Premiere: Denver's Boot Gun Debuts with a Bang with Two Singles & a New Music Video

Denver’s Boot Gun have entered the Colorado music scene with a serious bang. Today, the three-piece are releasing their debut single and video for “Virginia,” a high-energy rock’n’roll track with a Southern twang, and a rebellious video featuring a slew of Denver haunts to match. And folks, one thing’s for sure, the trio comprised of Keith Lawrence (guitar/vocals), Davie Landry (bass/vocals), and Cody Hart (drums), have brought the party.

“Virginia” was recorded and mixed by Todd Divel (The Yawpers, In The Whale, The Velveteers) of Silo Sound and mastered by Hans Liburd of Burdhouse Mastering. The video was directed and filmed by Colin Anders of Slice Cinematics (Nathaniel Rateliff & The Nightsweats, A Shadow of a Jaguar, Dragondeer). Boot Gun also featured several friends on the track’s instrumentals including Bullfrog Baugh on harmonica, who makes an appearance in the video about 40 seconds in, Sam Janik on guitar, and Bill McKay on organ and piano.

Says frontman Keith Lawrence about the track, "Virginia came to me in multiple dreams last summer. I showed the boys the main riff and they said ‘Sounds great. Where's the rest of the song?' I told 'em I had to go back to sleep to hear [and] see the rest of it. A few months and a couple of disco naps later, we had us a rock’n’roll ripper."

A ripper it is indeed. “Virginia” is a boot-stompin’ tune rife with slashing rips, harmonica twang, and a jangly toe-tappin’ keys solo that will force you on your feet. Some of that energy didn’t enter the track until the boys rounded things out in the studio though.

Says Keith, “As a band, we all believe that a song isn't finished being written until we record it. Todd at Silo pushed for certain creative ideas that we were able to let shine on these tracks. Having Bill McKay sit in on keys helped round out the sound and bring our musical intention into fruition."

Boot Gun. Photo Credit:  Mountain Trout Photography

Boot Gun. Photo Credit: Mountain Trout Photography

Along with “Virginia” and their debut music video, Boot Gun also released their B side “Feels Like A Storm” today. While “Virginia” takes you on a wild ride, quite literally in the video, “Feels Like A Storm” is the moodier, heavy-hitting track from the trio.

Says Davie, “‘Storm’ is a song that we wrote collectively. It started with Keith singing but never felt completely right. So we argued and laughed, and laughed and argued, and I was forced to sing it… In the end, it became the beast that you're listening to today."

You can listen to “Virginia” and “Feels Like A Storm” on all major streaming platforms and catch Boot Gun live at Cervantes with Dave Watts & Friends on Friday, April 12th.

Says Davie on Boot Gun’s debut, “It’s a young band's take on all the rock’n'roll we love and grew up on. We go from A to Z, then back to A just make sure you're still with us."

Join that trip and keep up with Boot Gun here.

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

The Weekend Six: Six Shows to See 03/18, 03/19, & 03/20

By: Hannah Oreskovich

Happy weekend peeps! Here’s The Six:

Today (Friday 03/18):

Jeremy Baugh, Hunter Stone, & Cody Hart at Taco Junky in Boulder 9PM-Close

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These three talented musicians have formed a supergroup of sorts that will be rockin’ out at Taco Junky tonight on The Hill. Baugh (of Cold River City), Stone, and Hart (of Cold River City & Asalott) will treat you to some sweet tunes while you stay warm with margs and tacos. Plus if you’re heading to the Marco Benevento show at The Fox, TJ’s is right next door, so drop in and say hi! We’ll see you there!

Tomorrow (Saturday 03/19):

Big Ol’ Birthday Bluegrass Bash at Studio 700 in Boulder 7PM-Close

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We brought you tons of sweet coverage on the last Studio 700 show (Music Masquerade), and this weekend’s party is bound to be just as fun! It’s St. Patrick’s Day themed, so put on your best leprechaun suit and hop around to the bluegrass bands on the bill. Booze, snacks, and all the funnest people in the land will be there. Don’t forget your green kids.

Get more details on this event here.

Natural Motives with The Boundless at Sancho’s Boulder Arrow in Boulder 8PM-Close

Chris Ruiz of Natural Motives.

Chris Ruiz of Natural Motives.

Get grooved at Sancho’s on The Hill tomorrow night with Boulder’s jam/funk band Natural Motives and the tribal/electronic outfit The Boundless. Grab a brew and party! The Boundless have promised dancers and visuals, so prepare for a psychedelic time. It’s going to be an awesome show! Learn more about this show here.

Listen to a Natural Motives self-titled EP:

The Next Day (Sunday 03/20):

Jeremy Mohney at The Mercury Cafe in Denver 7PM-Close

Jeremy Mohney.

Jeremy Mohney.

Jeremy Mohney has a sweet Sunday show at The Mercury Cafe in Denver with a talented crew: Alex Heffron (guitar), Gary Sloan (trombone), Greg Corcione (drums), & Hunter Roberts (bass). The five-piece will be playing jazz and swing originals, and even have some new material promised for your ears! Go practice your swing moves and end the weekend right. More info right here.

Listen to Mohney’s “Boco Stomp”:

My Body Sings Electric with Soon To Be Titans, Foreverfall, & Meeting House at the Downtown Artery in Fort Collins 7PM-Close

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Denver’s alt/posthardcore crew My Body Sings Electric are playing their last CO show this Sunday at the Downtown Artery as they jet out on a national tour. Sharing the stage are Loveland’s alt/rock Soon To Be Titans, along with Fort Collins’ Foreverfall. Plus new Denver rock trio Meeting House will open the show. The Meeting House dudes happen to be dropping their new EP at this event, so make sure to catch their set! It’s going to be a shreddin’ time, and you can cop more info here.

Check out Meeting House’s track “Beware of the Vulture”:

Britt Margit Melisma EP Preview at The Laughing Goat in Boulder 9PM-Close

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Aspen singer/songwriter Britt Margit is having a preview show of her upcoming EP Melisma at The Laughing Goat on Sunday. We’ve got a whole feature on her here- check it out! And make sure to stop by and catch her set!

Listen to Margit’s “Peace And Harmony (In The Bleak Midwinter)”:

ANDDD for our #ListenLocal feature this week:

PS: This week, our Sunday partnership with Green Light Radio and Streetside Productions will feature a track by Boulder’s Cold River City! The rockin’ funk and blues outfit dropped their new album Thank You. Sorry. Love You. this week! Green Light was live at Frozen Dead Guy Days last weekend, so instead they’ll play the single this Sunday. So tune in to any of the Colorado Community Network Radio Stations here (95.3 or 95.5 Boulder) or stream Green Light between 9-10PM to listen to CRC’s single “Could It Be”!

Stay warm out there! See you at a show!

-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.

Boulder's Asalott: Exploring Musical Worlds

By: Will Baumgartner

Oh you trancey, huh?

Boulder-based group Asalott (pronounced Ocelot, like the wild cat) is led by the quietly unassuming local genius of the hammered dulcimer, Forrest Lotterhos. The hammered dulcimer, a rarely seen instrument capable of complex patterns of rhythm, melody, and harmony is what Lotterhos composes Asalott’s songs with. The group then takes these compositions and adds some electronics, various acoustic and electric drums, and an electric bass played in an unusual way. The resulting music is like a swirling, sometimes meditative, sometimes ecstatic rhythmic journey to strange and exotic worlds.

Asalott's Forrest Lotterhos behind the hammered dulcimer. 

Asalott's Forrest Lotterhos behind the hammered dulcimer. 

Asalott grew out of a collaboration in 2013 between Lotterhos and drummer Cody Hart (of Boulder funk-rock band Cold River City). Depending mostly on the venue in which they’re performing, their shows range from the quietly introspective to all-out explosions of polyrhythmic dance music. And while they perform in different configurations from duo to trio to quartet, they pack the biggest punch in their full quartet form. So if you’re more into the gentle dreamy feel, catching them as a duo or trio might be more your cup of green tea, but if you really love to dance, best to go to a show where they’ve got the full arsenal going. I recently had the opportunity to sit down with Lotterhos to find out more about Asalott, and their hypnotically irresistible sound.

Forrest- your Facebook page describes your music as "tribal breakbeat". Can you expand on what that term means to you?

Many people ask us what genre of music Asalott is, and that’s a difficult question to answer because of our unique instrumentation. Breakbeat is typically used to describe electronic, trance, or drum and bass music with heavy percussive influence. Three out of four of our instruments are percussion instruments and though we don’t utilize any electronic production, our sound takes on an electronic music feel and a tribal quality with danceable beats, and a trance-like quality with the hammered dulcimer riffs.

Matty Schelling on the beats. 

Matty Schelling on the beats. 

I've been a fan of your hammered dulcimer playing since you used to come into Burnt Toast, the legendary restaurant on the Hill that was home-away-from-home for so many artists, musicians and poets. At that time, you performed solo. How did this project come together as a band, and when? 

I’ve been performing [on the] hammered dulcimer both solo and in various bands in the Boulder and Denver areas since 2008. Burnt Toast was the beginning for me. In 2013 I reconnected with Cody Hart and we began busking on Pearl Street and playing shows as a duo with my hammered dulcimer and his cajon. It was an instant connection and success. We didn’t even have to practice; it came together on the spot. By taking my solo compositions and developing them with Cody’s drum rhythms, [our music] started to take on a new life.

Matty Schelling was a mutual friend and fellow percussionist who joined the group in early 2014, bringing in electronic drum pads and auxiliary percussion. About a month or so after Matty joined us, Joe Braun [came aboard] with his uniquely unhinged bass guitar. Together, the four of us have been playing shows in Boulder since the fall of 2014. We’re still in our early stages, refining our sound and our compositions, but with such eclectic instruments and improvisational roots, we always seem to put on a great show. 

I hear a lot of different styles within the Asalott sound, some of which I can't readily identify. What musical traditions and artists would you say have influenced you most? 

As individuals, we all have different and varying influences, but collectively, we have been influenced by electronic musicians and producers who integrate acoustic sounds and live instruments such as Emancipator, Bonobo, Shigeto, Govinda, and Beats Antique.

Personally, I was influenced at a young age from folk, bluegrass, and old-time music. In my teens I began to listen to a lot of progressive and indie rock bands like The Mars Volta, who utilized complex drum rhythms. In my twenties, I got into listening to and producing electronic and hip-hop music. My hammered dulcimer playing is, at its core, harmonically rich in folk and traditional Irish music and simultaneously rhythmically complex with ever-expanding patterns, taking on a progressive and trance-like persona. I also have to give a shout-out to legendary hammered dulcimer player Jamie Janover, who I saw perform with Zilla back in 2007 and then again at Burning Man in 2009 with Lynx. His integration of live hammered dulcimer with EDM production really inspired me to take my dulcimer playing to another level, and I began to write my own compositions and expand out into playing with different bands and exploring various genres. Needless to say, there is a convergence of many musical styles in Asalott.

Lotterhos, Hart, & Schelling. 

Lotterhos, Hart, & Schelling. 

You've got a great group of players in this project, including drummer Cody Hart of Cold River City and Matty Schelling of Whiskey Autumn. Can you tell me a little about each member, their instruments, and how they fit into the overall sound and feel of Asalott? 

I play the hammered dulcimer, and depending on the show, a Nord synthesizer. The dulcimer is the lead instrument in our band, and most of the compositions center around it. It has a harmonic resonance unlike any instrument, and as a percussion instrument, it sets up the rhythmic cadence for the songs. 

Cody Hart plays two different sized cajons, which are often heard in Flamenco and Afro-Peruvian music. Cody brings a fat bass downbeat and an abundance of rich tones that characterize [his instrument]. Cody closely follows and supports the complex rhythmic patterns of the dulcimer while upping the dance factor. 

Matty Schelling plays electronic drum pads and adds a little vocal flair into the mix. With different Nord percussion synthesizers, Matty is able to add infinite variations of drum sounds. Matty ups the danceability of Asalott with his hip-hop inspired rhythms. Without using computer based production, we are able to achieve a live electronic drum beat that further amps and supports the rhythmic patterns [of our sound].

Joe Braun plays a traveling electric bass that he has rigged to a desk. He he either strums it or uses a viola bow to produce droning, often orchestral sounds. He also provides non-lyrical chanting vocals, using his voice as an instrument in itself. Joe brings and amplifies the contemplative nature of the sound, playing bass lines and singing vocal riffs that hold and lift the dulcimer melodies to another level.

When you play a show, what do you hope the audience will do, feel, and take away from the performance? 

We play shows at a lot of different venues around Boulder. We cater to the space and audience, sometimes deciding to play acoustic duo shows at small venues and coffee shops. When we play larger venues, we bring the whole band and up the energy level. We love when people dance and move to the music. That’s definitely one of our goals [at our shows].

Regardless of the venue or the size of the audience, we all deeply feel that the music we create is heart-expansive at the core and mind-expansive in its complexity. People have told us at shows that our music captivated them in a profound way, sparked feelings of joy, and deepened their connection with themselves and the people around them. We really want people to have a great time: whether they dance, have a spiritual experience, or just chill and listen, we want them to take away an experience that resonates with them and that they remember.

What are your long term plans for Asalott, and what's happening next? 

We recently recorded and are about to release an album of acoustic duo music. It will be six compositions featuring Cody and myself. We also just submitted a video to NPR’s Tiny Desk Contest, which was named one of the top ten entries in Colorado.

We are planning to go back into the studio and track out songs with the whole band soon too. That will be a bigger project with more production involved. We want to play festivals this summer and some larger venues in the Boulder and Denver areas by the end of the year.

Tonight, you can catch us at our home-base, The No Name Bar at 10PM.

Details for the show tonight can be found here.

Watch Asalott’s Tiny Desk submission video:

-Will

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

Cold River City: Home for the Holidays

Cold River City. Photo Credit:   Hannah Oreskovich

Cold River City. Photo Credit: Hannah Oreskovich

The Fox Theatre gave Boulder an early Christmas present this year: a local lineup, and atop it, Boulder’s own Cold River City. The night started off with Tenth Mountain Division’s improv bluegrass rock and continued with Lula Granji’s grooving electronic instrumentals. Both bands delivered and set the tone for Cold River City’s third return to The Fox stage.

Emma Fields. Photo Credit:  Hannah Oreskovich

Emma Fields. Photo Credit: Hannah Oreskovich

Arguably one of Boulder’s most successful and talented bands, Cold River City weaves between funk, soul, blues, and rock like they’re crocheting their music together. The six-piece is comprised of Jeremy Baugh (guitar/vocals), Emma Fields (vocals/percussion), Cody Hart (guitar), Brian Hubbert (vocals/guitar), Austin Pacharz (bass), and Andrew Oakley (drums). Almost every member is also involved in other projects- A Shadow of Jaguar, Asalott, Campos, BANDITS, and Groov are just a few. Clearly, this makes Cold River City a band that has its hands deep in the heart of the Boulder music scene.  

Cold River Cody (Hart). Photo Credit:  Hannah Oreskovich

Cold River Cody (Hart). Photo Credit: Hannah Oreskovich

As it came time for CRC to take the stage, their giant sign flashed and the noise of the crowd swelled. The atmosphere felt like coming home: something familial but with the kind of energy that left the crowd of several hundred buzzing for hours. Cold River played a medley of songs, stringing through their four previous releases and their upcoming album, Thank You. Sorry. Love You.

Jeremy Baugh. Photo Credit:  Hannah Oreskovich

Jeremy Baugh. Photo Credit: Hannah Oreskovich

Taking the stage at The Fox is an honor for any band, but especially a local one. It comes with great reverence; almost too much. But Cold River City struck the right balance at their show and rightfully so. For as eclectic as their musical collection is, they know exactly who they are. There is a real sense of family on stage; you can see how much they love what they do individually and as a group. And that sort of energy translates to the audience in a very real way. The manner in which Cold River City connects with their audience has a real and comfortable truth to it. At one point in the show, Hubbert told us “Put down your cell phones and let’s be present here in this moment.” And it was an authentic moment. This is a band that wants to connect here, now, and tonight.

Brian Hubbert. Photo Credit:  Hannah Oreskovich

Brian Hubbert. Photo Credit: Hannah Oreskovich

And though there were a few sentimental moments like this, one must remember that Cold River City is also the type of rock and roll band who takes full pulls of Jack Daniels onstage between songs. They know how to make your head swing with purpose and how to shake souls with authentic solos. 

Andrew Oakley. Photo Credit:  Hannah Oreskovich

Andrew Oakley. Photo Credit: Hannah Oreskovich

The show closed with a highlight: Oakley’s set-ending drum solo followed by Pacharz jumping on Oakley’s kit and presenting Oakley his bass to drum on. The two wildly whipped sounds until the rest of the band joined them for an encore, which ended with Hubbert knocking over Oakley’s kit and slamming down his own guitar.

Austin Pacharz. Photo Credit:  Hannah Oreskovich

Austin Pacharz. Photo Credit: Hannah Oreskovich

It was a night full of memorable music and moments that created a hazy morning for many in the Boulder crowd. It was a great party, an early Christmas present, and an incredible night of local music.

Happy Holidays Boulder.

-Zach

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 This Holiday Weekend (11/27 & 11/28)

By: Hannah Oreskovich

It’s a holiday weekend and there are some shows to explore as sweet as the pumpkin pie you nommed yesterday. Check ‘em out:

Today (Friday, 11/27)

Wildwood Roots at The Jamestown Mercantile Cafe Co. 6PM-Close

It’s hard to think of a better way to spend your holiday weekend than with the awesome regulars of the Merc. And tonight the Wildwood Roots will be providing “acoustic nectar for your ears.” The duo will be laying down some swooning originals and a few covers that are sure to make everyone headed to this mountain town dance the night away. The snowy drive is always worth it. Make the trek. And peep a track here:

Asalott with Gypsee at The No Name Bar 10PM-Close

Asalott. Photo Credit:   Hannah Oreskovich

Asalott. Photo Credit: Hannah Oreskovich

Asalott is bringing their Middle Eastern beat trance back to The No Name tonight and it’s gonna be a rad time. Their combination of Forrest Lotterhos on hammered dulcimer, Matty Schelling on his Octpad and Cody Hart on cajon is hypnotizing. Plus Gypsee is in town aka Boulder musician turned world traveler Will Buck. He’s been recording new tracks at The Crucible Recording Studio all week, so if you’re lucky, maybe he’ll lay one down for you tonight. Word on the street is he’s going to be jammin’ some flamenco-style guitar playing. Head out. And watch Asalott live here:

Tomorrow (Saturday, 11/14)

Ben Gallagher, Ben Hanna, & Brian Esau at The Laughing Goat Coffeehouse 8PM-Close

Ben Gallagher.

Ben Gallagher.

We’re dubbing this one the three Bs. Ben Gallagher is a Boulder-based singer/songwriter who “writes from the gut. . . and plays from the heart.” He’s been involved in a number of local projects over the years, but tonight he’s playing you some of his solo work. He’s self-produced two full albums, which you can listen to here. Oh Ben Hanna, how we love him so. We’ve brought you quite a bit of info on him lately, and you can read more here. Let him smirk his way into your cold heart tonight. And finally there’s, Brian Esau, a talented musician who will be playing you lots of original songs on guitar, sitar, and banjo. Check out his work (some of it with Ben Gallagher) here. And stream Ben Gallagher's album Heart Shaped Rocks here:

The Casino Effect at The Dark Horse 930PM-Close

We said it before and we’ll say it again: The Dark Horse somehow always has acts we’ve never heard of, can rarely find much info on, and somehow, the bands are unusually awesome to watch live. Here’s to hoping The Casino Effect are one such band, as we can’t find a single thing about them to share. So go get weird! Experiment! And report back to us…

Tallgrass at Conor O’Neill’s Irish Pub 10PM-Close

The gentleman of tallgrass.

The gentleman of tallgrass.

What have you been missing this holiday weekend? The stomping-ground sounds of Tallgrass, Fort Collins’ dirty soul trio. They claim to be “raised by wolves, taught by squirrels, and enemy of the owl.” How’s that for you Boulder? Sounds like it will be a great time, and this is the band’s only Boulder show before they set off on a Colorado tour. So go get at ‘em! And check out their video for "So Blind" here: 

Both Nights (11/27 & 11/28)

Leftover Salmon at The Boulder Theater 830PM-Close

Leftover Salmon.

Leftover Salmon.

Formed in Boulder in 1989, Leftover Salmon have become a Colorado staple, especially in the world of bluegrass. Their rootsy sounds have kept even the coldest Colorado mountain towns warm on blizzardy nights over the years. And this weekend, they’re returning to Boulder to celebrate 25 years in the slamgrass game with all of you. They have an extensive tour planned over the next few months, which you can peep here. But we recommend catching them while you can this weekend- get your tickets in advance here. Watch a live Leftover Salmon performance:

There are our picks for your Thanksgiving Weekend Boulder! Go work off your feast and hop to 'em!

-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.

Keeping It Underground: The Spacement

By: Hannah Oreskovich

DIY feels good.

There are geodes on the tables, tapestries on the walls, and hammocks for seating in the back. There’s a makeshift bar to your left, easels on the right, and Christmas lights illuminate the ‘stage.’ The vibe is relaxed, with a hint of psychedelia. Where are you? The Spacement.

The Spacement is a new music venue to Boulder, and one that you can’t actually find without the whole “know someone who knows someone” thing. It’s invite-only, and if you’re looking to play there, you’d better be good.

Says the owner, “I want this place to be known for good music. I’m not just letting anyone book here. I am hand-picking [the ones] that I think best fit the space.”

Shrowded in mystery: The Spacement. Photo Credit:   Hannah Oreskovich

Shrowded in mystery: The Spacement. Photo Credit: Hannah Oreskovich

So who played when I attended? Boulder-based Natural Motives and friends + Asalott. Natural Motives original members Chris Ruiz and Kevin Ritch blended sounds with their newest member, bassist Jeff Vescuso, and guest drummer Gaines Green of Boulder Sound Lab. The guys opened their show with several jammy, jazz-rock numbers. And as the four-piece grooved along, Ruiz sprinkled us with mellow vocals and the boys brought in some reggae undertones for their dancier beats. You wouldn’t know this collective hadn’t played much together; each is so talented instrumentally that together they brought us strong, sleek funk. And as cool as the hammocks were, Natural Motives and friends definitely got the crowd swaying.

Natural Motives in Silhouette. Photo Credit:   Hannah Oreskovich

Natural Motives in Silhouette. Photo Credit: Hannah Oreskovich

Which brings us to Asalott. I first saw these guys perform at the No Name Bar a few months ago and was instantly intrigued by Forrest Lotterhos’ hammered dulcimer playing. It’s like a piano/harp/mandolin/drum thanggg all in one. It’s awesome. And Lotterhos played it with an energetic ease that was magnetizing to watch. Lotterhos also threw down on the keys, depending on the song. Meanwhile, Cody Hart of Cold River City and Matty Schelling of Whiskey Autumn each brought their own badass beats to the Asalott mix. Hart was atop the cojóne while Schelling built electronic swells on his Roland Octapad and Roland TD6. Together, the trio constructed trancy downtempo pieces that pulled you in and didn’t let go. There was a Middle Eastern vibe to the sound with the dulcimer in the mix, but Schelling also brought us a hip-hop style pulse. It was impossible not to move along with their sound.

Asalott bringing beats. Photo Credit:   Hannah Oreskovich

Asalott bringing beats. Photo Credit: Hannah Oreskovich

Beyond live performances, the owner of The Spacement told us that they want to record shows “with a radio-quality sound.” They have diamond sound boards scattered throughout the walls of the venue and behind the tapestries, they’ve also insulated the room for recording purposes.

Overall, the underground vibe of this place rocked. And they’re only looking to make the space more creatively cool as time goes on.

Said the owner, “I want people live-painting during shows. I want nightly themed performances: jazz, jamtronica, reggae. I want to track live shows and release them. We’re making something different here.”

Different, secret, psychedelic. I can dig.

-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.