Speak. Photo Credit: Jill Dedman

Sister Speak. Photo Credit: Jill Dedman

San Diego’s Sister Speak is led by musician and vocalist Sherri-Anne and backed by various instrumentalists. This is their last show before they head to British Columbia for the rest of the month. So go check them out! Boulder’s own one-woman-band Riley Ann will be opening for SS and Denver’s Emily Shreve is also making a set appearance. Sounds like it’s gonna be a powerful show! Roll to it.

Watch Sister Speak cover Nirvana here:

That’s all we’ve got for you! See you out!

-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.

The Weekend Six VIDEO EDITION: Six Shows to See 11/20, 11/21, & 11/22

By: Hannah Oreskovich

Weekend! Weekend! Let’s go to these shows:

Today (Friday, 11/20)

Paul Kimbiris and The Dark Side of Pearl Concert at the Chautauqua Community House 7PM-9PM

Joined by the talents of cellist Philip Parker, percussionist Leor Manelis, keyboardist Danny Rankin, and vocalist Beth Preston, tonight is one of Paul Kimbiris’ last shows of the season. Kimbiris and these powerful players will be performing a number of songs off of his album, “The Dark Side of Pearl.” Though it’s a bit softer than what you saw with Kimbiris' project BLVD at TFS, it sure sounds like the cozy type of night we want to be a part of. There are only a few tickets left, so get yours here. PS: Say hi to Paul’s mom, and wear a nice shirt.

Watch Paul performing for CPR OpenAir here:

Ben Hanna & the Knighthawks, Whiskey Autumn, & Hunter Stone at Shine Gathering Place 730pm-Close

Get ready for Ben Hanna to electrify an entire room once again kids! We were crazy for Hanna’s performance at TFS and we can’t wait to see what he’s got up his sleeve tonight. The show is only $5 and Whiskey Autumn and Hunter Stone will be opening things up, making for an overall tasty lineup. Word on the street is Whiskey Autumn is dropping a new single soon; yum. Anddd we caught up with Stone earlier this week before his rehearsal for tonight’s show so we can tell you, it’s gonna be a good one. Leggo.

Watch a Ben Hanna original right hurr:

Funky Friday at The Armoury featuring Vance Romanca, Amoramora, & Booster 8PM-Close

Vance Romance. 

Vance Romance. 

Head on down to the Larimer part of town tonight in the D and catch this funky fresh lineup at The Armoury. Rumor has it that tonight is Vance Romance’s last show for awhile, so catch it while you can. Plussss Boulder bands Amoramora and Booster will be kickin’ thangs off! The place is gonna be straight groovin’. Peep the set times here and head out.

Already ready to funk? Peep Booster’s “Slinky” vid here:

Augustus at Gold Hill Inn 9PM-Close

Augustus.

Augustus.

Augustus is making their Gold Hill Inn debut tonight and it's gonna be a party!! It's only $7 at the door and the Boulder rock trio is even setting up rides for fans and friends on their FB event page here. Head for the hills with these boys- the mountain views + their rockin' tunes will be well worth it.

Watch an Augustus video here:

Tomorrow (Saturday, 11/21)

KUNC Presents: Yawpers Album Release Party at the Hi-Dive 8PM-Close

Now that looks like rock'n'roll. Photo Credit:  Kirsten Cohen

Now that looks like rock'n'roll. Photo Credit: Kirsten Cohen

The only way you’re lucky enough to check out this one is if you already bought your tix friends because it’s SOLD OUT. Which isn’t totally surprising since Boulder--->Denver--->Bloodshot Records band The Yawpers are hanging out at home for the release of their newest album “American Man.” They’ve got quite a badass tour schedule, which you can peep here. So here’s to hoping you’re one of the lucky few shotgunning beers with these good ol’ American boys tonight.

And whether you’re headed to the show or not, watch The Yawpers “Doing it Right”:

The Next Day (Sunday, 11/22)

The Lovebirds and Theresa Peterson at Vapor Distillery 7PM-9PM

Lady projects + Vapored libations= All good things.” That’s what’s up with Sunday’s gig at Vapor Distillery. San Diego duo Veronica May & Lindsay White are The Lovebirds and they’re going to be bringing some “folk that pops” to you Boulder. Local staple and Boulder-in-the-Round creator Theresa Peterson will be opening the show. So go check out all three of these lovely ladies! It’s going to be a great end to the weekend.

Check out The Lovebirds “UNI” here:

So many killer shows. See you out there Boulder!

-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.

BLVD: The 90s Rock'n'Roll You Know You've Been Missing.

By: Hannah Oreskovich

Paul Kimbiris has a new project and we dig it. 

BLVD. Four letters, three guys. And their first show under the new name is happening this Friday at The Fall Showcase. So who are they?

Well, we’ve brought you info on Paul Kimbiris before. You might remember him headlining the Fox back in May with backing band The Paper Stars. Or maybe you saw him at Augustus’ CD Release show at The Lazy Dog in June, where again, he was referenced as a solo artist with a backing band. Well guess what kids. Paul’s got a new gig in this town. And he wants you to know it’s “a little less sad bastard and a little more punk rock”. F*ck yes.

BLVD is composed of Leor Manelis (drums), Danny Rankin (bass), and Kimbiris (guitar, vocals). When I met up with Paul to learn a little more about his new project, he told me he’s played with these guys forever. They were with him for the Fox show last May. And practicing for that is actually where BLVD kind of kicked off.

“We were practicing for the Fox show and- you know we were practicing pretty stuff- melodies, a waltz. And just joking around, I played one of my old songs and [the guys] were like ‘Hey what else do you have like that? That’s the best song I’ve heard you play.’ I mean I wrote these songs like late 90s. I’d put them to bed. But when you play songs with really good musicians- you can play two chords and it can be fucking awesome. And so that’s what we’re playing. These old songs I wrote and we’re rock and roll, you know?”

I told him I didn’t- BLVD hasn't put anything out yet (though they will be this winter). And they haven’t exactly performed live yet with their new material and under the name BLVD. So Kimbiris explained the sound to me like this:

“70% of what BLVD plays are songs I wrote late 90s- so they’re influenced by things happening then. The Pixies; British rock bands like Blur. You’ll hear it; you’ll hear it. Like right around the time OK Computer came out- I mean that record was huge for me as I’m sure it was for a lot of people. Minor keys, delayed pedals, that atmospheric sound. That’s what we’re doing with these songs. And no acoustic- this is all electric. But these are songs from another life.”

And what other life are they from?

“Well they sound like they’re about a guy who was living in Philly. Because that’s what I was doing at the time and they’re all about my experiences.”

And is the name somehow from that other life too? Why BLVD?

“Back in Philly, there’s this street called Roosevelt Boulevard. It’s where we used to buy drugs and it’s, you know, ‘one of the most dangerous streets in America.’ Bad traffic, pushers, everything. And I used to hang out there. So I felt like it fit this. And I liked the name- it looks good on a t-shirt or a hat.”

I laugh. So what is BLVD most looking forward to about playing The Fall Showcase?

“I’m looking forward to playing louder and to an audience that’s a little bit younger than me. And for the folks that are coming to see Whiskey Autumn and Ben Hanna [and the Knighthawks]. Ben was one of the first people I met when I moved to Boulder and we lived together. I met him at a Conor’s open mic.”

Boulder’s crazy that way.

“You know, I had no plans to play music here when I first got here. I came from Austin and met some folks like Philip Parker and Gregory Alan Isakov and they heard me a couple times. And they said to me, ‘You’re good. But you should try harder.’ And sometimes, that’s all people need to hear.”

Definitely- and those are pretty awesome people to hear that from. So what’s next for BLVD?

“We’re playing Chautauqua on November 20th but that’s going to be a very sit-down and like bring your mom. Like my mom will be there. And wear a nice shirt. We’ll be doing things different for that- we’ll have a cello, more strings, an organ. We can’t rock there- it’s a hundred year old building. And then I want to put something out. Something we record live maybe and do overdubbing on. My last solo record took a year; I want this next one out quick. Like a month. And then in January or February we’re going to be doing an OpenAir session. And from there- play a lot in Denver; we’ll play a lot in Boulder too. But Boulder’s venues are pretty limited.”

They are indeed. Which is one reason The Fall Showcase is happening.

“Yeah it’s gonna be a great show. The middle slot’s the best slot and that’s where we are so it’s gonna be great.”

Though they're just revving up their 90s engine, something tells me BLVD’s going to be taking off pretty quickly. So come see their first show together as BLVD this Friday at The Riverside for The Fall Showcase!

Join the FB event 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.

Album Review: Paul Kimbiris' "The Dark Side of Pearl"

By: Pete Laffin

Paul Kimbiris' newest release is his best work yet. 

Ever wonder what Bob Dylan would sound like if he could sing?

First off, I entirely reject the notion that Bob Dylan actually can sing, or that he is an “interesting” or “unique” singer, as people like to say at parties. The man can’t sing.  What’s more, claiming he can only diminishes his genius. The genre known as “singer/songwriter” seemingly requires the capacity to perform two specific functions. And yet, Bob Dylan became the greatest ever without being able to do one of them. Consider Michael Jordan becoming the greatest basketball player without being able to dribble, or Churchill becoming the greatest orator with a stutter. This is what Bob Dylan somehow pulled off. There’s no need to make excuses for him. His accomplishment is otherworldly, akin to Beethoven composing the Ninth Symphony while deaf.

paul kimbiris.

paul kimbiris.

Another qualification: In no way am I equating Dylan to the subject of this review, Paul Kimbiris. Dylan didn’t just write some of the greatest songs you’ve ever heard, he wrote most of them. When a song plays in a bar or a coffee shop and someone asks “who wrote that?” the answer is usually Dylan. In hundreds of years, skeptics will question whether or not any human could be so prolific in a given craft, the same way they question Shakespeare: Was there an enslaved coterie of writers he stole from? Was Satan in on it?

But back to the initial question: What would Dylan sound like with a decent set of pipes? This writer’s contention is that it might sound a lot like Boulder’s own Paul Kimbiris, especially on his latest album, “The Dark Side of Pearl.” His vocals are rich and deep with a timbre that occasionally rattles the ground. And yet, he retains the frantic dips and leaps that define the Dylan aesthetic. His songwriting is pretty darn good, too.

The title track “The Dark Side of Pearl” is where my Dylan musings find their strongest foothold. On the iconic downtown strip of Boulder known as Pearl, one strata of society buys $900 table napkins from knick-knack shops, while another earns its keep juggling flaming swords, or slinging coffee, or washing dishes, or working retail, as Kimbiris himself did years ago. From behind a counter he watched the crowds march down the red brick walking mall with plump shopping bags and blissful expressions. This track is a whimsical meditation on those days. It’s not the biting social commentary familiar to Dylan fans, but simply one man’s recollection of a less-than-stellar sitch: “All your confidence has left you/And you feel no one respects you/A simple hello would make all the difference in the world,” he wails at the chorus with his Dylan-esque vocal abandon. The perky rhythm and melody stand in contrast to the subject of the piece, which provides a satisfying dissonance. The essence of this track is that of the proverbial madman laughing at the rain, and you’ll find yourself laughing and clapping along too.

“Heavy Things” is another tune colored with the markings of Dylan. “Heavy things always come down/Get used to it/Deal with it,” is the bluntly sung chorus, a modern echo to A Hard Rain is Gonna Fall.” Even more than on “The Dark Side of Pearl,” Kimbiris takes the vocal aesthetic of Dylan and infuses it with his own signature opulence. The instrumentation on this track is simply beautiful: the winding electric guitar notes in the deep background, the skillfully placed keyboard notes, and the resonant cello bows (played powerfully by Philip Parker of Denver’s Glowing House; also the record’s producer). The sound is more early-era alternative rock than it is folk, and the combination is damn cool. And more importantly, when he laments the heavier happenings of life, it rings with authority. The qualitative feel of the song is a great match for the message it hopes to convey. This song sounds like the hard-fought acceptance of life’s tragedies.

When Kimbiris first handed me the disc and I saw a track entitled “Sitting Home Alone with Your Guitar” I recoiled. Listening to artists talk about their art to other artists is something I’m just plain sick of. Having played stages for the past eighteen years, I’ve had my fill of listening to this kind of thing. (I’ve similarly been unable to attend a writer’s “talk” since grad school.) At this point it all just seems so (sorry, Mom, I can’t avoid the word)… masturbatory. And worse, the attempt to do so within a singular piece of art is loaded with landmines. It’s just so easy to come off trite or self-involved, or worse, miles off the mark. But after listening to the track dozens of times, I find myself experiencing two of life’s greatest feelings: being surprised, and being wrong. Kimbiris’ secret for pulling off the dreaded artist-explaining-art-in-a-piece-of-art is remaining a few feet off the ground throughout the piece, never committing to maxims, but sticking to abstractions. In this way, he is able to convey his experience without sounding preachy or clichéd. “When you’re sitting home alone with your guitar/The universe expanding, a union torn apart/Counting constellations from the rooftop of your car,” is the line recurring at the chorus, accented by some of the highest and truest vocal notes on the record. The description rings true: The art we make, we don’t really make, but access, from a place somewhere above our heads, and we pull it down and filter it through our souls. What’s more, the song itself is a clinic on quality songwriting. The airy and wispy vocal harmonies are a modern take on Simon and Garfunkel, but not as sleepy as what you might hear on a Fleet Foxes record. The cascading finger-picking gives a nod to the virtue of minimalism in acoustic music, and the nearly imperceptible shifts in volume dynamics keep it interesting till the end. The successful execution of this track is an accomplishment acoustic players from coast-to-coast would like to have under their belts.  

My highest expectation for the record was a song of Kimbiris’ I’ve been familiar with for some time. “Bring Out Your Dead” is a straight up modern folk classic. If you love soulful acoustic music and are a fan of Monty Python (and man, are there a lot of people who fit this description), this might be your favorite song ever. It’s also another track where my Dylan-on-steroids vocal comparison finds a home. While “Dark Side of Pearl” recalls early Dylan protest songs, “Bring Out Your Dead” is more of the 70s Dylan love jam variety. While Kimbiris dips and climbs the length of his range with startling immediacy, the timbre of his tenor sustains. The elegant melody derived from a chord progression familiar to every guitar novice (you can figure out most of these songs in a single sitting, I even covered one at a show last weekend), the bittersweet beat, the lyrics that raise more questions than they answer: It all adds up to some seriously satisfying song-smithing.

Which is why I have to sadly conclude this track an opportunity missed. The magic is in there somewhere, but you have to strain to hear it due to overproduction. There is simply too much going on in the instrumentation, and the elaborate harmonies seem unnecessary, especially if you’ve seen this video on YouTube. The production is too smart by half, and the vocals are sterile in comparison to what Kimbiris achieves elsewhere on the record. Word is he will be re-recording this track for an upcoming project, and I can’t wait to hear how it turns out anew.

the album art from "The Dark Side of Pearl".

the album art from "The Dark Side of Pearl".

I’ll end with the real gem of the album: “Home Soon.” This track more than any reflects modern rock sensibilities; it could stand out in any of Ryan Adams recent releases. It’s got an infectious hook at the bridge, but it doesn’t rely on endless repetition (think “Let Her Go” by Passenger). The vocals are revelatory in their scruffy authenticity and the instrumentation is pristine, yet soulful, especially at the transitions, which are aided by rich cello bows. Local luminary Gregory Alan Isakov aided Kimbiris in the studio on this one (he also has co-writing credit for the track). Kimbiris was emphatic on the following point in the run-up to this review: If you want to make a great record, find great musicians to help you pull it off. He raved about the contributions of Patrick Meese, Ben Gallagher, Jeb Bows, and Philip Parker, each accomplished music makers from various musical outfits.

Though I can’t go into each track in-depth due to space/time restrictions, that’s not to say they aren’t worth some deep listening. If you want to hear how a single major-to-minor note dip can alter the complexion of an entire composition, take a listen to “Mexico.” If you revel in being stabbed in the heart by a single lyric (“Don’t know what I’m going to do/There’s a light in the tunnel and I hope it’s you”) listen to the “Ballad of Alex and Victoria.” And so on. Just buy the record, if only to give me a good old-fashioned bullshit check. You’ll thank me for it.

And if you see Kimbiris’ name on a local lineup, get your ass to that show. (Hint: There's one this weekend.) It’s rare that any local scene should harbor such a talent. Chances are, he won’t be part of it for long.       

-Pete

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

Snake Rattle Rattle Snake: A Chat with the Venomous Band's Frontwoman Hayley Helmericks

By: Deana Morton

The band with a bite: Denver's Snake Rattle Rattle Snake.

There’s something venomous about Snake Rattle Rattle Snake. The band name alone describes a sound that is alluring, hypnotizing and mesmerizing, all of which the group manages to deliver effortlessly. As someone who leans toward bands like The Cure, Joy Division and Depeche Mode, Snake Rattle Rattle Snake fits right into my wheelhouse. Their latest release Totem is textured with synthesizers, guitars and drums. Lead singer Hayley Helmericks' psychedelic crooning voice is reminiscent of great singers like Siouxsie Sioux or Ian McCulloch of Echo and the Bunnymen. SRRS have a unique sound with a progressive modern edge.

Hayley recently chatted with me to discuss the evolution of her vocals, the Denver music scene and how Snake Rattle Rattle Snake is a family affair.

Do you remember your first exposure to music?

My brother Wilson (guitar/keyboard) and I grew up in a household where there was always music on. My folks were taking us to music festivals from the time we were born!

Was there a particular album or singer that inspired you to start singing?

I was always drawn to Joni Mitchell and Fleetwood Mac when I was young. Then of course there was a brief Top 40 radio phase, then a singer-songwriter phase and by the time I could drive myself to the record store and buy my own music it was all PJ Harvey, Fugazi, Radiohead and Sleater-Kinney.

Snake Rattle Rattle Snake.  

Snake Rattle Rattle Snake.
 

You have such a beautiful, distinct voice with so much confidence and a command over your lyrics when you sing. I’m guessing it’s been a journey to develop your vocals. Can you talk a little bit about that process?

First of all, thank you! I've always been a singer but I definitely wasn't always confident about it. I was the little kid who would sing and show off for my family but if put on the spot, I would shut down and get super shy. That said, I've always been outspoken and confident in other areas of my life, so once I started playing with other musicians and turning [things] up loud, it became easier. I have a low voice so it took me some time to figure out how to use it to my advantage. My first band Monofog was loud and raucous and I was screaming a lot. In Snake Rattle Rattle Snake it has been more about maintaining the natural power of my voice, but using it in a more precise way. I think I'm a much better singer than I was 5 years ago.

What year did Snake Rattle Rattle Snake form and how did you all come together?

We played our first show on Valentine's Day 2009, so we've been together 6 years now. My husband Doug and I were in Monofog together for many years before that and knew we wanted to start a project with my brother Wilson. The three of us had written songs and jammed in the past and it was good timing to start something new. We knew Andrew Warner (drums) from the days of playing shows with his old band Red Cloud West and he'd always expressed interest in playing too. We've had a couple of people come and go, but Jon Evans has been playing bass with us for a while now. [He is] another addition brought on from being friends through music, namely his old band Achille Lauro who practiced in the same building as us.

Scaled.  

Scaled.
 

You guys have received a lot of attention as one of the best Denver bands of the year from 303 Magazine and The Denver Post. How is the Denver indie music scene different or the same from other indie scenes around the country?

This is a tough one and the short answer is I don't know! The scene in Denver is very insular, a nod like "Band of the Year" here doesn't mean anything anywhere outside of Denver; outside of Colorado. And that's fine. We've been lucky to get local attention and it has afforded us lots of great opportunities. There has been, and continues to be, the problem of getting noticed on a national level. Things like OpenAir and various arts programs help, but there isn't the infrastructure here yet to support bands/musicians/artists because our scene is still relatively new and growing. We are lucky to have a diverse sound and a large talent pool. There is a LOT of music here- we are beginning to be known for that in Denver and people are certainly banking on it.

Hayley on   OpenAir   Colorado Public Radio.  

Hayley on OpenAir Colorado Public Radio.
 

You’ve shared the stage with bands like The Dead Weather, The Rapture and Devotchka. What has been your most memorable performance and how has sharing the bill with such high profile bands impacted how you approach to live performances?

Watching the Dead Weather sound check in an empty Ogden Theater while we folded freshly screened shirts will always be at the top of my musical memories list! And playing with The Rapture after spinning their music at every dance party I've ever had was amazing. Playing with those bands just makes you want to get better, write better songs and put on a better show (but I feel like that after I see any amazing band, high profile or not). It definitely does make you consider the production of it all- I want fabulous lighting and set design and outfits too! And good sound, I always want good sound.

Snake Rattle Rattle Snake recently released the video for “The Breath and Glow” by filmmaker Matthew Brown. What was the concept behind the video and how did the creative process unfold?

Matthew Brown is a friend of ours and he had always shown interest in doing some kind of film work for us. When we released Totem he singled out "The Breath and The Glow" immediately and we basically let him go wild with it. He had recently moved to LA, so he was primed to cast great actors and find cool locations. He picked up on the dark, psychedelic vibe of the song and went with it. We couldn't be happier with how it turned out.

SRRS's latest release:  Totem .  

SRRS's latest release: Totem.
 

I think the chorus to “Versus” is a perfect example of the dark, enchanting lyrics that fill Snake Rattle Rattle Snake’s catalog. Is there someone in the band that takes the lead writing lyrics for each song, or is it more of a group effort?

I write all the lyrics. I've been a journal-keeper and poem-writer since I was young, and that took the form of lyrics once I started playing music in my teens. I like to create imagery without spelling it all out for the listener. I like there to be a little mystery, a little bit of obscurity.

Catch Snake Rattle Rattle Snake at their next Denver performance: at UMS!

-Deana

Follow Deana on her music blog 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.

Strawberry Runners: Emi Night on Punk, Sexism, & Freaky, Beautiful Performances

By: Deana Morton

Strawberry Runners are the Denver indie project that you need to listen to right now.

It’s only a matter of time until Strawberry Runners will be your new favorite band. Their cool, ambient-indie sound is so catchy and enjoyable to listen to that you’ll be telling all of your friends to check them out. But don’t be surprised if they’ve already heard of them because the Strawberry Runners are gaining well-deserved media attention faster than I can write this intro. Wired Magazine listed them in These 10 Bands At SXSW Are About To Blow Up, NPR put them on their Austin 100: A SXSW 2015 Mix, and they will be on Colorado Public Radio’s Open Air session May 21st at 6:00pm.

Recently, Emi Night (founder and singer of Strawberry Runners) and I discussed Strawberry Runners and all things musical leading up to the formation of the band:

Emi, it’s pretty interesting that you went from singing church hymns to integrating yourself in the DIY punk scene in Bloomington, IN. How did this transition happen musically?

It was a pretty long transition, honestly. There was a small close-knit punk/diy/folk music community in my hometown, Madison, Indiana. I think I went to my first local show when I was 12 or 13, and for several years I would go to shows whenever I could, but I was pretty shy and mostly just curious to learn about how the music and the social structure worked. So when I went to shows for those years, I’d mostly watch people and listen to the music without interacting too much. I got a sense of who was making the music and doing the work that I liked. That inspired me and I started working on music and art at home as a sort of private response to what the folks around me were doing.

So when I was 15, I went through some big/heavy life transitions including leaving my church. I decided it was time to jump in and share my music. I pushed aside my reservations about talking to all the rockstars, and I made a bunch of friends in my community. There were a couple of people I got to know who had connections with folks in Bloomington, the most influential of which was my friend Daniel Gruner. He introduced me to Bloomington and the music community there when I was 17, and he actually helped me book my first tour that summer. It was a two-week tour. We went out east from Indiana and played in Pittsburgh and Philly, New Paltz, NY, NYC, New Brunswick, NJ, Richmond, VA, Athens and Atlanta, GA, Tallahassee and Pensacola, FL, Memphis, Little Rock, AR, Bloomington, and probably a few other places I’m forgetting.

This tour was my first introduction to the east coast/midwest DIY circuit. It was a totally life-changing experience. I mean, there were people all over the place who were kind of like me! And people who were doing things I had never dreamed were possible. Even if that was just living as young adults in a beautiful house with 10 people and art all over the walls. Or having Christmas lights strung up around your whole house and having shows in your basement. Or making breakfast with all your friends. To me, the DIY community looked like paradise. And to this day, I’m still smitten and totally awestruck by the beauty of it. I continue to run into people I met on that first tour who are still involved in the community in all sorts of new ways and places, and it’s unreal. That was almost 10 years ago now!

Emi Night, founder and singer of Strawberry Runners. Photo Credit:   Matt Hogan

Emi Night, founder and singer of Strawberry Runners. Photo Credit: Matt Hogan

So speaking of the punk scene, what did it teach you about putting a band together?

Well, the punk community taught me how to put a band together. For me, that involves going to local shows and other events, making friends, and starting bands with them. I’ve been lucky to be surrounded by strong communities of musicians most of my life, and that makes starting a band easier. If you aren’t surrounded by folks who are eager to play music, it’s not as easy.

I could definitely see that. What challenges have you faced being the female lead singer in a male dominated scene?

I love this question.

Sexism is so insidious and pervasive in our culture that in order to focus on producing creative work in the way that I want to, I can’t think about it all the time. When I read your question at first I was like, “Well I don’t know, I try not to think about it and I haven’t had to deal with [it] too much!” And that’s partially true.

I’ve heard stories from lady friends who play in bands, and they can be pretty revolting. But in my experience, nothing super abhorrent has happened to me as a woman leading a band. I’ve never been cat-called from the audience, no one has written a review about my body or my looks [versus] my songwriting, and no one has offered professional favors for the band in an attempt to sleep with me. These are experiences female musicians I know have had, and they’re not uncommon.

So trying to answer your question, my first reaction was to say, “Well, I don’t have it as bad as that, so I don’t have anything to complain or talk about.” But I’m gonna be honest, this attitude is sexism at work, and it took me a little while to recognize that. To trivialize my own experience is a small way I perpetuate sexism and oppression in my life. So with that in mind, I’m going to share an experience that I tend to overlook as “just a little thing” that “doesn’t bother me that much.”

My band has multiple singers. Two of the singers are women; two are men. And it’s pretty common that people just don’t buy that I’m the leader of the band… Some people take a look at us on the stage and they have a hard time believing that I wrote the songs, [that] I organized the band, and [that] the men on the stage aren’t in charge of it. Recently, someone referred to me as “the singer” and they couldn’t remember if I played an instrument or not. But they assumed that one of the men in the band was the songwriter. I try not to get all bent out of shape over this sort of thing. I’ve played in other bands who performed with multiple singers, and multiple songwriters, but were led primarily by men. And I don’t think we ever had to have a discussion about being really intentional on the stage to make sure the audience was aware whose band it was… That was just never, ever an issue, or topic of conversation, or something anyone probably ever even thought about.

I imagine part of my sense of conflict and bewilderment around this comes from my experience growing up. I was the oldest of my siblings, and I was a leader to my brothers. So I’ve always felt like a leader… But I’ve been aware for a long time that outside of my home, and especially as I get older, there are these attitudes everywhere that intend to undermine women’s authority as leaders based solely on the invisible conviction that a woman just doesn’t hold the same power or presence as a man. These attitudes are subtle, and most people wouldn't admit to them or aren’t aware of them, and it’s especially unlikely that someone would consider these reactions as a product of sexism.

So, honestly, I don’t know how different my challenges are from a woman working in almost any other field. I’ve heard horror stories from women in almost every other discipline, whether it’s writing, art, teaching, sports, physics, or farming- seriously anything. When it comes to ownership and receiving credit for our work, women have to be outspoken about what’s theirs, or else it’s likely to be credited to someone else, and more often than not, [that someone is] a man.

Strawberry Runners: Bamboozled.

Strawberry Runners: Bamboozled.

Absolutely. So you mentioned the different singers in the band. How did the current members of Strawberry Runners come together?

Right now, Davy and I are the core members of Strawberry Runners. We used to play in Mega Gem together and when I started the last formation of Strawberry Runners, he jumped on board.

One of my favorite Strawberry Runners’ songs on the self-titled album is “Garden Hose”. The lyrics “you wanna pick a fight/you wanna stay up all night/wanna see me cry” are particularly great. I love the pairing of the emotional lyrics with your dream-like vocals. What was the writing process like for this song?

I like to hear what other people notice about my songs. Because usually it’s something I take for granted. Like, I don’t think of my songs as dreamy, but that’s how lots of people describe them.

The process for writing [Garden Hose] was pretty straightforward for me. When I write songs, I usually start with a guitar part [that] I’m diverting myself with. And I’ll weave a vocal melody that follows or plays off of the guitar melody. Writing the lyrics is a process that’s less directly related to the music composition. The mood is inspired by the music, and that will influence the content of the writing. But overall, the lyrics are derived from whatever is dancing or trudging through my thoughts at the time.

I wrote [Garden Hose] in particular as a response to some of the destructive interactions I’ve had with the people I love, and with myself. And thinking about how difficult it is to recognize and to curb the internalized patterns that perpetuate those digressions from the way we’d rather be: whether it’s negative self-talk, desire for control, sexism, competition, ego, ignorance, inhibition, etc. So this song is about the common presence of hostility in romantic relationships amid this longing for a heedless, exhilarated experience of love that’s beyond the destructive patterns.

The juxtaposition of the dreamy, upbeat music and heavy subject matter in the lyrics isn’t totally intentional… I write music to share my experience in a way that makes it accessible and potentially more relatable. So lightening it up is a part of that. It isn’t to diminish the power or gravity of that event; it’s to make room for these subjects in a social/political/cultural sphere. I’m not trying to put my experience on display. To me, the song’s ultimate intention isn’t to tell my story specifically. I’m trying to open a conversation. This is just where I’m at in my process of figuring out how to do that. And maybe it feels a little awkward. And maybe this process will teach me that pop music really isn’t the appropriate context to talk about domestic abuse, or rape, or loss, or any of these painful, messy, confusing feelings in a meaningful [and] beneficial way. But maybe this is the only way for these messages of strength to reach the ears of someone who needs to hear them. It’s dreamy because that’s what I like, and it’s dark because that’s what I need.

Also, last September you released Moth Mender. Is there a story behind the album name?

When I was a kid my dad had this giant moth pinned in a framed glass case on the wall of his studio that I would admire and study every day. It was something pleasant and beautiful and mysterious [that] I remember about my time with him. I got to know its patterns, its ashy wings, feathery antennae, and the tiny hairs all over its body. I thought it was exquisite; perfect. I never touched it, but sometimes I would find dead moths around the house and I’d collect them in little boxes. They always fell apart, and I would try to fix them with glue or tape. I was never successful, but I wanted so badly to someday have such delicate, agile fingers that I’d be able to mend the tiny broken moths and keep them beautiful and whole forever.

That’s beautiful. Speaking of your youth, in “Hatcher Creek” you sing, “this is where I got grown up/it’s where I skipped school/it’s where everything’s cool now.” I tried looking up where Hatcher Creek is, but I came up empty handed. Can you tell us more about Hatcher Creek? Is it a real place?

Yes and no. The story is real, and there is a creek I spent a lot of time in and around as a kid. Hatcher Creek is a creek that ran down Hatcher Hill in my home town [of] Madison, Indiana. But you won’t find it on any maps. I made the name up as a kid because I didn’t know what the creek was actually named. I looked it up recently because I was curious and I thought someone might ask me about it some day. It’s actually called Crooked Creek.

SR photo for their SXSW adventure this year.

SR photo for their SXSW adventure this year.

With a couple of albums under your belt, Strawberry Runners have been receiving a lot of well deserved recognition, such as the NPR and Wired Magazine articles. It has to be amazing to receive that praise, but it seems like there would be an added pressure. How do you keep level headed and focused on continuing to make great music?

I try not to think about it too much. I can’t say I’ve kept a level head the whole time. It was so, so, so exciting when we received the news, and I didn’t really believe it. I still don’t totally believe it. Mostly because I don’t understand how it happened. For a few nights I had trouble sleeping because I was afraid it meant my life was going to drastically change or something. And when that happens, I talk to Rachel. She’s my friend and manager who works with me on a pragmatic level to figure out what to do with the new press and how to move forward.

Once I chilled out after the initial excitement, I settled into the idea that people hearing my music is a good thing, and it just means I’ll have a few new opportunities to do the things I love. And I guess I just don’t really buy into the idea that press or attention or any of that could or should change my life. My life’s pretty much the same as it was before, so I still have plenty of time and energy to write and play and sleep and eat. Only now I just feel like there are more people who support what I’m doing.

Definitely. What bands are you listening to these days and how do they influence the way you have been approaching performing and writing?

Most of the bands I listen to are my friends, or friends of friends [whom] I hope to meet. I try to pick up something from everyone I see play [live]. So if we’re talking Denver bands, I just set up a show at my house for some folks: Anna Smith of Ancient Elk and Grease Pony, and Micah Bontrager and Jacqueline Cordova, who make up Meeca.

What inspires me most about musicians is the way their personalities manifest as performance when they play. I don’t like to see someone putting on a show as much as I like to see someone at home with their idiosyncrasies…

So, looking at this particular show, Anna is an incredibly graceful, subtle, and humble person who doesn’t shy away from places of vulnerability and grit. This comes through in her approach to performance, especially when playing alone. Micah plays in a more introspective manner, feeding off of the energy of his surroundings, and reflecting back what is needed. Jacque is more extroverted, offering listeners gentle and playful guidance through her performance. I guess what inspires me most is when I see people just being real in their own freaky, beautiful ways. It’s not like I see something I like and I start trying to do that thing exactly, it’s more that I see people doing something they love, and it makes me love what they’re doing, and it makes me want to do what I love even more. Does that make sense?

It does. So what can your fans expect from Strawberry Runners this summer?

This summer is going to be so exciting! At the end of May we’ll be releasing two new singles from our upcoming full-length [album]! We’re releasing on tape and digitally- so cool! Later this summer, we just got word that we’ll be playing Red Rocks for the Film on the Rocks series on May 23rd! We’re playing UMS in Denver as well…  we’re super excited! We will also have a few music videos coming out in July/August, and our full-length [album] is due out in late summer/early fall!

You can listen to the Strawberry Runners here. See them live at Film on the Rocks May 23rd and at Larimer Lounge May 24th.

-Deana

Follow Deana on her music blog 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.