Backseat Vinyl Talk To Us About Flipping Their Sound & What's In Their Name

By: Nathan Sheppard

Backseat Vinyl are a two-piece outfit made up of Nate Fuller (guitar) and Keenan Clarke (drums) who are paving their way into Denver’s music scene with their unique sound. The band was originally a metal/punk act four years ago when the duo started the band as a side project. But shortly after, the guys did a 180 and flipped their sound.  

Backseat Vinyl.

Backseat Vinyl.

“We initially started out with a very 90s grunge sound, but after getting tired of it, we began to evolve into a more indie style and have been perfecting the craft since,” says Keenan.

Although they changed up their style, you can still hear punk crafts in their music, especially with the drums on their newest single “Swing On By,” and with the guitar riffs in “Greaser.”

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When asked about their musical influences, the band names Nirvana, Vampire Weekend, Wavves, The Frights, and Hippo Campus. And when it comes to songwriting, Nate said that he “just uses everyday experiences and how they affect you and make you feel” as inspiration. This style gives them a very raw feel that people are able to relate to easily, and the duo’s fun-loving and carefree attitude is a breath of fresh air in a scene where some bands can take themselves too seriously. This demeanor was most evident when I asked about the backstory of the band’s name.

“When brainstorming a new band name on the drive back home from a studio session, Nate and I were in mutual agreement that we wanted the first part of the name to be ‘Backseat’ because I always had a plethora of trash in the backseat of my car. We combined it with ‘Vinyl’ when trying to think of words that paired well together and rolled off the tongue.”  said Keenan.

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The duo was recently featured on Channel 93.3’s locals-only show, which in Keenan’s words, “was a cool experience… hearing that other people listened [to us] on the radio and to get that kind of exposure is great.” Backseat Vinyl also played the Moon Room this month, one of their biggest shows to date, opening for New Jersey band Prawn. The guys have four singles on Bandcamp with an an album in the works, and have some studio time planned later in the year. In the meantime, you can catch Backseat Vinyl March 23rd at Streets of London Pub with Sadgirl and Bruiser Queen. Tickets here.

Nate and Keenan have a great musical chemistry with one another to create songs that you can just jam out to. Keep up with the band here.

-Nathan

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

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 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.

Iolite's Fierce Start In The Denver Music Scene

By: Sierra Voss

2016 was a huge breakout year for Denver’s music scene. Nationally recognized artists with local roots including Nathaniel Rateliff and Trevor Rich have been doing their part to put the city on the music map. Will 2017 bring Colorado another local breakout artist?

Meet Iolite (Elina), born and raised in Arvada, Colorado. Iolite hails from a family of musicians who immigrated to the United States from Russia in 1996, and at only 17 years of age, this pop artist is already making a name for herself in Denver. In 2016, Iolite independently released her first single “Spinning.” She garnered some definite buzz for the track and placed in the top three finalists for Channel 93.3’s "Hometown for the Holidays" event this past December.

Iolite.

Iolite.

Recently, I had the opportunity to talk to Iolite about her musical journey, and I came to learn it has been far from the the norm:

So when did you start writing your own music?

I started writing when I was about ten or eleven years old. Ever since then, I knew [music] was what I wanted to do. I was in a program called Two Roads, where you go twice a week [to their classroom] and the rest [of the program] you’re homeschooled. I graduated early mainly because I wanted to focus on my music and spend a lot of time writing.

Tell me more about your name Iolite- what does it mean?

Iolite is a gem stone. It was pretty random how I came up with it. I literally sat on Google and randomly generated words until I found one I loved. It just seemed to fit.

Take us inside your writing process.

My process is always developing. I think of a melody first and record it as a voice memo on my phone, then I sit down at a piano and really build it out. After that, I bring it into a studio and work with a producer to create the full track. It’s always a bit of a different process for each song, and I collaborate with a bunch of different producers. It’s an open, collaborative process.

What does an average day look like for you?

My normal day is waking up, doing some online college courses, and then I start writing. I always spend time every day playing classical piano too. My day is mainly based around my music.

We know your family is musical too. Tell us more about that.

My parents are both musical. My dad had thirteen brothers and sisters; all of them were very musical. I am one of six kids, am the second youngest, and am the only girl. My three older brothers had a band called Everfound growing up and a lot of my childhood was traveling with them on tour across the US. My family have been a huge inspiration for me and still are. It’s really awesome when you get to pursue something you love with the people you love, so it has been a blessing to have brothers interested in the same thing. One of my brothers is now a producer in Nashville, and is actually one of the main producers I work with currently. I’m sure once I go on tour, my brothers will come with me whether they are my band or are just holding the tour together.

What's your dream venue to play?

Red Rocks is definitely my dream venue.

What does 2017 look like for you musically?

I just started releasing music in 2016, so I will just keep writing and putting out a lot of music this year. I hope to play some shows throughout 2017 as well.

Keep an eye out for new music from Iolite on her Soundcloud, and in the meantime, take a listen to her latest single “Bloodstream” below:

-Sierra

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

Denver's Wiredogs Headline Lost Lake Lounge Tonight with The Hollow & CITRA

By: Hannah Oreskovich

Denver’s Wiredogs have been shredding Colorado since 2013. Comprised of Dan Aid (vocals/guitar), Mark Hibl (bass), Stefan Runstrom (drums), and Steven Beck (guitar), this rock four-piece have released two records to date, performed at major gigs including Denver’s Riot Fest and 93.3’s Hometown for the Holidays, and have shared the stage with acts like Pennywise, The Ataris, and Teenage Bottlerocket.

Wiredogs.

Wiredogs.

Though it’s been over a year since the band dropped a record, they’ve got a sweet surprise in store for you tonight: Wiredogs are headlining a show at Lost Lake Lounge, and have promised that their set will be all of their new material coupled with a few of their classic hits.

Earlier this year, Wiredogs dropped a track entitled “Broken Youth”. Fans were stoked, but it’s now been a minute since Wiredogs have dropped anything into the atmosphere, so if you’re as curious as we are about what to expect next from these Denver darlings, get to tonight’s show!

The Hollow.

The Hollow.

Also aboard tonight’s all-local lineup are The Hollow and CITRA. The Hollow, a project by music mastermind Spencer Townshend Hughes, is an alt-rock Denver outfit who actually toured extensively in the Southwest earlier this year in support of their self-titled EP. And CITRA, who we’ve had the chance to chat with and see live, released their debut EP Ocean earlier this year, and have been giggin’ ever since.

Make sure to give all three of these bands your ear tonight! We guarantee it’s gonna be a rowdy time. More details on the show can be found 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.

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.

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

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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.