Colorado Springs' Audible Release Debut EP 'First Contact'

By: Norman Hittle

Colorado Springs hip-hop group Audible released their debut EP First Contact recently. Mixing traditional hip-hop with the setup of an alternative rock band, HoTT (vocals) and Jeb (guitar/vocals) are the faces of the project that bear a nod of resemblance to The Roots and underground hip-hop legends Atmosphere.

The debut is a solid effort of strong instrumentation and vocals that flow through the speakers like a river through a diamond canyon. Well-rounded lyrical topics and a divergence from typical hip-hop vocals with some strong singing points and lush vocal harmonies can be found throughout the debut. The record’s engineering by drummer Ryan May, pulls First Contact’s lively experience together.

Along with the vocalists, the rest of the band members featured on this debut are none other than the indie-alt rock trio Sound|Studies, known for making some solid waves in the Colorado rock scene over the past seven years, and broadening their horizons in joining with the guys in Audible.

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Audible has a performance in Colorado Springs on April 19th in the basement of Oskar Blues. Their live sets have been said to be stellar, so if you have the time, try to make it!

-Norman

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

Kayla Rae On Working With Other Female Artists & Women's Empowerment In Music

By: Annie Kane

It’s around 10AM in Denver’s holiday clad Union Station, and the place is already humming with travelers passing through and freelancers working diligently amongst the couches. As I sit down with local Denver singer Kayla Rae, we reminisce over what it must’ve been like to have traveled during the heyday of trains. She takes another sip of her green tea before we dive into our thought-provoking conversation on her artistry, the importance of self-love, and the empowering feeling of working with other confident women.

So let’s start with a bit about your background. You’re from Colorado Springs- how was that environment? How do you feel like that shaped you?

It’s kind of a small town, so I had a lot of good friends around me. I went to okay schools, but I liked Colorado Springs because it wasn’t too fast, you know? It was a little more laid back. It was the perfect place I feel like for my mom because there was five of us kids and just her, so a slower city was better ‘cause she didn’t have to keep such an eye on us. She was so busy all the time anyways, so there wasn’t a whole lot of trouble we could get into! But, you know Denver was always the place to come when you were a kid on the weekends or when you’re a teenager and you want to come party and stuff, it’s always like, ‘Let’s go up to Denver, there’s way more happening up there!’ I was a really good kid, I never really got into anything crazy. My sisters were kind of wild but I’ve always been ‘the good child.’ My mom always trusted me a lot, and I think that was because of the friends I had and there really wasn’t shit to do in Colorado Springs! It’s kind of boring. So, Denver’s a lot different.

Kayla Rae.

Kayla Rae.

So were your mom or your friends into music?

My mom used to sing when she was younger- a lot actually- she has a huge passion for singing. But she started smoking when she was really young so she obviously doesn’t have the best voice anymore. She always played really good music when I was growing up, like Sugar Hill, The Carpenters. So she was always really musical, but no one else in my family writes music or makes music, and no one on my dad’s side does either. My dad listened to a lot of jazz and so I was always around good music, but I think I’m the only creator in the family.

So you feel like you fell into creating music naturally?

Yeah, well I think when I was a kid I was writing first as a form of expression, like poetry, and stories, and journal entries, like I always just wrote stuff. So then eventually I turned them into songs because I loved to sing. You know, I feel like I was terrible at it as a kid but I loved to do it, so then when I got older it was kind of just what became of me. It was just who I was.

And then you went somewhere to learn how to produce?

Yeah! So when I graduated high school I actually applied for Berklee College of Music in Boston. I didn’t make it in the fall semester, but I got accepted in the spring, so I started in 2010. When you get there, they give you a Macbook and it comes with all different music programs like Logic, Reason, and Garageband. You take basic classes on music production and music theory, but I was just so excited to have my own software to do it ‘cause I was always in other people’s studios, so I was like, ‘I wanna learn how to make beats and record all my own songs!’ So I would do that- I would just make them. They gave us a little midi keyboard as well and you would just hook it up to your laptop and you could just create and record through your laptop speakers, so I would just make all these horrible sounding songs. But yeah, I was just learning how to produce, how to write and record myself, which I think is mostly why I do all my own recording now, because having that control is a lot better. Then you don’t have to wait on other people’s time.

Yeah, I was going to ask you about that. It’s definitely easy to link with other people now with social media, but do you feel like your music is more “you” because you have all that control and ability to actually do it yourself?

I think so. It is nice getting to work with other people sometimes because you have other ideas coming into the pot, but it’s also very liberating when you’re by yourself because you don’t have opinions of other people, like, ‘Oh, well maybe you shouldn’t do this,’ you know? So yeah, you don’t have to wait on anybody else. A lot of people are so busy nowadays with their own things that it takes awhile to get stuff back. And me, when I have ideas, I want them out right away. I’m the worst person at planning and making things go accordingly because when something is just buzzing in my head when it’s good I’m just like, ‘Okay, I need to get this out now.’ So it’s really convenient that I have a studio at home and I can do that on my own because I couldn’t imagine having all these song ideas and having to wait to book studio time to do them.

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Would you say you’re protective over who you let into your creative bubble?

Yeah, and it’s not even on purpose, it’s just, I need the right energy around me at this time because I don’t want anything to interrupt this creative process. You know? And I’m never too good to take anyone’s advice who would say, ‘Maybe this would sound good this way.’ So I’ll ask that of people that I trust- I’ll play music for them and ask what they think about it. But I think you have to be selective when you’re in any craft.

And your music is pretty personal.

Yeah, sometimes it gets… yeah. (laughs) It’s like therapy sometimes!

That’s good! So would you say you make music for yourself mostly?

Yeah! You know what’s crazy is that I was talking to another artist about this yesterday, I was actually working with YaSi yesterday. I invited her over and we finally got to work together, which is something we’ve wanted to do for awhile. But we were talking about that- about making music for ourselves, and that’s always how it starts. With any person who does any kind of creative expression, you do it because you need to. And I think once people start catching on to you and they start listening and you see people's reactions, you want to do it for them. You want to do it for their praise, but you have to remember that it’s not for anybody but you. And sometimes some songs don’t need to be heard. YaSi and I were talking about that yesterday too, just like that’s such a good point that you don’t always have to share things with people, and that’s how you keep it for yourself. Some people use music to heal, and that’s really what it is for me because, I mean I write everyday but I really do my best writing when I’m sad. I don’t know why that is! (laughs) And so some of that stuff people will never hear.

So when you perform live, what kind of environment do you try to cultivate?

It’s so crazy that you say that, ‘cause as artists we have the power to create an atmosphere. I just want people to feel comfortable- I want them to feel really in tune with themselves and with what I’m saying, and I feel like it’s like that when I perform. I feel like I’m respected up there which means so much, and I feel like I have people’s attention so I can pretty much say anything that I want. I feel really comfortable up there, and that’s how I want other people to feel- comfortable to kind of just get lost in the music for a second, almost like I’m in my bedroom. I close my eyes a lot when I sing, and I think it’s ‘cause I’m taken back there.

Is there anything you want your audience to take out of your music?

Inspiration to do what you want, you know. It’s so hard to get caught up in this world and what you think other people want from you, what they expect of you. I just want my music to represent me fully, and let people know that this is just who I am and it’s okay to be who you are too, it’s okay to do what you love. You know, you can make money off what you love, you can live happily doing it and it doesn’t have to be a struggle for you, you can do it and be free. And that’s what I want from people to get when they see me perform and listen to my music, like, ‘Wow, she’s just doing this for her.’

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That’s awesome. So what makes you feel the most empowered?

When I’m working with other women. I feel like naturally, we all just feel like we’re so different, we all feel like no one understands us and we’re just all alone in this world, or maybe that’s just me! (laughs) So when I get around other women, I just feel like ten times myself. I just feel like I can do anything. So I like to keep good solid women around me who also have goals, and they empower me. When I feel really confident in myself I’m empowered, when I feel sexy I’m empowered, and I get all that from [working with] other women. Which is crazy.

So how do you feel about breaking into the music industry as a woman?

I feel like it’s kind of hard because most of the workers in the music [industry] are men. You know, the producers and the engineers, and sometimes they get the wrong ideas when you just wanna work. Like, ‘Nah I just wanna get my shit done!’ But I do think this is a good time for women because I feel like there’s so many women doing so much right now. You have so many women in power: Rihanna, Nicki Minaj, even women on the come up like Tori Kelly, Kehlani, just all these great women in music. I feel like it’s probably going to be a little easier now, you just have to remember to be yourself and not try to be like anybody else.

Yeah, I feel like Sza cracked this huge gate of vulnerability.

Hell yeah, Sza’s amazing. Just so many women doing great things and it makes me so proud, because, I was actually talking to my girlfriend about this, and she was like, ‘You know, the women in this city are doing exactly what the women everywhere else are doing. And who knows what the women in other cities are doing and how they’re coming together and holding each other down and lifting each other up.’ It’s just, it’s a women’s world, I don’t care what anybody else says! (laughs)

What female artists do you most look up to?

All of them, oh my gosh. I really, really love Sade. I think she’s amazing and I used to listen to her a lot when I was younger. I took so much from Aaliyah when I was a kid, like I modeled everything after her it was crazy. And still to this day I watch all of her stuff and it just never gets old for me. I just love how she was so cool, just naturally cool. It seemed like she didn’t have to try, she seemed so sweet. Her music was kinda gangsta, but not really, she was sweet over her music so it was a nice balance and I really loved that about her. Now, I really look up to Rihanna, I think she’s amazing. As a woman in music, in fashion and in business. And she’s been doing this for so long. I really look up to Beyoncé, I love her so, so much. (pauses to think) There’s so many. I think Sza is incredible, I think she is such a good storyteller, you know what I mean? She’s not afraid to write about what she’s been through and it sounds like these crazy-ass stories that you get lost in but you’re also like, ‘Me too, I’ve kind of been through that!’

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Outside of the glory and fame of celebrity and things you can get caught up with, where do you really see your music going?

I just want to get a good amount of people who really like it all over the world who I can come to and perform it for. When I think about fame, and the people who have that, I just think about how unhappy they might be, like how much it must to be keep up with always being talked about or people always trying to find you and how that must really interrupt your peace of mind. I don’t want that, it just sounds painful. I just want people who really like my music and who are down to buy it and down to listen to it, and if I can make a living off of just traveling and performing and making music that’s really all I wanna do. The reality is we have to pay to live, and I think you just have to find something you like to do that helps you do that, that keeps you here, that keeps you fed, that keeps you clothed. If you’re good at something and you love to do it then make that the way that you live. I just wanna take care of my family with music and meet a lot of new people and go to a lot of different places. I don’t want all that extra shit! People kill themselves because they’re so caught up in the pressure and I think we live in that world now unfortunately where everyone is being looked at and there’s this pressure to be perfect and to have all your shit together, and it’s like no, nobody is like that in real life. It’s not even about all the attention, like sometimes it’s nice but if that’s all that you’re after, you’re just going to be so unhappy. I think about the things that make me happy, and it’s not that.

How do you stay so grounded? Have you always been this level-headed?

Well, one, my mom would slap the shit out of me if I ever came home trying to be bougie! But I just think, like, it is hard and sometimes I get caught up in it. I get caught up in what people think of me or what they’re gonna think of my next song. I think you just have to remind yourself, ‘Why do I do this? Why do I love this?’ I think it’s an internal thing and obviously the people you keep around you, too. No one in my life treats me as if I’m better than anybody else. None of us should treat anybody like that- we’re all equals. So I think it’s definitely keeping good people around you and loving yourself that is really important. If you don’t love yourself, you’re going to try to find all that from other people. So yeah, just really being comfortable with who you are. I feel like there’s so much to live up to. I don’t want my daughters or my nieces to feel like they have to be something unreal.

If you had a daughter, how would you try to guide her away from that pressure?

I would really just press self-love, because I feel like that’s really where it comes from, is inside. I notice that at times when I don’t feel good about myself, that’s when I try to do more with my appearance or I try to be extra on social media because I feel like I need people to tell me I’m doing okay. But that never fulfills me completely, you know. So I would really just teach her to love herself, and you’re different, and you’re unique, and that’s okay. You’re going to make decisions that people aren’t going to agree with, and that’s okay. I think in doing that you learn to appreciate who you are.

Keep up with Kayla Rae’s latest on her Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and Soundcloud.

-Annie

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.

Premiere: Spiral Cell Releases Eerie Music Video For "Prologue"

By: Norman Hittle

Near the end of 2016, Scott Uhl, the man behind Spiral Cell, brought us his first full release with The Maze in the Tree Rings, a highly conceptual album blending the lines of progressive rock with contemporary video game soundtracks that had us questioning artificial intelligence versus reality. Now at the crest of 2018, he’s released the premiere video for the first song of from that record, aptly known as “Prologue.”

I won’t go into too much detail, but my first impressions of the video were that it was either: A) a post apocalyptic world with someone visiting from another planet perhaps to gain knowledge of Earth's demise, or B) someone surfacing from a sci-fi bunker after some cataclysmic world event. Either way, it’s mysterious, thrilling, and seems to fit well with the actual music.

I got a moment to catch up with Scott via a phone interview, and though he admits the video fits nicely into his conceptual creation for The Maze in the Tree Rings, he also wasn’t about to spoil my own interpretations of his music and the video. Spiral Cell is highly conceptual through and through, and though Scott admits he has a vision for what the story of the video is, he stands true on the ideal that “art is in the eye of the beholder,” which means he wants us to have the freedom to take from what he creates instead of telling us what Spiral Cell is fully about.

What Scott was willing to tell us about Spiral Cell and the video for “Prologue” without spoiling any surprises were some behind-the-scenes details:

First and foremost, the same people involved in the recording of the music are featured in the video. Scott’s wife Danielle, who is featured singing on some tracks of his last record, was the makeup designer and a body double; the “woman” creature is Mackenzie Beyer, who was the voice of “the guide” on several tracks;  and of course, Scott himself is the hazmat suit-wearing, flashlight-wielding explorer.

Scott also shared that though the video was filmed on three different locations on three different nights, each night of filming, observers called the police to the film scene due to the creepy nature of him walking around with a flashlight and hazmat suit and because the fog machines used were mistaken for fires. Yet, he said in each situation the police allowed them to continue their production and wished him well in its completion.

Scott Uhl. Photo Credit: Underexposed.

Scott Uhl. Photo Credit: Underexposed.

One of my favorite behind-the-scene hints came up when I asked Scott about how he was structuring “Prologue” into the storyline of the The Maze in the Tree Rings concept. The end of the video seems open-ended, as if it could be a finality or just the beginning, and “Prologue” in name and as the first song on the album begs the question: Is it the actual beginning, or is he telling a story in reverse Tarantino-fashion? Scott of course was enigmatic about all of it, but informed me that “Prologue” is not necessarily the beginning nor end of the story. “There are some subtle hints in the actual song that allude to where in the story ‘Prologue’ actually falls,” Scott told me, but he wants to leave it up to the listener to decide. Challenge accepted!

If you have yet to check out The Maze in the Tree Rings, I would liken it to a solid union between The Dear Hunter and Stephen Wilson. Take a listen below:

Spiral Cell may also have more for us on the horizon. “Though I wish I could make a video for every song, that’s not likely within my budget, but there will be more,” Scott said. He’s already planning a live performance video for one of the songs, but does not have a date set for its release.

Keep up with Scott and Spiral Cell on Facebook.

-Norman

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

The Hollow Are Making A Lot More Noise Than Just "Sleep Talkin'"

By: Elizabeth Lee

The goal of The Hollow (a band we once joined on tour aboard their "CrowBus") is very straightforward: “to deliver exceptional music that makes you fall in love with rock and roll all over again.” Since the alternative-rock band was formed in 2013, they have done exactly that, aiming to transform the landscape of contemporary rock and roll music. They released their first EP in 2015 and are now on the tail of an extremely successful tour in 2016, which has featured sold out shows, national support appearances, and festival slots.

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“Sleep Talkin” is their latest single, accompanied by a newly released music video, which dropped November 4th. The video is a testimony to all that The Hollow has worked for, collaborating with Kind Dub, AlphaPixel Digital, Evergroove Studio and many others. The song focuses on honesty and open communication in relationships, as the video shows a couple heading to sleep with unspoken words.

Watch "Sleep Talkin'":

Visually, the video is evocative and eye-catching, serving as a metaphor for the narrator’s struggle. The single keeps with the band’s hard-hitting, focused style of rock'n'roll, with a heavy rhythm section, skillfully layered guitar-laced with strong vocals, and powerful lyrics. The Hollow draw their influence from rock icons such as MUSE and Queens of the Stone Age, and it shows even in the mood of the video.

Check out “Sleep Talkin” and be sure to catch The Hollow at their next live show, December 9th at Peak 31 Union Station in Colorado Springs.

Keep up with the band here.

-Elizabeth

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

DELVR Deliver New Meaning To Performing Live With Twitch Streaming Shows

By: Norman Hittle

In the ever-changing music world, technology is often the first step of evolution where the industry may never again be the same. It's at these times that those willing to take a riskier path oftentimes become the pioneers of the latest cutting edge, and thus define their artistic careers as foundations of a new era in the music scene.

Enter Delvr, a Colorado Springs duo who write indie electro tunes. Now, there’s nothing wholly unique about the music they write; in fact their sound could be compared to Interpol, LCD Soundsystem, and The Postal Service. However, this duo doesn't present their music in traditional venue/bar gigs, but instead writes and performs all of their music live streaming via Twitch.

But before we get into all that, check out their debut record Dangerous, released September 12th:

We’ve all heard of live streaming and probably have caught a few glimpses of bands trying it out on Facebook, but the difference is Delvr uses live streaming as their only performance platform. In fact, while many local bands are averaging about 3-5 shows a month (if they're lucky), Delvr is averaging 3-5 live streams a week! And people are watching!

A Delvr show is not just a couple guys lounging in their basement either- it's a full on production complete with lighting and choreographed camera angles. But don't take my word for it, check it out:

The guys in Delvr are no strangers to making music prior to this project. Singer/guitarist Mark Young comes from years playing in punk, indie, and electropop bands such as Hydrogen Skyline, while drummer and synthesist Gabriel Duggin has years of experience as a producer and DJ in his former project Ralegun. Their prior knowledge combined with their fully produced showmanship pays off, as at present they are boasting nearly 900 subscribers with over 10,000 collective views on their streams in only six months of performances.

DELVR.

DELVR.

Singer/guitarist, Mark told BolderBeat: “Playing live music is what I love to do and live to do. Prior to streaming I couldn't imagine anything being better than packing my gear up and playing shows at whatever venues my bands could book. And that was always hit or miss with attendance. With streaming, Delvr can perform any night of the week without hauling a single piece of gear, and have a least dozen to a hundred active viewers at any one time.”

Live streaming is an innovative way to modify the traditional band performance. Though the benefits of going to a venue and getting the full experience may still be preferable to fans, live streaming helps those of us who want to watch a band’s performance, but can't due to schedules and/or kids (aka, getting old). And streaming is fully interactive, allowing you to message the band in real time in a chat while they're playing- sometimes they even respond!

Keep posted on Delvr and their continuing progress in this new era of performing music by checking their streaming schedule and following them here!

-Norman

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

Review: Spiral Cell's New Record Will Have You Questioning A.I. VS Human

By: Norman Hittle

If you can imagine the sounds of progressive/experimental rock set in a sort of sci-fi dystopian storyline and added the ambient sonic elements of a video game, you might just be able to begin to grasp what Spiral Cell is all about. Though I'd also recommend you listen to it, you know, because words can only describe music so much.

Check out Spiral Cell's The Maze In The Tree Rings:

Scott Uhl is the harbinger of the multi-faceted, multi-media, and multi-conceptual Spiral Cell project. And he's beginning to accomplish what a great many people in the music industry are predicting for the future: a fully integrated and multi-level experience combining music, art, storytelling, and gaming. What's more is his drive to put on a great live show with all of this- including synchronized lighting, backing tracks, and full stage decor.

Spiral Cell. Photo Credit: Underexposed

Spiral Cell. Photo Credit: Underexposed

Delving in to Spiral Cell's latest record, The Maze In The Tree Rings, I'm reminded of the juggernauts in the progressive/experimental movement and the nods made to legendary acts like Pink Floyd as well as more contemporary acts like The Dear Hunter and the Devin Townsend Project when I listen to Spiral Cell.

Scott told BolderBeat: “My goal as I was putting this together was to make something that viewers would at least pay attention to. Whether they like it or not, that’s not the point- as long as they pay attention. I’m a live performer, and I always love performing live. The studio recordings of it are necessary, but my main focus is putting on an intriguing live show. Since the first show, I said my goal was to get people to either say, 'That was f*cking amazing!’ or ‘What the f*ck was that?!’ If I get one of those, I’m happy!”

Photo Credit: Underexposed

Photo Credit: Underexposed

Though Scott claims there’s an established storyline to the project, he’s not quite ready to tell all of it. But he encourages us to listen and see what it means to you as the listener.

“Prologue” begins accapella, among haunting piano and guitar mixed with static radio transmissions. “(Re)start” encourages the sci-fi video game theme with an interlude between an Artificial Intelligence (A.I.) and the presumed protagonist user, bleeding into “Divergence / Discovery” with its melancholy guitar notes echoing into a progressive and industrial climax. “Immersion” gallops in on incessant strumming before easing into a washed out dream state, while “Wake / Walk” is a chill and upbeat instrumental track that could easily find it’s way into the ending credits of a movie. “Ellipsis” is another sort of interlude that seems to convey the sense that the protagonist may not survive whatever it is the A.I. is testing them on. “Taste” continues the A.I. dialogue while bleeding into an enigmatic bossa nova rock sound, while “Cellophane Blindfold” comes together with a film noir lounge sound through the dialogue of what sounds like a detective on a voice memo recorder.

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“Asymptote” is a haunting piano laden countdown to what seems like some sort of driver simulation that flows into “Spiral”, which is another user versus A.I. type of interlude. “Consonance” is a pensive, piano driven arpeggiation that progresses into full industrial electrorock with the A.I. giving some sort of psionic-test with riddles. “Free Flow” formulates under a chill indie electropop flag, along with string instrumentals and female vocals, while “Ocean” creates a longing and beckoning vibe in a calming alt blues meets electopop vibe. “Untitled” carries its namesake in a mysterious assortment of samples over a bed of echoing pianos, and finally “The Prism” concludes the complex tale of this record with dreamy acoustic guitar and autotuned male vocals.

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Check out Spiral Cell September 29th at Sunshine Studios Live in Colorado Springs supporting One Eyed Doll and keep up with Spiral Cell on Facebook.

-Norman

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

Premiere: Electro Pop Rock Duo ANGLS Release Debut Single "Terminal Velocity"

By: Trevor Ryan

Everyone loves a catchy tune. Something that you can wake up to. To drive to. There's just something really comfortable about it. And among the notable new anthem vibes comes “Terminal Velocity” from electro pop rock duo ANGLS.

Listen to ANGLS new single:

Made up of producer Ellipsis, and musician Norman Hittle (Hydrogen Skyline), you'll hear influences of Maroon 5, AWOLnation, and The Killers on this track. It's mostly the poppy vocals, and heavy hitting riffs that make this track really glow. But there is definitely credit to be given for the witticism in its lyrics as well.

ANGLS.

ANGLS.

Beginning with some deep guitar riffs, and backed by some well-placed synth work, ANGLS’ “Terminal Velocity” has chanted, almost rap-esque verses following its intro. The heavy distortion that follows pairs nicely with the sort of water-logged vocal effects you hear next. And with the chorus, you get a rangy hook that carries you onward.

Hittle and Ellipsis.

Hittle and Ellipsis.

ANGLS make a phenomenal duo, and though new to the Colorado scene as a project, they come experienced from their time in other bands with a catchy sound. Put “Terminal Velocity” on the last of your summer playlists, and keep up with ANGLS on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, as well as their official site right here.

-Trevor

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

Review: Joseph Lamar's 'Quarter-Life Righteous' Is As Eclectic As It Is Beautiful

By: Jura Daubenspeck

I’ve recently fallen in love with some music. And I’ve gotta say, I think it’s getting serious.

Colorado Springs artist Joseph Lamar resides in many categories: a singer, songwriter, producer, storyteller, instrumentalist, dancer, and my personal favorite? Genre-f*cker. His debut album Quarter-Life Righteous (released March 31st) is an iridescent daydream, adorned with stunning vocals and introspective storytelling.

The badass album art for 'Quarter-Life Righteous.'

The badass album art for 'Quarter-Life Righteous.'

Quarter-Life Righteous feels like its very own storybook, with 15 uniquely-crafted and intentionally-chosen songs filling its pages. In the album, Lamar plays with double meanings and juxtaposition, all while exposing a common idea. He blends rock, pop, hip-hop, R&B, electronica, and neo-soul (amongst others) to create a vastly unique sound that challenges expectations and encourages expression.

Listen to Quarter-Life Righteous:

It’s hard to pick favorites, but there are definitely songs that have danced through my mind consistently since first listening to the album. “Black Boy,” “Not Gonna Call,” “I Want You,” and “Cosmic Joke” are personal frontrunners, but each song is complex lyrically and sonically. I dare you to find the songs that speak to you most.

Joseph Lamar. Photo Credit: David Rossa

Joseph Lamar. Photo Credit: David Rossa

In his own words, Lamar shared:

“I explored intersectionality and my experience as a black, gay, agnostic, cis-man on ‘Black Boy.’ I kinda explored the female identity (I think we're all both) on ‘Cruel Girl,’ and talked about the absurdity of existence on ‘Cosmic Joke.’ I think overall [Quarter-Life Righteous] is about trying to achieve a sense of self-actualization at a time in life when some people start to settle or become complacent.”
Photo Credit:  Gary Sheer

Photo Credit: Gary Sheer

Quarter-Life Righteous feels dark in the way that we all feel dark from time to time: that dark that stems from questioning yourself, others, and the universe that encapsulates us. It’s healthy, it’s present, and it’s real. The vibrant energy felt in this album is visceral, yet very much cerebral.

Photo Credit: Elle Coxon

Photo Credit: Elle Coxon

Many talented artists contributed to the creation of the album- check out who did what here and peruse the inspiration for each song.

Connect with Joseph Lamar on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. For an extra glimpse into his music, check out the music video for “About Love: Concerning the Discrepancies Between Expectations and Reality” below:

-Jura

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

Get Your Weird On at Get Along's Single Release Show This Friday at Lost Lake

By: Jura Daubenspeck

Itching for some weirdness this weekend? Lusting for some tunes that will make you swoon? Lucky for you, this Friday, April 7th is shaping up to be a stellar one, as indie dance-punk duo Get Along are unveiling their single and music video for “Death of a Spirit Animal” at Lost Lake Lounge. They’ll be accompanied on the bill by church fire, Signs and Signals, and Specific Ocean.

Get Along. Photo Credit:  Joel Rekiel

Get Along. Photo Credit: Joel Rekiel

Get Along has been hard at work the last few months recording “Death of a Spirit Animal” at The Spot Studios, and shooting the accompanying music video. Known for their soulful and bizarre sound, as well as their explosively commanding stage presence, the band has taken it up another notch with their newest release.

Unlike Get Along’s other songs, such as “DNA,” “Karaoke,” and “YUKI,” “Death of a Spirit Animal” has a mellow quality that oozes with raw energy and introspection. The song takes risks with its sound and content: it has no clear verse or chorus bridge arrangement, but a mid-song climax that resembles a Shakespearean plotline. “Death of a Spirit Animal” touches upon the painful and chest-tightening moment of clarity that forces one to look at their life from a different perspective and ask, “Do I like the person I’ve become?”

church fire.

church fire.

Supporting acts church fire, Signs and Signals, and Specific Ocean all will bring their own tasty ingredients to the bubbling cauldron that is Friday’s show.

church fire has established themselves as the warlocks of darkwave noise-pop, wielding magic with their experimental electronica. No strangers to the strange, they are often seen donned in masks and mystical headwear, all while belting out screams in songs such as “every toss a tightening.”

Signs and Signals has been creating melodic, rhythmically-smooth alternative rock since 2014. Their catchy, vibrant sound, as heard in their hit song “Fight or Flight” has earned them acclaim, and their fine-tuned stage presence makes their music nearly impossible not to jump around to.

Specific Ocean.

Specific Ocean.

Indie newcomers Specific Ocean bring a young, playful energy to their music. The band all met while studying at Denver’s Lamont School of Music, and have been crafting comforting, dreamy tunes like “Strangers” ever since.

Listen to Specific Ocean's "Strangers": 

Come Friday, be ready to shake off your human skin and let your freak flag fly high for all to see. You’ll be welcomed with some equally killer, kooky beats to dance to.

For more details, check out the Facebook event page. Advance tickets are still on sale for $10 (plus there are some killer t-shirt + ticket combinations), so grab ‘em while they’re hot!

-Jura

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

Kick Off The New Year With Clayton Wyatt's Headlining Performance at Herman's Hideaway

By: Jura Daubenspeck

It’s a new year, and we all know what that means: new releases, new shows, and new artists to look out for. In the spirit of the new year, we’re happy to announce acoustic-folk singer/songwriter Clayton Wyatt will be headlining the Herman’s Hideaway stage tomorrow, January 4th.

The Colorado Springs native began playing guitar and writing his own music in his early teenage years, after discovering the music of Dallas Green (City and Colour). Though originally drawn to the sounds of rock’n’roll, Clayton quickly discovered the magic of the acoustic guitar and felt his path was better suited for writing emotional, heartfelt songs. Through tender vocals, soothing guitar, and relatable lyrics, Clayton connects with his fans in a sincere way.

“I want the fans to know that they are everything, without them I am really nothing, and I could never take their support for granted.”  

Clayton is in the final stages of recording and mastering his newest EP Not Today, which will be released in a few months. He will also be making another release-related announcement during tomorrow evening’s performance, so stay tuned.

If you’re ready to hit the ground running this year, and are in the mood for some feel-good acoustic music, then head on over to Herman’s Hideaway tomorrow night, and jam to the sweet sounds of Clayton Wyatt and accompanying artists Burnt Bridge Masons, Zach B., and Tuke & Denäe. Doors open at 7PM, the show starts at 7:30PM, and tickets can be purchased here.

For a taste of Clayton’s sound, check out this performance of his song “3000 Miles” for BalconyTV.

-Jura

All photos, videos, and embedded tracks per the artist 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.

Colorado Springs' Hydrogen Skyline Wades Through Vulnerability In Their Music

By: Annie Kane

Hydrogen Skyline are a Colorado indie rock band with one hell of a frontwoman.

Soft but strong vocals from Asher Skyline lace between keyboard beats by her husband Norman, all of which is backed by Mark (Norman’s twin brother) on guitar, Heidi on the bass, and reverberating drums from Kyle. This is Colorado Springs-based band Hydrogen Skyline.

Colorado Springs' Hydrogen Skyline.

Colorado Springs' Hydrogen Skyline.

Since their inception in 2011, HS has toured across the western United States, receiving numerous praise from the likes of UK-based XRP Radio, beat100.com and Indierockcafe.com. And in just 5 years, the group has released 2 full length albums, 2 EPs, and one deluxe album, all the while consistently selling out shows.

Frontwoman Asher Skyline in action.

Frontwoman Asher Skyline in action.

The five-piece indie/electric/rock outfit pull influences in sound from artists like Twenty One Pilots, Panic! at the Disco, and the Arctic Monkeys. But one refreshing thing that sets them apart is Asher, their fiery female frontwoman. Her vocals pepper enough distinction into Hydrogen Skyline’s catalogue to give them a unique sound, which ranges from Phantogram-like fast and dancey tracks, to stronger, rockin’ elements reminiscent of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs.

Hydrogen Skyline’s songwriting is worth mentioning too. Their “brand of melodic and groove laden compositions” results from their ability to be self-reflexive, with mentions of passions, loves, losses and continual changes throughout their music. Asher is also highly involved in animal rights activism, and local outreach for those affected by depression. Her ability to open herself up to others filters through her music and singing, and makes room for genuine songs.

Check out Hydrogen Skyline for yourself by listening to their single “Inhale”:

Peep more HS originals on their Bandcamp, and keep up with Hydrogen Skyline’s busy show schedule here.

-Annie

Connect with me on twitter and instagram.

All photos per the author; embedded tracks per the artist featured and those credited.

A Band on the Move: The Metamorphosis of the Colorado Springs Duo Get Along

By: Jura Daubenspeck

Get Along are more than just musical soulmates. 

“You could call us soul mates- yeah, we’re soul mates. It was our destiny to be together, and we’re doing what we were called to do. We’re really happy that calling was music- and that we can do it together.”

BLDGBLKS   Duo Get Along.

BLDGBLKS Duo Get Along.

Nicholas and Cara Yañez’s story is one that has been told a number of ways, yet it remains special in its own way. The two met in high school in their hometown of Monument, CO. He was a senior, known for his musical swagger, and she was a freshman, whose disdain for shoes was only matched by her passion for Star Wars. They shared mutual friends and musical talent, and after Nicholas’ band split, he became set on creating a duo. Upon returning from a countrywide search for bandmates, it became clear the two were destined to work together. “I entranced him with my vocals,” says Cara.

And so it was written. What began as an effortless friendship soon blossomed into a romance, marriage, a newborn, and the eclectic indie/dance-punk that is Get Along.

Cara and Nicholas.

Cara and Nicholas.

Get Along has been a universal entity since 2012, but the two-piece is currently in the midst of a creative rebirth. They’ve held true to this, erasing much of their early work that was online. They’ve strayed away from their previous folk niche and have embarked on a new mission: to create music that is as real as it is awesome, and to stay to true to themselves.

Their recent energy shift has been the breeding ground for constant writing- they’re composing more shocking music, engraved with truths that may surprise you and will make you feel.

They recorded their songs, “Slip Up”, “YUKI”, and “Oh Wicked One” at The Spot Studios, and while they are heavily focused on the future of their music, these tracks do give you a taste of their soulful, punk, dance-‘til-you-drop vibe. Cara’s booming voice captivates you, while Nicholas’ inventive beats and unexpected progressions keep you craving more. “YUKI” is a song almost entirely sung in Japanese, the language that Cara has been learning for the last two and a half years. This, along with the synth beats and electrifying vocals, is just one example of how Get Along illustrates their unique flair.

Influenced by some of the greats like Freddie Mercury, Michael Jackson, and David Bowie, Get Along’s live shows are spiritual experiences: an exchange of energy between artists and audience. In past performances, they have donned costumes and war paint, while also painting the faces of their audience members, beckoning you into their imaginative world.

Get Along will return to The Spot Studios at the end of March to record four live sessions to be released in a video compilation. They have hopes of an upcoming 5-song EP and live performances that showcase their newest musical creations.

So get connected with Nicholas and Cara- engage, transform, go a little mad, and become part of their creative carnival. Get Along’s music is available on Bandcamp, Soundcloud, and their website, so give them a listen. You’ll be glad you did.

Listen to Get Along's three tracks below:

-Jura

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