Grandoozy Starts Their Denver Reign With a Bang

Phoenix.

Phoenix.

Denver’s Grandoozy festival kicked off yesterday with solid musical performances, a great Denver food truck selection, and though there is no parking at the fest, getting there and entering was seamless for almost anyone we spoke to. This is not Superfly Presents’ first rodeo- the production company are the brains behind Bonnaroo and Oustide Lands- and it shows.

Get your unicorn on at Grandoozy.

Get your unicorn on at Grandoozy.

Yesterday’s sets were hip-hop and indie rock heavy. Phoenix, Miguel, The War On Drugs, Ty Dolla $ign, and Bishop Briggs played across the Rock, Paper, and Scissor stages. Local outfits Tennis, Flaural, and AMZY could also be heard across the Overland Golf field. Kendrick Lamar closed out the night with a set that included fireworks, incredible visual productions, and bangers from across his catalogue. Overall, the music for opening day was very solid.

Mac N’ Noodles is bomb.

Mac N’ Noodles is bomb.

Grandoozy’s incorporation of local food and drink curators is definitely a festival highlight. Yesterday, we tried the “Bacon Mac & Cheese” from Mac N’ Noodle, which was delicious. This food truck was a popular spot among festivalgoers, and there were also notably long lines for Super Heady Tacos, Ba Nom a Nom, Sol Tribe, and Carbon + Habit Doughnut Dispensary. The eats game at Grandoozy is strong.

We’re ready to brave the heat with you on Day Two today, and we’ll be exploring the craft brewing “Arts & Crafts” area, along with the “Flight School” craft cocktail spot, among other things. Come down and grab a drink with us- day passes and weekend tickets available here.  

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

Premiere: King Eddie's Single "Making Flippy Floppy" Is the First Track Out from Moon Magnet's Upcoming UMS Cassette Release

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This week, Moon Magnet Studios are releasing their Moon Magnet Composition Volume 4. Dropping this Friday July 27th before UMS, the record will be streamable on iTunes and Spotify but will also have a special cassette release. The tape will feature songs by Retrofette, Rubedo, Dandu, King Eddie, Venus Cruz, members of Esmé Patterson, Mini Mansions, JJUUJJUU, Sound of Ceres/Candy Claws, Ancient Elk, and OptycNerd. Today, we’re premiering a single from the record, King Eddie’s “Making Flippy Floppy,” a Talking Heads cover that the band also has a video for below. You can see King Eddie and more Moon Magnet artists at our UMS day party MoonSpoon this Saturday, July 28th from 12PM-4PM at Irish Rover. We sat down with King Eddie’s frontman Jay Mars and Moon Magnet Studios’ Reed Fox to learn more about the track and the cassette release:

Reed, what inspired Moon Magnet Studios to put together this record for the UMS?

Reed Fox: The UMS is a special time of the year- the best weekend of the year when all the Moon Magneteers come out to play. Every UMS we record a song. In 2013, we taped as many mylar space blankets together as we could and did an absurdist parade around Broadway one night of the UMS. Another year Riley Geare from Unknown Mortal Orchestra was hanging out at Moon Magnet and I recorded him playing drums on a song. That session morphed into what became the title track off of déCollage’s last album, Magnetize. One year we recorded an hour long acapella album of nonstop ambient vocal loops with members of Sunboy and Ancient Elk called Camp Forever Friends. In 2015 Cody Coffey, Megan Crooks, Ryan Schlichtman, and Derrick Bozich recorded a song called “Beautiful Mess.” The songs are always directly about the magic of UMS and on this one, Cody sings a play on words about UMS and “Ur a Beautiful Mess.” It’s finally getting released on this compilation! We wanted to do something special and include a bunch of our friends who are playing UMS on one comp. Laura Goldhamer ran a collective called Long Spoon and released a compilation in 2008 featuring Paper Bird, Ian Cooke, Kitty Crimes, and Griff from Inner Oceans. It had a huge impact on my group of friends and that was the impetus for starting Moon Magnet and releasing compilations in the first place.

What does a Moon Magnet collaboration look like with the artists featured? Do they connect with you or vice versa? Do you work with each artist on their songs? What does a relationship with Moon Magnet look like for a release like this?

Reed Fox: The collaborations are always different. Sometimes it’s a band hiring me to record their album, EP, or single. Sometimes it’s a singer songwriter with lyrics and a melody who asks me to create all of the music and drums. Sometimes it’s a bunch of friends hanging out and we hit record and it ends up becoming totally mind blowing. Everything at Moon Magnet is hyper-collaborative and it’s fun to get as many artists involved as possible. Here’s a Spotify playlist of most of the songs released on the label; there’s another with the 36 albums recorded in the studio with a link to stream on Spotify too. Neil Lyons and I run the licensing branch of Moon Magnet together. There’s currently 1,000 songs in our library and we synch them in film, television, and audio-visual works. It’s easy to submit your song or find the right song for your video on our site.

Jay- tell us a bit about your cover of “Making Flippy Floppy” from the compilation. Who did you work with for it and where was it recorded?

Jay Mars: I love covers that have little to no resemblance to the original. We screened the movie Stop Making Sense at my job at The Alamo Drafthouse and I was inspired by the raw energy of their performance and wanted to really make it our own. I started a mentorship at the University of Denver several months ago and this was the first track I produced under the guru-ship of Michael Schulze, the director of the music production program. I was listening to a lot of Bowie's Blackstar album and I think the production and performance is really influenced by that record- the drums more than anything; they're kind of dark and slippery. It's been truly amazing working with such a talented producer and mentor. Not just his fluency with the technology, but his willingness to suggest ideas and challenge your assumptions. I think that's what makes a great producer- the vision and ability to make connections and create moments in the music where you didn't see the opportunity. Kevin Netz (Yonbre) created all these crazy atonal textures on a Moog synthesizer that throw the entire track into orbit before it comes back into the chorus. I recorded the drums with Linton Wright at the Lamont School of Music and I tracked the vocals, synth bass, and guitars at Moon Magnet.

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Who did the album artwork for the compilation? It’s so cool!

Reed Fox: Jacqueline Sophia Cordova did. Jacqueline can you talk about your work on this record?

Jacqueline Sophia Cordova: The Ancient.Future featured in this work is more than just my avatar and moniker, it is a philosophy and a way of life. It is shaped by the coalescing of ancient wisdom, magic, and mythologies with modern/future science and technology. It exists as a singular point in a non-linear understanding of space/time as the Eternal Now. Understanding existence as multidimensional, I see and experience past and future, and all dualistic concepts as happening simultaneously within a single event. My creative work is, ultimately, channeled work. I express through many mediums including visual art, costume and fashion, poetry, performance, ceremony, music, and dance. The collective journey toward understanding consciousness and reality is a defining theme in my work. Aesthetically, my work is compiled of imagery and information I receive through dreams, intuitive landscape, mystical experiences, ancient mythology and symbolism, modern science, future technology, the quantum realm, and artificial intelligence. Ancient.Future is deeply intimate work. I am continuously baffled and mesmerized by mere embodiment and what it means to be here; a merging of energy and matter into form. I often create literal self portraits, using myself as a subject, but all my work is an expression of my life journey, a sort of commentary to parallel my human experience.

Reed Fox: Jacqueline currently has work up at the 925 Gallery in the CVA in Denver until mid-August, as well as a show scheduled at Dateline in December. She also has work in the current issue of Suspect Press. See her artwork on all the Moon Magnet Compilations and all of déCollage’s releases except for their first album. You can connect with Jacqueline on Instagram, Facebook, and view her online gallery her site.

Thanks Reed, Jay, & Jacqueline. Take a listen to King Eddie’s song above and make sure to see all of your favorite Moon Magneteers at the BolderBeat Presents MoonSpoon Day Party this Saturday during The Underground Music Showcase! You can also catch King Eddie’s solo UMS set at 3 KIngs Tavern on Sunday at 8PM!

Review: Elder Grown Release First Record In Seven Years & With It, They've Found Home

By: Julia Talen

The Durango-based band Elder Grown released their sophomore album last month, and though the band's been playing music for a little over 10 years now, they haven't released a record since 2011 (Fire on the Way). Sam Kelly, the band's saxophonist gave insight into why the group decided to self-title this record: "[it] well represents the band because the group… blends so many different genres throughout a set and can kind of sound like a mixtape… this felt like the best representation [of us as a band]."

Elder Grown.

Elder Grown.

The record certainly showcases a range of talent and skill with a bit of a mixtape vibe. The tunes are explorative organically, highlighting the group’s knack to dig into different genres, yet because Elder Grown has a "jam band" improvisational quality to their compositions, the movement between each genre, whether it's funk, jazz, reggae, or hip hop, flows and works.

The motif nature, a connection to Colorado's landscape, runs throughout the record. The first track, "Feel you in the Sun," brings listeners into the album slowly, like a sun peaking onto the Front Range. The instrumentals including the soft percussion and whiny saxophone linger and wander before the band begins to sing lyrics, "Home lies in this dirt, in this earth/Hope lies in your hands, always now, in your hands." The group's vocal harmonies are rich and layered, similarly to their instrumentals, as the track traverses jazz and rock genres over the course of seven minutes, ending full circle on the same notes that it opened with.

The next track, "I Like You," is a more upbeat switch from the opener. The tune has a lo-fi feel with hazy vocals. The funky sax and bass carry through this short track, and the song has an energy to it similar to the adrenaline rush of having a crush that the lyrics allude to, with twists and turns that reflect the ups and downs of human emotion.

The third track "Dreamin'’" showcases another side of Elder Grown: hip-hop. It opens up with a bit of a disco feel but dives into hip-hop with facets of the track and a reminiscence to Jurassic 5. Once again the sax brings a bit of a funky edge to the tune as the lyrics tell a story we can all relate to of a relationship that has ended, but both parties "dream" of what it would be like to go back to the good times.

As the album continues on, the tracks continue to survey the skillful variability this group's tapped into. "Animal" reminded me of Portugal the Man (another very versatile band), "Rolling Thunder" has an Eastern European feel to it with rootsy instrumentals, and "Never Stop Dancing" has a catchy electro-pop ambiance.

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"Made or Ate the Bread," another longer track, was one of my favorites. Lyrically the tune is poetic: "Be mindful how you made or ate the bread/Remember you don't always catch the fish you’re fed/With this in mind I give my thanks and I get my rest." The tune picks up with a groovy beat and more reggae vibes before cascading into a dreamy and wandering interlude juxtaposing the upbeat pieces of the song and holding a mirror up to one of the albums themes: that though you may wander or stray, you always come home to yourself.

Elder Grown has come home to themselves with this album. The sax carries through their tracks, as do the themes of relationships, human complexities, and nature allowing them to seamlessly and organically survey all sorts of musical genres that represent the band's musicality. There's a fearlessness embedded in the tracks. Elder Grown goes for it because they've come home to themselves in this self-titled record.

Check them out this weekend Saturday, May 26th at Denver Day of Rock at the Welton Street Stage.

-Julia

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

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

By: Norman Hittle

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

Rumours Follow.

Rumours Follow.

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

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

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

Keep up with Rumours Follow on Facebook.

-Norman

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

Daphne Willis Is Bringing the Freak to Boulder's e-Town Hall This Week

By: Julia Talen

To classify Daphne Willis as one type of musical artist is a difficult feat. She’s been immersed in the music scene for over ten years, having released several records, her most recent being 'Freaks Like Me.' On it you’ll find gorgeous ballads like “Somebody’s Someone” mixed with pop dance tunes like “Out of the Black” and “Just a Little Bit.” Her music gives listeners a glimpse into Willis’ personal experiences which she’s honest and open about.

Daphne Willis. 

Daphne Willis. 

Her latest single, “Do It Like This” (which includes a sweet music video shot on the Queensboro Bridge in NYC featuring dancer Shereen Jenkins), is the perfect upbeat track to blast and sing to in your car with your windows rolled down this summer. Not only that, but she’ll be in Boulder Friday, May 18th bring her vibrant spunk and rich voice to e-Town Hall. We spoke with Willis to hear more about the evolution of her multifaceted musical career and what to expect at her upcoming show.

When did you start playing music and how has your career evolved?

Sure. Well I grew up in a musical family. Both my parents went to UT Austin; my mom was a vocal major and my dad was an engineering major so I grew up singing in a musical family. We always used to listen to music and sing. My parents had me taking piano lessons when I was little. I did that for a while. Played a little bit of saxophone. And then I ended up getting really into poetry when I was in sixth grade. I learned how to play the guitar when I was in high school. I originally started playing cover songs, and once I kind of got more comfortable with the guitar I started writing my own songs.

And then did you study music in college?

No, I’m completely self-taught. I started writing songs in school, and then I went to DePaul University -I’m from Chicago originally- and I started playing out at open mics in the blues clubs and stuff like that. I had written a handful of songs and got a band together and we would play the bars in Chicago, and then we started touring around in the Midwest.

I had this little acoustic EP I had made, and I submitted it to some sub-licensing companies, like you know when you’re in P.F. Changs and you hear music playing? I had my song playing in a catalogue like that. And it was playing on American Airlines flights. The president of this record label was on the flight, and his iPod died, so he plugged his headphones into the armrest and my song was playing. It was crazy. I was eighteen/nineteen at the time and they flew me out to L.A. and the whole thing. The A&R guy that actually signed me, he’s based in Nashville so he was having me go to Nashville for co-writing and to work on the record that I was going to do with them.

So basically I signed a deal and dropped out of school. I took the opportunity and started doing co-writing in Nashville. I did a couple of records with Vanguard Records and then left the label. Now I’m independent as an artist, but I’ve signed a publishing deal with Sony ATV so I’m now a song writer. I write pop music for Sony ATV, and I’ve been with them for three years.

Cool. Speaking of songwriting, what does your process look like?

Well, I write all the time. I write four to five songs a week, and I co-write a lot which is pretty standard in the music industry. A lot of my writing is done in New York, L.A., and Nashville. And I collaborate.

Sometimes we start with the melody. Sometimes with lyrics. Sometimes someone already has like a track made so we write to a track. I often kind of categorize the writing sessions. So if I’m writing for somebody else, it’ll go a little differently than if I’m writing for me. Or, you know I do a lot of film and T.V. writing so the film and T.V. writing is always a little different too.

It all kind of just depends. For me I try and draw inspiration from things I know. I like to write what I know, things from my friends and family’s experiences, kind of just what I see in the world and experience in the world.

That’s awesome. You have kind of a range of different sounds. You’ve got some dancey pop songs and more mellow ballads, like “Somebody’s Someone.” I’m curious, what are some of your musical influences?

I grew up with The Beatles and Michael Jackson and Stevie Wonder. And I grew up with a lot of jazz and blues influence being in Chicago. I also grew up with a lot of you know the R&B of the nineties- Whitney Houston and Mariah Carey. And with all the hip-hop so I have kind of like a hip-hop influence too. I don’t know. It’s kind of all over the place, but it’s fun to be able to blend the genres by just weaving a message and theme throughout the music.

Nice. With your upcoming show at e-Town together, I have to ask. Have you and Dave Tamkin ever played together before, or how are you two connected?

Oh my gosh, it’s so fun because we go so far back! I’ve known Dave for ten years. He’s from Chicago too and we used to play the same clubs and were in the same circles in Chicago. Then we finally played a show and hung out and really hit it off. We stayed in touch though both of us moving away, and he’s just the best. He’s my homie.

That’s great. What should audiences expect at your Boulder show?

I like to talk about the song and give people a little bit of insight into my world and how I wrote it. I’m super open about my personal experiences, and the show is going to be heavily revolving around mental health. That’s the theme of the show. I’ve been in recovery for two years and have a lot of experiences, like pretty much everyone else on the planet with the mental health stuff. So I think it’s just gonna be a nice, open atmosphere. It’s going to be really fun.

Get your tickets to Daphne Willis and Dave Tamkin’s e-Town show here.

-Julia

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

Teen Group Eighty Percent Human Cut Their Teeth On Familiar Radio Rock Covers

By: Pete Laffin

In terms of raw talent and potential, new Boulder pop-rock outfit Eighty Percent Human can go toe-to-toe with anyone on the Front Range. Comprised of siblings Carly and Coby Mandell, Jed Alpert, and Ty Schwarzer, these kids (and by kids I mean kids- two of them aren’t in high school yet) have begun cutting their teeth on familiar radio rock covers, but with unfamiliar energy and candor. For now, this is their calling card: infusing what is “played out” to the older set with a vibrancy only the recently familiar can generate. At their most recent gig at Jamestown Mercantile, they managed to make “Smells Like Teen Spirit” smell fresh with singer/keyboard player Carly howling Cobain’s lyrics about teenage alienation with authority and authenticity. You can feel that these kids feel it. It’s damn cool.

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And here’s the fun part. Front man Coby can write an original rock song that sticks to the ribs at his ripe young age. His maiden voyage into the craft didn’t just succeed in a generic sense; it won the eTown “Handmade Songs” competition in 2017. Other original work I’ve been privileged to hear shows similar promise.

That’s the word that defines them now. Their raw talent nearly ensures that they will bud into something special. But into what exactly? Brother Mandell’s songwriting will determine that. For now, though, you won’t want to miss these kids should they come to a venue close by. The coolest part of the storm is its gathering. And that’s just what Eighty Percent Human is up to: kicking up dust and howling through the trees.

-Pete

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

Hollywood Undead Bring Unique Rap-Rock Blend to the Fillmore This Week

By: Nathan Sheppard

Rap-rock group Hollywood Undead, best known for their debut album Swan Songs, will be hitting the Fillmore Auditorium this Wednesday, April 18th for a co-headlining show with In This Moment and support acts Ded and The Word Alive.

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The five-piece band from Los Angeles, known for their intricate mask designs, released their fifth studio album Five last October and are taking their new beats on the road this spring. You can anticipate a mix of their new material including “California Dreaming” but also some fan favorites like “Undead” from the guys. Hollywood Undead are known for their crazy live shows, so with the first stop of the tour being in Denver, expect the energy to be through the roof as both headliners put on an epic performance. You can check out the newest album here and tickets for the event can be found here.

Keep up with Hollywood Undead on Facebook

-Nathan

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

Phoebe Bridgers' Colorado Live Debut Weaved Sadness Into A Celebration

By: Brody Coronelli

In the middle of her set at The Gothic Theatre in Denver last Friday, Phoebe Bridgers introduced a cover of Tom Petty’s “It’ll All Work Out” by saying, “This is another sad one.” With exception of one or two, all of her songs are sad. But unlike the other melancholic crooners she takes after (Elliott Smith, Joni Mitchell, and Conor Oberst), she’s self-aware of just how sad her music is in a way that lends an endearing bite to the songs.  

Phoebe Bridgers. Photo Credit:   Sierra Voss

Phoebe Bridgers. Photo Credit: Sierra Voss

The pop-sensible trio Daddy Issues opened the night, letting their unique brand of wry, infectious, and dark emo and grunge-pop brighten up the room before the sad songs kicked in. Their irresistible two-part harmonies reached a bright crescendo on the brooding, grungy cover of Don Henley’s "The Boys Of Summer." The song started out in rhythm with the original, but descended into a dark groove as they made the song their own while also maintaining its top-down, sunset-bound energy that makes it such a timeless hit. The band’s bright, infectious sound was a perfect introduction before Bridgers and her band dampened the eyes of a full theater of fans.

Bridgers has been on a steady rise over the last three years, due in part to the Killer EP recorded and released in 2015 through Ryan Adams’ label PAX AM. She’s also toured with Conor Oberst, Bon Iver, and Julien Baker. She’s not just another songwriter “making it” by having famous friends and collaborators though. Her immense talent as a songwriter and performer sent her debut album Stranger In The Alps to the top of numerous “Best of 2017” lists, asserting her as one of the year’s most promising new artists. She’s currently on her first headlining tour, aptly called “The Farewell Tour.”

Photo Credit:   Sierra Voss

Photo Credit: Sierra Voss

Her set on Friday night included her debut album in its entirety, as well as two covers and some deeper cuts. The live versions of these songs often left a more powerful impression than they did on the album, flourishing with added instrumentation that rendered them more gripping and upbeat. Tasteful, subdued drum fills from Marshall Vore and ambient, drawling guitar and pedal steel from Harrison Whitford turned songs that were formerly shadowy, acoustic crooners into blossoming, intricate arrangements that left a potent impression on the audience. The formerly stripped-down “Funeral” was re-imagined as a slow-burning rock song, with her full live band adding additional layers onto it’s already vibrant presence. “Would You Rather” received a similar live treatment, only this time it was sung as a duet with Whitford instead of Conor Oberst.

Bridgers’ aforementioned cover of the Tom Petty deep cut “It’ll All Work Out” was one of the set’s strongest moments. “I wouldn’t recommend tuning a baritone guitar even lower, but I love it, because it makes everything sound super emo!” she joked, before transforming a glistening, lighter-waving arena rocker into a melancholic, shadowy anthem that aims straight for the heart.

Photo Credit:   Sierra Voss

Photo Credit: Sierra Voss

She closed the set with “Scott Street,” and towards the end, she sent two massive black balloons filled with confetti into the audience. She encored with her haunting cover of Mark Kozelek’s “You Missed My Heart,” as well as a surprise cover of “If It Makes You Happy” by Sheryl Crow; a song that declares, “If it makes you happy/ Then why the hell are you so sad?” The cover ended the show on a self-aware, tongue-in-cheek note that was incredibly refreshing. For someone who writes songs capable of levelling you with their sadness, seeing Phoebe Bridgers live never felt like anything shy of a celebration.

For a full gallery of photos from this show, click here

-Brody

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

Umphrey’s McGee Lit Up Aspen's Belly Up For Three-Night Colorado Run

By: Cy Fontenot

After a two week break, the six-piece power band Umphrey’s McGee took a crowd of a few hundred people in Aspen CO, on an epic musical journey. They had the Belly Up, a notoriously intimate venue, dripping from the ceiling in good times at their Wednesday night show.  

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They started out the night by jamming their way into fan-favorite, “Resolution.” They then made their way into Umphrey’s classic, “In the Kitchen,” and left the crowd steaming with excitement as they closed out their first set with “Bridgeless.”

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Giving the room some time to breathe with intermission, Umphrey’s came out for their second set with guns blazin’ for “Phil’s Farm.” Just as things started to get really frothy, they hit us with “Booth Love, and then an OG Umphrey’s jam, “Nothing Too Fancy,” which left the crowd picking their faces up off the floor from the sweet jams.

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Taking it one step further, they played their brand new, ultra-heavy song, “Remind Me,” which did remind me that this is a band with a fire burning deep inside, a fire that will continue to produce the gnarliest of jams for decades to come.

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If you haven’t had the pleasure of catching Umphrey’s McGee live, check out their tour dates and new album, Its Not Us, here. They’ve got a three-night run of Red Rocks show coming up this July too, which you should grab your tickets for now.

-Cy

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: Andy Sydow Releases New Single "Hearts Go On" From Upcoming Record

Colorado’s Andy Sydow has released his newest single today, “Hearts Go On.” The track, which feels Tom Petty-inspired with Americana and rock influences, will be on Sydow’s upcoming record Reasons For Departure.

Sydow actually began his music career at the University of Colorado in Boulder where he studied jazz piano performance. From there, he worked a short stint at Howl At The Moon as a dueling piano performer until he realized he wanted to pursue a life as a solo artist.

After releasing his works Trailhead (2015) and A Little Messed Up (2016), Sydow took to the road with the Andy Sydow band across the U.S. and Canada. Reasons For Departure, which will be released in May of this year, is Sydow’s most current project. He has worked on the album with Grammy-nominated and Colorado Music Hall of Fame inductee Chris Daniels.

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Said Sydow about the debut single from the record, “The song teases the innocence of young love, while the character in the story is so wrapped up in it, he can't see beyond the pain of the situation. I hope the listener can relate to and see the other side of a situation that pretty much everyone has experienced.”

Make sure to give “Hearts Go On” a listen and keep up with Andy here.

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

Premiere: J.W. Schuller's Signature Humor Is Apparent In New Music Video For "No mud in Joyville"

By: Hannah Oreskovich

BolderBeat first caught up with Boulder transplant and singer/songwriter J.W. Schuller about a year ago when he released his tongue-in-cheek video for “When I’m President.” Schuller is well-known for injecting his sense of humor into his work, and his recent release for his single “No mud in Joyville” is no different.

“No mud in Joyville” is the title track from Schuller’s newest record, which dropped this past January. The song’s somewhat nonsensical verses and catchy chorus are of Schuller’s signature style, one which keeps the listener wondering what he’ll say next and simultaneously has them singing along after a minute or two. In the song, Schuller imagines a place where there won’t be hate, deer ticks, and of course, mud among other things.

J.W. Schuller.

J.W. Schuller.

The video for “No mud in Joyville,” which we’re premiering here today, brings Schuller’s goofy sensibilities to light. The video features scenes of Schuller and his bearded nephew Jens Larson playing in front of an old stove in a living room of sorts, interspersed with abstract skeleton art sequences, and at one point a scene where they launch skittles from a drum in Larson’s mouth.

Said Jeff about the video, “I conceived and directed the video and it was shot on an iPhone 6 by the abstract artist Jaci Lee Reno, who I'm also lucky to call my wife. The flower and skeleton imagery in the video is an offshoot of my idea for the album cover. I've always been struck by Mexican Day of the Dead folk art and the juxtaposition of skeleton figures and flowers have been a recurring theme in videos and gig posters for me. It’s kind of an off-puttingly cute way to reflect on our mortality, I guess."

Schuller and Larson.

Schuller and Larson.

No mud in Joyville is the second release from Schuller as a solo artist, and is a follow-up to his 2013 release All Important Artists. His latest was recorded and mixed at Underwood Studios in Minneapolis by Mark Stockert, which are Schuller’s old stomping grounds.

J.W. Schuller’s album release show is slated for Saturday, March 10th at The Walnut Room in Denver with Red Petals and Kait Berreckman. Snag tickets here and make sure to keep up with Schuller on 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.

Review: Chewy&Bach's Debut Single "Potion" Is Hypnotizing Electro-Americana

By: Elizabeth Lee

In a world of music and a sea of artists, it is always refreshing to find a track that showcases a fresh take on multiple genres and creates a sound of its own. 

Chewy&Bach.

Chewy&Bach.

Electro-Americana production duo Chewy&Bach do just that with the release of their new single “Potion.” Justin Long (guitar/vocals) and Elliot Olbright (production/sound design) started collaborating as a business venture in 2016, both coming from very different artistic backgrounds. The two found a kind of harmony in music, complementing each other’s strengths and weaknesses. Their style is described as “a love of the roots perfected through electronic music.”

Listen to "Potion":

“Potion” is a superb example of their admirable talent, drawing you in with smooth melodies and hypnotizing the listener with its ambience. The track features the soulful R&B vocals of Tucker Riley, whose voice is layered with psychedelic guitar and keyboard harmonies drenched in dreamy reverb. This unique track is a perfect debut for the duo, as it showcases their ability to combine modern electronic production techniques with their passion for blues, funk, and soul.

Keep up with the latest on Chewy&Bach 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.

Start The Workday Off Right With Daybreaker Boulder This Thursday (11/30)

This Thursday, November 30th, it’s all about the onesies. Boulder’s Daybreaker party is back, this time at Boulder Theater where the theme is “Furries and Onesies.” The crazy dance party, with a yoga practice pregame, has become an international sensation inspiring people to come together for a morning of fun to “seize the day” before heading to work.

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“We are so excited to have grown this event and host it at the Boulder Theater.” said Rachel Namordi, event organizer. “Our community has fully embraced this global movement, and we love that they want to start their day with movement, gratitude, and connection all before work and completely sober. We’re beyond inspired by how this has impacted people’s creativity at work and life, and how it’s brought multi-generations together through the love of dance, yoga, and real connection.”

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The morning’s yoga session will be hosted by Yoga Pod Boulder’s own Dan Carbondale and Rob Loud. Coffee, healthy juices and snacks, live performances, and free giveaways are just some of the things attendees can also expect to be included in the experience.

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Daybreaker Boulder will also help benefit local nonprofit Attention Homes for this event, the only shelter for youth in Boulder County. Attendees are asked to bring gently used clothes to the event to be donated to the organization.

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Yoga starts at 6AM; the dance party is from 7AM-9AM. Yoga & Dance tickets are $35 and Dance Only tickets are $25. Groups of three or more can get Dance Only tickets for $20 each when purchased together. If attending yoga, yogis are asked to bring their own yoga mat. For more information and to get tickets, click here.

See you in your best onesies, Boulder!

Premiere: Compass & Cavern's "Good Enough" Showcases Sound Of Their New Alt-Pop Record

By: Norman Hittle

It’s been two years of cultivation with odd dreams of rock’n’roll legends, bouts with love, and feeling the press of time as temporal beings; and finally the Denver based indie-rock/power-pop duo Compass & Cavern are back with their full-length album Before it Begins, and premiering their third music video from the record for the track “Good Enough.”

Compass & Cavern is frontman/guitarist Will Timbers, and synth-master Chris Frucci. Their name is derived from two concepts that resonated with Will and Chris throughout the project’s formation. “Compass” refers to the phrase, “don’t confuse the map with the territory.” Will first came across this idea in college philosophy lectures and thought it was a particularly beautiful way of describing how we mistakenly claim to “know” things with which we have a surface-level connection. For example, we could learn everything there is to know about the Grand Canyon, but our understanding of its grandeur is incomplete until we actually experience it for ourselves. The “map” pales in comparison to the “territory” it is representing.

“Cavern” is an allusion to Plato’s Allegory of the Cave, a parable that uses sweet imagery to help us understand how we develop ideas about what is “real.” Remember the black and blue vs. white and gold dress picture that took the internet by storm in early 2015? That was a powerful and tangible example for how we can experience reality differently because of our varying perceptions of the surrounding world. Knowing this, C&C sees music as the best medium to share perspectives with others.

As far as sonic similarities, I would say C&C’s sound is influenced by some of the more formidable alt-pop acts such as 311, Twenty One Pilots, and Weezer.

Regarding the video, Compass & Cavern told BolderBeat:

“The song attempts to portray a blend of confidence and self-doubt in the context of a relationship (or at least a desired relationship!). It's the feeling of superiority and the recognition of personal shortcomings when thinking about what, or who, is best for a person you admire. It's basically a pride pendulum swing. The video plays on that theme, but leaves even more ambiguity as to who the ‘good guys’ are in the story. With every song we write, my biggest hope is that listeners will understand and identify with the emotion and message, at least to some degree.”

Stream and listen to Compass & Cavern’s Before it Begins on Bandcamp, add them to your Spotify playlists, and take a gander at the creative storylines in their other videos on YouTube!

-Norman

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

Chance The Rapper's Intern Opens Up About Working For His Favorite Rapper & How One Night at Red Rocks Changed Everything

Hospedales & Chance. 

Hospedales & Chance. 

You may recall a few months back when Chance The Rapper put out a request for an intern across his social media. Canada’s Nagele Hospedales got the gig after turning his resume into a website that went viral. Recently, Hospedales opened up about what life was like touring the globe with Chicago’s hometown hero. From arranging story time for the rapper with Dave Chappelle to coordinating Chance’s hoops sessions with Migos, Hospedales eventually writes,

“I can talk all I want about my run-ins with various celebrities including the ones I lived with for 2 months, or how a taste of the VIP lifestyle changed me, but the first moment that really left shivers down my spine was a slightly more natural one:
Night 2 at the Red Rocks Amphitheater in Denver, CO.
The band intros happen nearly halfway thru the show, and after the ovation for ‘Mr. Nico Segal’, ”Sunday Candy” begins. Suddenly, it was if the heavens literally opened up for a second; right as the vocalists harmonized the lines “Come on in this house, cause it’s gonna rain, Rain down Zion, it’s gonna rain”, the most peaceful light mist fell from the sky until the end of the song and as suddenly as they started, ceased. Something about that moment made me realize that I, or rather we, were doing something right, enough so to please our God & Mother Nature & the sky themselves.”

A life defining moment had at Red Rocks? We get you Hospedales.

Read Hospey's full adventures as Chance’s intern here.

-Hannah

Follow Hannah on Instagram and Twitter.

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

Mary Chapin Carpenter & Emily Barker Bring Foot-Stompin' Good Times To Chautauqua Auditorium

By: Hannah Oreskovich

Two powerful ladies took over Chautauqua Auditorium this past Monday for a night of sweet acapella tunes, country foot-stompin’ jams, and a collective reminiscence on the passing of time.

Emily Barker.

Emily Barker.

Australia’s Emily Barker opened the evening. Barker, who entered the music realm after connecting with guitarist Rob Jackson in the UK in 2002, has been touring internationally on her latest solo record Sweet Kind of Blue (2017). The Americana singer/songwriter, who is fresh off of her 2017 Glastonbury performance, played a stripped-down solo set at Chautauqua, jumping between the piano onstage and her guitar and harmonica. While some artists may have a hard time keeping a crowd’s interest without a backing band, Barker sure isn’t one of them. Her voice is the true instrument of interest in her music, and she definitely proved that at this performance. There wasn’t a sound outside of her vocals throughout the entire auditorium when she sang her tune “Precious Memories” entirely acapella with a few finger snaps thrown in for good measure. With the crowd’s full attention, Barker really showcased the raw, jazzy vibrato sound of her vocals, shortly thereafter ending her 30-minute set with the swampy harmonica and delta vibes of her newer single “Sunrise.”

Country darling Mary Chapin Carpenter entered next, with a four-piece band backing her for a set of tunes spread across her 30-year catalogue. Her Chautauqua show was her second in Colorado for the week, and in support of her 2016 release The Things That We Are Made Of, which is her 14th record release. The crowd was especially taken with her newer, emotive track “Livingston,” which Carpenter shared was inspired by a road trip she took with friends to “say farewell to a friend.”  

Mary Chapin Carpenter.

Mary Chapin Carpenter.

The four-time Grammy winner played plenty of her classics as well. The crowd cheered for her “Passionate Kisses” cover, which harkens back to her 1992 record Come On Come On and was originally written by Lucinda Williams (who ironically plays Chautauqua next week).

“I think that one is a perfect example of songcraft, whether stripped down and acoustic or with a full band! It speaks to the most human desire to love and be loved, which we all deserve.” she remarked afterward, to a vibrant applause.

Carpenter made several reflections on her career throughout the night, saying at one point, “You know a lot of us will say we’re just happy to be anywhere, but I’m especially happy to be here.” And with “here” being a sold-out 1500-capacity auditorium nestled in Boulder’s Foothills, one thing’s clear: Carpenter has strongly accomplished what many artists only dream to do- she’s spent a 30-year music career establishing lifelong fans.

“This next one’s old,” she smiled toward the end of her set, “But aren’t they all? This one’s from the last century.” The crowd cheered.

Though her tunes may be dated in years, they’re established country classics; timeless, though the performer and her loyal fans have aged since her first release.

Carpenter’s next show is in Kansas City tonight with Sarah Jarosz, but Barker will rejoin Carpenter in Iowa this weekend for another leg of this tour. Keep up with Carpenter here and with Barker on her website.

-Hannah

Follow Hannah on Instagram and Twitter.

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. 

Review: Foxxes Self-Titled Debut Record Is Classic Lo-Fi & Psychedelic Harmonies

By: Norman Hittle

After two years of hard work, Foxxes have released their debut self-titled full length album. If you’re intrigued or interested in indie psych-rock mixed with nuances of post-punk, then it's possible this album will trip your fancy.  

Listen to Foxxes self-titled record:

Foxxes is a Denver based quartet comprised of the musical talents of Chris Feldbush (vocals and guitar), his brother Mike (drums), Tyler Shockey (guitar), and Nick Monx (bass). With classic pop hints interspersed throughout their collection of nine songs, their music pays homage to artists such as Modest Mouse and early Rolling Stones. Vocally, Chris touches on the singing styles of Talking Heads and Weezer’s Rivers Cuomo.

Foxxes.

Foxxes.

The entire album has hard hitting guitars, trippy bass, and psychedelic harmonies, with a classic experimental style of lo-fi recordings and reverb washed out vocals, though at times the vocals are a bit too washed out for my taste (but this may be stylistically intentional). Though you may not find these recordings bumping at the dance clubs, it’s totally possible you may hear it accompanying some great backyard hangouts and summer BBQs with good friends.

Foxxes album is unique in that it seems to transform and mature both in composition and in content as it goes from beginning to end. The first three songs of the album (“Patterns & Sequences,” “Play it Safe,” and “Potential”) are easily their most commercially viable pop-centric songs and give the album a playful origin that soon hits the eight-minute long anthemic “Obsession” with its multiple genre transitions; and a turning point in the album’s progression into its more psychedelic second half starting with “Incandescent Glow” and completing with the heavily guitar effected “Tycoon.”

Now that Foxxes has completed the work on their debut album, it’s looking like they’ll be getting back to the grind of showcasing their sound around Denver including a spot on the 2017 UMS lineup. Check them out and make sure to catch their set at the upcoming Denver fest!

-Norman

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

Rock Out To Our 2017 Underground Music Showcase Playlist

By: Hannah Oreskovich

With Denver’s Underground Music Showcase just a couple of weeks away, our very own tastemaker Sierra Voss has created a sweet summer playlist full of tunes from tons of artists on this year’s lineup.

Denver darling (and headliner) Esmé Patterson opens our playlist, followed by fellow headliners Benjamin Booker, Zola Jesus, and Red Fang. There are a ton of Colorado favorites to bop your heads to after that-  déCollage, Dirty Few, Dragondeer,  CITRA, The Velveteers,  Slow Caves, Television Generation, and Whiskey Autumn- are just some of the artists you’ll find on our UMS playlist!

So get ready to pop a cold one at Irish Rover, headbang at Hi-Dive, and dance with us up and down South Broadway at the 2017 UMS! Get your festival passes here!

Listen to our 'Underground Music Showcase 2017' Playlist:

Make sure to follow us on Spotify to check out more of our playlists, and if you’re an artist looking to submit your song for playlist consideration, roll to our contact page and do it!

-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 rt60.co Curates Magical Shows At The Starhouse

By: Hannah Oreskovich 

Just above Boulder, after a short ride up Sunshine Canyon, sits a magical space: The Starhouse. Surround by 200 acres of open space, pine forests, and a killer view of Boulder, The Starhouse was constructed in 1990 as a living temple for trans-denominational spirituality. It was built by souls dedicated to sacred geometry and astronomy, so its entrance sits aligned with Polaris, and its acoustics are out of this world. The space regularly hosts Solar celebrations and Lunar events, but recently, I went for another reason: an intimate concert series curated by Daniel Herman of rt60.co and Mineral Sound.

The Starhouse.  Photo per The Starhouse.

The Starhouse. Photo per The Starhouse.

Herman has hosted a few shows recently at The Starhouse, all of which have featured local singer/songwriters unplugged in the natural acoustics of The Starhouse’s main wooden room. There’s a sort of sacredness to entering the place beyond the geometry- patrons are asked to remove their shoes, and meditation floor chairs and blankets are provided. There are candles along each windowsill, and after taking a seat, The Keepers of The Starhouse instruct you to turn off your phones and tune in to the present. That’s when rt60.co’s performers take the stage- the recent Starhouse lineup consisted of Megan Burtt, Paul Kimbiris, and Julian Peterson.

Julian Peterson.

Julian Peterson.

Julian Peterson opened the evening just as the sun set, playing a few tracks from his last record Get On This Train, along with his tune “Broken Man.” Though he’s played Red Rocks and The Boulder Theater in the past year, he admitted there is something different about playing The Starhouse.  

“This is so crazy up here! I feel naked.” he smiled, as the crowd laughed.

Julian’s sound is bluesy, soulful, and honest. He has a strong storytelling ability in his songwriting, and with an audience as silent as The Starhouse, it was easy to hear every intonation in Peterson’s range vocally. He ended his set playing a tune on his resonator guitar, which left us draped in delta vibes.

Paul Kimbiris.

Paul Kimbiris.

Paul Kimbiris was next, opening his set playing guitar and a kick drum, which he’s newly added to his live shows. He then brought up Philip Parker (Gregory Alan Isakov), who accompanied him on cello for the remainder of the set. With Parker's deep and swift cello sounds backing Paul’s bold vocals and guitar playing, it was impossible to be anything but present in their beautiful tunes. They played several tracks from The Dark Side of Pearl, and though Paul remarked that the two hadn’t shared the stage in quite some time, you’d have thought they’d just come off the road together with the touring chemistry of a string of shows just behind them.

Near the end of his set, as he looked around The Starhouse and into the crowd, Kimbiris smiled and said, “You know- I was thinking, and this- this is so Colorado.”

The Starhouse indeed felt almost like a cozy cabin at that point, with the sun gone, the moon hidden by clouds, and only soft lighting and the glow of candles illuminating the space.  

Megan Burtt. 

Megan Burtt. 

Megan Burtt closed out the intimate Starhouse evening; I had actually caught her set just the day before at Strings & WoodsWestword Music Showcase performance. Burtt has been a touring musician for years now, and this year is one of the first she hasn’t spent either constantly on the road or in the studio. Having played overseas, with symphonies, and at numerous local digs, Burtt agreed there is something different from anywhere else about The Starhouse.

“This is so vibey!” she smiled after taking her place at the front of the room.

Burtt played a couple of tunes from her record The Bargain, including a powerful rendition of her song “Anchor.” The room was exceptionally still for Burtt’s silky vocals- she transitioned between high and low tones with smooth and exceptional ease. She was accompanied only by her guitar playing, which, thanks to sacred geometry, all sounded as crisp and clear as if she were plugged in without her actually having been.

Daniel Herman at The Starhouse.

Daniel Herman at The Starhouse.

When the show came to a close, rt60’s Daniel Herman thanked the crowd as he remarked, “As someone who works in sound, having these artists play without amplification or anything is a sort of a therapy for me.”

I’d argue The Starhouse is a dose of therapy for anyone who has the chance to inhabit the space. Chakras aside, there’s really nothing like it, so make sure to attend rt60’s next curated performance in August.

Keep up with rt60 and check out more videos from this show here. And learn more about the mystical experiences that happen at The Starhouse on their website.

-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.

England's Fenech-Soler Talk With Us About 'ZILLA' & Their New 360° Music Video

By: Hannah Oreskovich

English electropop outfit Fenech-Soler have been a project since 2006, though you probably know them best from their 2010 self-titled record, which made major waves on BBC Radio and brought the group the attention that soon after found them signed to Warner Bros. Records. The group’s album Rituals was released thereafter in 2013, spurring them into a massive UK tour and an eventual spot playing the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi. In 2016, founding members Daniel Fenech-Soler (from which the band’s name stems) and Andrew Lindsay left the project, but brothers Ross and Ben Duffy kept writing. This year, the duo dropped ZILLA on So Recordings, and are currently on tour in support of it. Next Monday and Tuesday, May 15th and 16th, Fenech-Soler make their Colorado appearances on their North American tour, with a stop in Greeley on Monday at The Moxi Theater and Lost Lake on Tuesday in Denver. We recently chatted with the Duffy boys to learn more about their latest record, their new 360-degree interactive music video, and their plans for the summer. Check it:

ZILLA is arguably your most pop-leaning record yet. How did (mostly) self-producing this record influence its sound?

It hugely influenced its sound because every production decision was made by us and limited by the equipment we use. We tend to work pretty quickly when we start an idea, so [we] use a lot of things on the computer, but then re-record sounds using outboard gear if we feel it's needed. A lot of the sounds from ZILLA actually came from one keyboard that we bought as kids, so we feel it's a distinctive sound. The keyboard has these perfect faux-vintage synths, which we loved.

Fenech-Soler.

Fenech-Soler.

Your single “Kaleidoscope” was described by Noisey as “3:39 of pure joy.” What was the inspiration behind writing this hit track?

We just wanted to write the most concise 'to the point' pop song we could. It really is the most emblematic song of the ZILLA sound, so I guess the inspiration was to be as simple as possible in our approach. It was a kind of a less-is-more affair. We've always been influenced by lots of different artists, so in many ways, there's tons of inspiration wrapped up in there somewhere, but I couldn't really say one specific influence. The other songs from ZILLA guide it stylistically.

Your new video for “Conversation” is filmed in 360° and is super interactive for the viewer. Who did you work with to film the video? Why did you choose this platform for “Conversation” over other tracks? Is the location in your Northamptonshire studio?

Thanks very much! We had a lot of fun making the video and we choose a white art space in west London for the location. We wanted a minimalist colour scheme to again reflect a simplicity in the sound. The 360-degree element also felt right for this song because it's one of our favourites to perform live, so an immersive platform where the viewer can control what they see, combined with the clinical aesthetic, just seemed like a good idea. Toby at Blind Club directed the video. He's very talented.

Photo Credit: Ed Whitmarsh

Photo Credit: Ed Whitmarsh

Having played all over the world since your inception in 2006, what is one of your favorite things about playing shows in North America?

There's so much of North America we haven't seen. This tour is taking us to some new cities, and giving us the opportunity to play to fans who we haven't managed to get to since we started the band. Oh, and we also love the American food options. It's the best.

Tell us one thing you make a habit of doing on your off days on tour.

Sleeping! Even though to be honest, on this tour, we said on the flight over that we have to do more tourist things. There's so many incredible things to see, and it's a privilege getting to travel around with your best mates playing music.

Any festival spots planned for the summer?

We're hitting the UK and Europe, and then hopefully getting out to some in the US. It's always a lot of fun as festival crowds can really transform a set. The songs can take on their own energy. We've never played a US festival, but any festival where the weather is good is fine by us! [The weather] is not usually like that in the UK. (laughs)

Listen to ZILLA:

What does the rest of 2017 look like for you guys?

Well we're going to release a cover EP in a few weeks, which we're looking forward to. We've covered all the people you shouldn't really cover, like Prince, Bowie, and Janet Jackson, so it will either be a positive or a career ender. We like them though, so I reckon people will dig them. Then after that just more touring. Hopefully [we’ll be] back in America very soon after this tour.   

Make sure to catch Fenech-Soler at their Colorado stops- tickets 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.