Weir Drops New Single "Copper" with Local Electronic Label Alias

By: Natalie Pulvino

One way Colorado has distinguished itself in the music world is through the unwavering rise of live-electronic bands. With influencers like Pretty Lights, Big Gigantic, GRiZ, SunSquabi and more, young and aspiring musicians are crafting something fresh every day. This week, we sat down with Nick Vann of Nobide and Chris Weir of Weir to talk about Weir’s new track “Copper”, which is being released through Vann’s label Alias today.

So Nick, tell us about your record label Alias. When was it formed, what inspired the project, and what is your vision for the label?

NV: It started in January 2018 with my buddy Gunter- it’s a pretty similar vision to other Colorado labels in that we want to put out organic electronic music. Electronic music with live elements in there with really good branding. The vision is to make it a taste-maker label I suppose. Our slogan is “Global Taste, Local Face,” so it’s focused on the local element as well.

Can you give a brief overview of the other artists on the label? Are they all local electronic acts?

NV: Yeah, local, organic electronic incorporating live elements that aren’t completely made on the computer. We have Hxrse, mxxnwathcers, f-ether, and Nobide, to name a few.  

What is your or your team’s current process for choosing what music you’ll distribute through Alias?

NV: Pretty much, if it hits us sonically and “in the feels,” and if we sort of know the person.

Chris Weir.

Chris Weir.

This leads us into the next portion of our interview, which is Weir’s new single “Copper.” Nick, what excited you about “Copper” enough to distribute it through Alias?

NV: It was really different from Weir, not the stuff he’d been making prior. Cinematic and organic, a bit more instrument-based than his prior music. The arrangement is killer.

Very cool. And Chris, tell us a bit more about “Copper.” The song is intense and thick with emotion. What drove this project and what were your inspirations?

CW: Originally I had a friend reach out to make a track for a ski video that he was working on, so I wanted to experiment with more of a hip-hop based, slower tempo, and ended up developing it into something a lot more than a ski video. And by writing it through a dark time, I used that energy in the core progressions and in the sound I was picking out. I wanted to create a vibe similar to the mountains, or tie it in with nature in some way.

What’s the most experimental or exciting part of the song for you?

CW: Probably the overall hip-hop vibe because pretty much all I’ve written in the past has been more dance-house beats, so it was cool to take the tempo a lot slower and fill the space more.

Why did you feel Alias was a good fit to distribute and help promote “Copper?”

CW: It really was more up to Nick, but I saw it fitting Alias more so than my previous projects for sure, in terms of the organic soundscape that I was messing with.

Do you think “Copper” represents a shift in your musical work, and if so, where do you see this shift going?

CW: One hundred percent- I definitely see myself going towards more of a live performance and incorporating more instruments on stage. To me, this track has a lot more elements that I think I could play out live and develop more into what I see Weir being.

Weir at work.

Weir at work.

These last two questions are for both of you. What is your read on the thriving live-electronic scene in the Boulder/Denver area?

NV: It’s so all over the place in the best possible way. Every type of music is getting produced and there’s a really strong community vibe around it, where people just want everybody to succeed. At the end of the day, everybody just wants more good music.

CW: I think it’s just really cool that there’s so much variety both in Boulder and Denver, and all of Colorado. There’s obviously a huge pop of jam bands, soul and funk, but it’s cool to see more electronic and live-electronic acts popping up.

NV: It seems like Colorado may be doing that in a more forward-thinking way than other areas.

What do you mean by that?

NV: It seems that there’s more technological innovation with the blending [of] instruments to create more of a band. Geographically, we’re right in the middle of the country, so musically we’re blending everything together here.

Lastly, can we expect any further artistic collaboration between you two?

NV: Absolutely.

CW: I would certainly hope so.

Be sure to give “Copper” a listen now and catch these guys live in action at Larimer Lounge next Saturday, April 6th.

Keep up with Weir here and check out alias.fm.

-Natalie

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

Fans Braved the Cold for Last Weekend's "Rezz Rocks" and It Was Worth Every Minute

By: Franz Hilberath

Is Rezz the most iconic woman in electronic music today?

It would’ve been hard to argue otherwise standing in a half-rain, half-snow flurry drizzle at Red Rocks Amphitheater late Saturday night, where Rezz had just finished up her sold-out, headlining debut at Colorado’s most historic venue.

Rezz Rocks” had been a notable date on the ever-exciting Red Rocks concert lineup since it was announced earlier this year, hype that would only grow with her exceptional 2018 career.

“Rezz Rocks.” Photo Credit: Jason Siegel

“Rezz Rocks.” Photo Credit: Jason Siegel

In September, she released her sophomore album Certain Kind of Magic, hitting her highest charting position to date at #12. On the global festival circuit, she’s made waves headlining main stages at events like Electric Forest, Lost Lands, and most-recently ACL Festival in Austin, TX.

Her well-reputed ability to create event-catered experiences for crowds in addition to the spell-binding nature of her music has made her one of the more clamored for electronic acts worldwide, and more often than not her billing demands a primetime night set wherever she goes. This reputation for creating an experience each time out boded well for her largest show to date, and her first headlining gig at Red Rocks Amphitheater, a venue noted for making concerts like these special.

On Saturday, the concert doors opened up to fans at 4:30PM, an earlier start time enacted due to fears of light rain and snow coming over the mountains later on in the night. “Rezz Rocks” featured a slew of enticing openers in Fytch, Charlesthefirst, Digital Ethos and Bleep Bloop, but the main lead up spot was reserved for LA-based DJ/producer Tokimonsta. The fellow lady — real name Jennifer Lee — took the stage later in the night, playing some of her lighter tunes and remixes before following suit with a bass-heavy themed set. As that set neared its end, the sun had all but abandoned the park as the cooler weather and breeze began to set in, with temperatures diving down into the 30s.

At 8:30PM, as if on cue with total darkness, Rezz made her way to the stage, booting on her patented-LED goggles as both the music and visuals for “Life and Death” began to play. Within minutes the 10,000-plus in attendance found themselves entranced in one of electronic music’s more captivating shows.

With an hour and a half set time, the Canadian producer dished out all the tools in her arsenal, debuting new tracks, visuals and stellar remixes. During a slowed-down version of Liquid Stranger’s “Creature,” a giant eyeball with tentacles sprang to life on screen, while other tracks like “H E X” and “Teleportal” utilized geometric shapes and patterns on the LED-board to help bring the music to life. On a night that dipped below freezing, Rezz seemed mostly unbothered while only sporting a hoodie, regularly dancing or swaying along with the slow-bass drops.

Rezz. Photo Credit: Jason Siegel

Rezz. Photo Credit: Jason Siegel

Around 10PM the weather began to make a turn for the worse, as the temperature continued to drop and the winds spiked, sending droplets of rain dancing above the crowd. It was here the night began to come to a close, as Rezz met the crowd at the lip of the stage to acknowledge both their energy and the cold.

“Thanks for sticking with me in the cool,” she gleamed while looking out at the sold-out amp crowd, struggling to form her trademark third-eye hand gesture. “I can barely feel my hands.”

To the delight of everyone, Rezz dropped back in for one more song, asking fans to “put all [their] energy into” a high-powered, unreleased, unnamed track that we can't wait to hear on record.

In a world where we’re constantly working towards a climate where women are celebrated for their uniqueness and individuality, Rezz serves as an early champion. On what she claimed to be “the best night of her life,” Rezz proved that she is well ahead of her peers, and at only 23, she’s just getting started. She hasn’t achieved this level of status or fame by following others. Instead her rise has fed off the energy she puts out there for fans, grown by her humbled dedication in being the best version of herself regardless of what others would say.

If that isn’t iconic, what is?

-Franz

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

SoDown Lifted and Lit Up the Fox Theatre Last Saturday

By: Will Baumgartner

A Saturday night at one of the top-rated music venues in the country, which happens to be within walking distance of my house, surrounded by joyful energy and kept moving by irresistible dance grooves- not a bad way to spend an evening, right? Add the pleasure of getting to review a headlining set plus a consistently mesmerizing light show with a packed crowd of young friendly faces, and the end result was a music lover whose walk home felt elevated.

I also felt enlightened, because to be honest, electronic music isn’t my field of expertise. That being said, I learned long ago not to ignore it because I love to dance. And what SoDown does-Bass music- is specifically designed for dance lovers. One of the things I’ve learned from talking with those immersed in the culture is “Don’t call it Dubstep!” Also sometimes called “UK Bass,” this music is clearly influenced by dubstep, but also draws on so many different types of sounds that it’s asserted itself to the point where it has its own identity and commands special attention.

SoDown.

SoDown.

So how does SoDown, a relative newcomer in an already exploding field, distinguish itself within the burgeoning Bass pantheon? And who exactly is SoDown? The answers to these questions are interconnected. As is often the case in the electronic music galaxy, we’re talking about one person here: his name is Ehren River Wright. He stands out because he’s an accomplished saxophonist in addition to his clear mastery as a producer, and a fascinating young star whose rise is an exhilarating thing to experience. In the interest of trying to share a bit of that experience, let’s go back to Saturday’s show for a minute.

The crisp autumnal spark outside the theater became a surge of crackling energy inside. Supporting act Megan Hamilton pumped the swelling crowd with her own brand of uplift, blending some live vocals and bits of drumming on a set of pads mounted next to her rig. Everyone was engaged and the smiles exploded toward the entry of SoDown, whereupon the bliss meter hit the high end of the spectrum. From the first notes and flashes of stylized imagery, through the entire barrage of thumping rhythm, soaring melody and spectacular light show, SoDown ascended to some new and dizzying heights.

When young Mister Wright raised his tenor sax to surf the swells and crests on this sea of sound, it was like we were all riding these waves together, light breaking through storm clouds, all surge and spray with a good dose of sway. I’m not sure where all the voices came from, but the familiar backing bits (including, of all people, some Britney Spears) brought a somewhat grounding effect to the ensemble; a reminder that music is a continuum which leads us into an ever-expanding future while holding the power of its own past. Wright came onstage already dancing to the music in his head, and the dance kept growing throughout the night, and throughout the crowd. Even when the “show” experience was “over,” the dance continued on.

SoDown.

SoDown.

Being considerably less well-versed than others in the Bass world, I needed to make allowances for a few things at SoDown’s set. For one, in my research leading up to this night, I’d expected something a bit different. The recorded music that SoDown has released led me to expect something a little more low-key, a tad more downtempo. So it took me a few minutes to adjust my consciousness to the heavier side of his music, until I remembered that if you’re going to create a party or keep one going, it’s necessary to bring some of your heaviest gear with you. As someone who’s attended countless shows by live bands using no electronics whatsoever, I knew this: virtually everyone plays louder, faster, and harder live. That’s the nature of the beast. Once I’d navigated this shift, a handful of the aspects that make up the whole of who and what SoDown is reasserted themselves: the soulful, sometimes even moody smokiness that belie Wright’s love of jazz, soul, and funk were still there. They simply made their presence a little more of an unassuming and pleasant thing, like the quieter guests at a party- they might be bopping a bit more unobtrusively on the periphery or in the midst of all that more frenzied activity, but they aren’t about to leave.

So, ultimately, this is one of the greatest things about the fully alive and ever-evolving world of music we’re so lucky to be part of: there’s room for everyone and everything, all types of people and emotions, all levels of experience and knowledge. That openness was in great evidence at this gathering. There’s no one watching the door at a dance party thrown by SoDown, and if it takes you a minute or three to fold yourself into the crowd, they’re more than happy to make room for you to get in there and be your unique and indispensable self. This element, like the music itself, resists being pigeonholed because there are so many parts needed to make it whole and keep on lifting.

-Will

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

Premiere: Future Joy's New Music Video for "Thirsty" Is Saxually Satisfying

Denver’s Future Joy are known for their sultry sax sounds. They’re self-proclaimed as a “saxually active glitch hop” outfit and 303 Magazine recently called their new self-titled record the “sweet spot between the heavy hitters and sexy saxophone serenades.” Today, the band dropped their music video for the track “Thirsty” and we’re stoked to premiere it for you here:

Future Joy, comprised of Zach Simms on saxophone (MLIMA) and Frederic Park on percussion, is a seriously tasty combination of all things electronic with sax, funk, and hip-hop thrown in. The result is saxually satisfying, and “Thirsty” feels like a banger from its opening riff.

Annabelle.

Annabelle.

Denver’s Annabelle, whose whisper vocals are featured on the track, stars in the video alongside dancers Gina and Sheridan. Annabelle choreographed the video, which was filmed and edited by Connor Tieulie. She also sings on much of Future Joy’s latest record.

The video’s location may look familiar to some Denverites- it was shot at Tetra Lounge and The Bolt Factory; later Jeffrey Charles Stanley added in the animations and graphics. These give the video a real psych party vibe.

Said Simms of filming the video, “We didn’t have too much planning- we just went with the flow of the locations and let the editors do their thing.”

Simms and Park.

Simms and Park.

The track “Thirsty” was recorded in Simms’ living room before the duo made their way to Side 3 Studios for finishing touches, which included Annabelle’s vocals and her opening a can of seltzer water because everyone knows LaCroix is the best way to booze these days.

Simms and Park have already started working on their next record, and are planning for an early 2019 release. Prior to, they’ve got a Colorado tour in the works, so keep up with their live dates here and turn up with “Thirsty.”

Colorado Music Festivals 2018: Your Official Guide To Fest Season

Festival season is the biggest time of the year for the music world. So here at BolderBeat, we’ll be updating this feature with every Colorado festival announcement that comes our way. Stay as on the pulse as we are:

May Play Music Festival May 11th

Downtown Greeley is hosting their fourth annual May Play fest with artists like The Burroughs, Brent Cowles, Slow Caves, Silver & Gold, and Post Paradise on the bill. There are a ton of other great local artists to check out, so swoop details and tickets here.

Spread The Word Music Festival May 11th-13th

Taking place at Denver’s Fox Street Compound, Spread The Word features a mix of local and national artists with styles including rock, jam, funk, reggae, hip-hop, folk/grass, electronic and fusion. Headliners of this year's fest include Jeff Austin Band (formerly of Yonder Mountain String Band), Everyone Orchestra (conducted by Matt Butler), A-Mac & The Height, and Bass Physics. Full lineup here.

303 Music Festival May 17th

Hosted by Ru Johnson at Denver's The Church, 303 Magazine is bringing you one awesome night of local music. Trev Rich, CITRA, Eldren, and The Other Black are just some of the bands on the lineup. Full details and tickets here

Five Points Jazz Festival May 19th

This FREE annual festival is back this year in Denver's Five Points neighborhood and will feature artists like Jakarta, The King Stan Band, Impulse, The Hendersons, Patrick McDevitt Nation, and more. You can bounce between venues or just walk around and take in all the good sounds. Full lineup and details here.

Mountain Games June 7th-10th

GoPro is putting on a festival in Vail with headliners like Chris Robinson Brotherhood, St. Paul & The Broken Bones, Bonfire Dub, and The Wood Brothers. The weekend will also feature a slew of athletic events, including competitions for your dog, a silent disco, and art exhibits. You can grab tickets to Mountain Games here.

Greeley Blues Jam June 8th-9th

The Greeley Blues Jam keeps the blues scene alive and this year, their lineup includes The Devon Allman Project, Ronnie Earl & The Broadcasters, and Danielle Nicole. This is one weekend you’ll enjoy being blue. Full lineup on their website.

Taste of Fort Collins June 8th-10th

The 22nd annual Taste of Fort Collins headliners include William Michael Morgan, Eddie Money, Everlast, and Judah & the Lion. Tickets are only $5-$10 and the fest is hosted at Civic Center Park in Old Towne. Grab more info on their website.

Country Jam June 14th-17th

Grand Junction will host Country Jam’s 27th annual four-day fest this year. Florida Georgia Line, Miranda Lambert, Brantley Gilbert, Brett Eldredge, and Big & Rich top the headliners list of the 30+ artists that will play to your boot kickin’ desire. Surrounded by the red rocks of GJ, this festival annually hosts some of the biggest names in country music. More info at this link.

Sonic Bloom Festival June 14th-17th

If you like electronic music, there’s no better place to be than Colorado’s Sonic Bloom Festival. Happening at Hummingbird Ranch in Spanish Peaks Country, the weekend will feature performances from Shpongle, Keys N Krates, Nightmares On Wax, Liquid Stranger, EOTO and a huge array of other beatmasters. The festival will also feature yogis and movement leaders, as well as interpretive artists. And did we mention the visuals? Full lineup here.

Telluride Bluegrass Festival June 15th-18th

Telluride Bluegrass Festival celebrates its 45th year this summer! Tedeschi Trucks Band, Greensky Bluegrass, and Leftover Salmon top the fest’s 2018 list. We can tell you from past experience that this fest is magical and we’ve even met some our favorite musicians at (where else?) the Port-a-Potties. More info and tickets here.

Cover Rock Festival June 22nd-23rd

Looking for tunes from tribute bands? This festival is all about it. Hosted in Avon, Cover Rock Festival will feature tributes to artists like Simon & Garfunkel, Bruce Springsteen, The Doors, the late Tom Petty (RIP!!), and others. More info and tickets here.

Westword Music Showcase June 23rd

Denver’s alt weekly newspaper will host their annual summer celebration this year. With Galantis, Bonobo, The Front Bottoms, Joywave, and a ton of local artists, this will be one to clink a summer beer to and enjoy. More info and tickets on their website.

Van’s Warped Tour July 1st

Warped Tour recently announced that 2018 will be the last year for the traveling festival. Though much has changed since what was arguably Warped Tour’s heyday (moshing is now frowned upon), we’re still sad to see it go. Give these bands a proper send-off- locals 30H!3 are top-billed with acts like All Time Low, Asking Alexandria, and more. Tickets here.

Colorado Rocky Mountain Old Time Music Association (CROMA) July 11th-15th

CROMA's annual Parrish Ranch festival features a great old-time music lineup, workshops, nightly dances, open jams, classes for kids, open stage times, and couples dance workshops. The festival manages to keep old traditions alive while also bringing a modern twist to some elements. Artists at this year's fest will include Bryant and Brown, The Onlies, Betse & Clarke, The Barn Owls, Patt and Possum, Caroline Oakley, Chris Kemiet, and Larry Edelman. Get full details and tickets here.

The Ride Festival July 14th-15th

The String Cheese Incident, Sheryl Crow, and Grace Potter will headline The Ride Festival this year, another Telluride fest that is sure to get you groovin’. Joe Russo’s Almost Dead, Chris Robinson Brotherhood, Big Something, and others will keep your summer-chill vibes in check at this one. Full lineup here.

Global Dance Festival July 20th-21st

If you’re ready to dance, Global’s got a crazy mix of electronic and hip-hop artists like Deadmau5, Gucci Mane, Future, and Machine Gun Kelly topping their list. The event is at Sports Authority Field this year and you can snag tickets here.

The Underground Music Showcase July 27th-29th

One of our absolute favorite weekends of the summer is Denver’s The UMS due to its focus on local artists, and all the fun that comes along with wandering around the South Broadway venues hosting the three-day event. In news this year, Two Parts has taken over the event. This year's lineup is stellar with headliners like Alvvays, BJ the Chicago Kid, Classixx, Deerhunter, Digable Planets and over 100 local artists who we absolutely adore. Tickets and full details here

Rockygrass Festival July 27th-29th

Bluegrass, bluegrass, and more bluegrass. That’s what Rockygrass in Lyons is all about! Last year, the festival showed us the changing face of the genre. This year, Sam Bush Bluegrass Band, David Grisman and Peter Rowan, and Hot Rize are already confirmed for this pickin’ celebration, so get your tickets now. More info and tickets at this link.

ARISE Music Festival August 3rd-5th

Colorado’s ARISE is back for its sixth year at Loveland’s Sunrise Ranch, and features seven stages of live music, yoga, workshops, theme camps, art galleries & installations, a children’s village, speakers, and films! Some of the top billed artists for 2017 include Slightly Stoopid, Thievery Corporation, and Trevor Hall. Get more details here.

Bohemian Nights at NewWestFest August 10th-12th

Bohemian Nights at NewWestFest is a FREE, recurring, three-day music festival held every August in the historic downtown of Fort Collins. Bohemian Nights headliners this year include The Motet, Blondie, and The Decemberists. The festival also hosts a number of local bands on their stages- get the full schedule and details for the weekend here.

Local Jam Grand Junction August 10th-12th

Known for its "creativity, passion, dedication, style,  [and] massive talent," Grand Junction's three-day festival Local Jam is a celebration of Western Slope bands ranging from metal to bluegrass. Stray Grass, Jack + Jill, Suckafish, Tim + Richard, and others have been announced for the year. Full details and lineup here.

Mountain Town Music Festival August 17th-18th

Back for its fifth year, Keystone’s Mountain Town Music Festival features a mix of rock and grass bands like Ages & Ages, Mipso, Strange Americans, and Shovels & Rope. The fest is a celebration of “all things Colorado” so you can expect some good brews along with the shows. More info and tickets here.

Velorama Colorado August 17th-19th

Following the Colorado Classic bicycle race, Velorama is returning to Denver’s RiNo Neighborhood for its second year this summer. Cold War Kids, Matt & Kim, Rainbow Kitten Surprise, and The Kills are the bands announced so far, and you don’t have to bike in the race to partake in the party. Plus local acts Brent Cowles, Wildermiss, and Slow Caves are on the bill! More about this new fest here.

Rocky Mountain Folks Festival August 17th-19th

Rocky Mountain Folks Festival showcased artists who brought current politics into their tunes last year, bringing people together in solidarity. Along with its songwriting workshops, the Lyons, CO fest created an awesome artistic community that managed to showcase great national acts too. Indigo Girls, Jeff Tweedy, and Los Lobos have been announced for this year’s fest. Tickets here.

Compound Sound Festival August 24th-26th

Boogie Groove Entertainment is producing this year's first annual Compound Sound. What started as friends performing at a private ranch in 2009 has officially launched into a major music festival. Along with headliners like Cycles, Lucid Vision, Tnertle, and Spectacle, the fest will also have food trucks and vendors, yoga and flow workshops, a healing village and "many more shenanigans." Details and tickets here

Four Corners Folk Festival August 31st-September 2nd

Pagosa Springs 23rd annual Four Corners Folks Fest is ready for a campout with bands like Nahko And Medicine For The People, Amy Helm, We Banjo 3, and Jon Stickley Trio. The weekend will also feature jam camps for kids and adults, and lots of tasty local vendors. See more for yourself and grab camping info and tickets here.

Jazz Aspen Snowmass August 31st-September 2nd

Lionel Richie, Jack Johnson, Zac Brown Band, Michael Franti & Spearhead, Fitz and the Tantrums, Gary Clark Jr., Bahamas, and The Record Company are the big acts at Jazz Aspen’s Labor Day event this year. JAS has a smaller June event too, which will feature Lizz Wright, Leslie Odom Jr., Lyle Lovett and His Large Band, Josh Kagler and Harmonistic Praise Crusade, and Georgia On My Mind: A Tribute To Ray Charles. Details on both events here.

Seven Peaks Music Festival August 31st-September 2nd

Dierks Bentley is throwing a three-day music festival in Chaffee County this year with headliners like Miranda Lambert, Brothers Osborne, Elle King, Lanco, Del McCoury, Sam Bush and The Cadillac Three. The new fest is a real treat for country lovers and the scenery of Buena Vista sure won't hurt! Get details and tickets here.

Denver Jazz Festival September 14th-16th

With a mix of local and international jazz acts, Denver Jazz Festival promises over 600 dancers and listeners for their three-day fest. Hal Smith's Swing Central, Jonathan Doyle Swingtet, Red Hot Rhythm Rocket, and many others are on the lineup. Check out news and get tickets here.

Grandoozy September 14th-16th

Superfly, the geniuses behind Bonnaroo, are bringing Grandoozy to Denver this year! In what could possibly be the biggest festival production the state has seen, headliners have already been announced and include Kendrick Lamar, Florence + The Machine, and Stevie Wonder. Sturgill Simpson, Miguel, and St. Vincent have also made the list; Denver-based acts Tennis, Dragondeer, Gasoline Lollipops, and Flaural will perform as well. This fest is our most highly anticipated of 2018 so don’t snoozy- Tier 1 tickets are already sold-out so grab your passes here.

Telluride Blues & Brews September 14th-16th

As regular festivalgoers of Blues & Brews say, “It's not the altitude that'll take your breath away. It's the views.” That, and of course, the music. This year, Robert Plant and the Sensational Space Shifters, Ben Harper and Charlie Musselwhite, Govt Mule, Booker T’s Stax Revue, JJ Grey & Mofro, and Anders Osborne will headline. Early bird tickets are already sold-out, so grab passes while you can here.

Festivals of The Past

Wondering what happened to some of your other favorite Colorado festivals? Project Pabst dissipated into the PBR-fueled mountain air with no Denver announcement this year (but Superfly who put it on is the force behind Grandoozy). Bass Center is now in Virginia after the fest was first moved from Colorado to New Jersey last year; Divide Music Festival, who were rumored to return this year, has now been postponed until 2019 stating, “greater forces are working against us;” Groove Festival’s web presence is still replaced by this Japanese site making us still question everything; Mad Decent Block Party appears to have officially gone off the radar; Riot Fest has again only listed its Chicago date in 2018 after the fest cancelled its Denver show last year; and Vertex (which we freakin’ loved) appears to be a distant dream after it was cancelled in 2017.

Make sure to keep up with our festival coverage all summer on BolderBeat’s dedicated fest page!

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

Illenium Ends 2017 With A Sold-Out Tour And A Slot At Coachella

By: Elizabeth Lee

2017 was a huge year for the world of electronic music. We saw the return of old veterans such as deadmau5 and the coming of his new protege REZZ with her unique, dark industrial sound. A huge genre turn around occurred, as big room house faded and set the scene for dubstep and its subgenre riddim. Long-standing king of bass music Excision pulled off one of the most successful first festivals in history with the birth of Lost Lands Music Festival in Ohio. But there was another name who had been rising to fame long before this last year. 2017 was the year everything paid off for Denver-based producer Nick Miller, otherwise known as Illenium.

18882189_1337616526359405_756131023790937879_n.jpg

Illenium came from humble beginnings as a producer who released several remixes on Soundcloud and then eventually his debut EP Ashes in 2016. His music captured the hearts of fans who were looking for the emotional depth and complexity no other other artists seemed to be able to replicate. From there he shot to fame, touring and playing major festivals across the US and the rest of the world. September 2017 saw the release of his sophomore album Awake.

Nick Miller.

Nick Miller.

BolderBeat was lucky enough to catch the last stop of his sold-out Awake tour at Shrine Expo Hall in Los Angeles on December 28th.

The venue was packed and buzzing with an excited crowd warming up to the sounds of artists Dabin and Said the Sky. Delivering over an hour and half of music, once Illenium took the stage each person watching was enraptured and caught in a beautifully woven soundscape. With a live keyboard and drum pad setup, he dropped tracks such as “Sound of Walking Away” ft. Kerli and “Rush Over Me,” his song with artists Seven Lions, Said the Sky, and HALIENE. Fans of his older album would also recognize classics such as “Afterlife” and “It’s All on U.” Dabin and Said the Sky returned to the stage to join him for a few tracks on electric guitar and piano. Besides his ability to create a fully immersive experience, Illenium also demonstrated his versatility as an artist as he played his unreleased collaboration with Kill the Noise and Mako. This track strayed away from his usual melodic style and into heavier dubstep. He continued to delight the crowd throughout the night with a mixture of heart-wrenching melodies and energetic beats.

As a recently announced artist on the 2018 Coachella lineup, we’re looking forward to what’s next for Illenium. Keep up with him 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.

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.

Review: ANGLS Release Debut Self-Titled EP Of Produced Pop

By: Andrew Wright

When musicians come together and make great music, it’s truly a blessing for the local music scene in which they’re in. If you are a fan of electropop touching on a multitude of themes, from summer dance pieces to heavier, more brooding subjects, check out ANGLS.

ANGLS.

ANGLS.

Ellipsis, who is also a producer, teamed up with Norman Hittle (Hydrogen Skyline) in 2015 after having crossed paths a few times before in the Denver scene. When they combined their talents, they found themselves experimenting with cool, dancey synth vibes for a fun and enticing sound that is for more than just the summer parties you’ll instantly imagine yourself at while listening to them.

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Just recently, ANGLS released their debut record, which holds five tracks and is self-titled. My personal favorite on the EP is “Heroes,” which has a more somber tone to it. It definitely reminded me of Imagine Dragons, but with a darker subject matter. If you’re looking for something more upbeat, “Puppet” might be more your style. Though it feels like it’s about heartbreak, it’s catchy and groovin’. It’s the type of track to make you burst into dance, whether you’re in the middle of the club or at home in your bedroom.

ANGLS will definitely be on my radar for future music. Keep up with the band here.

-Andrew

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

LA's RL Grime Has The Current Seat On EDM's Throne

By: Shivain Chopra

The Electronic Dance Music, or EDM genre of music can be traced back to the 80’s, with the onset of club culture, but it didn’t truly gain mainstream popularity until the early 2010’s, when the term “EDM” was coined. With the new decade of EDM came the subgenre of dubstep, with acts such as Skrillex and Flux Pavilion making news worldwide. As with all genres, EDM continued to evolve, with dubstep fading and giving way to other sub genres, such as future bass and trap. Although future bass has established itself as one of the most popular EDM subgenres on the scene, counting Flume and Odesza as its most well known acts, trap continues to gain traction, with Baauer being one of the biggest names in the game. A slightly lesser known, but immensely talented DJ is now taking over not only the trap scene, but the entire electronic genre as a whole. Based out of Los Angeles, RL Grime brings hard-hitting, bass-heavy beats that could get even the most timid of people moving.

RL Grime.

RL Grime.

Born Henry Alfred Steinway, RL Grime grew up in Los Angeles, going on to attend New York University for their Music Business program. After college, RL Grime moved back to Los Angeles, joined the WeDidIt collective and released his Grapes EP. In June 2012, RL Grime teamed up with producer Salva for a remix of Kanye West’s “Mercy,” earning over 8 million plays on his SoundCloud. A year later, his High Beams EP debuted at the #1 spot on the iTunes Electronic Chart. Playing off the success of his first two EPs, RL Grime released his first studio album Void, with big names such as Big Sean featured.

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The appeal of RL Grime is unlike any other EDM artist. His songs have a strong emphasis on bass that radiates throughout the bodies of his fans. This, in addition to the use of instruments such as the trumpet in “Tell Me” and exotic samples of voices and other sounds such as in “Kingpin” creates an immersive musical experience. Often times, RL Grime also chooses to use more grimy and raw sounds to create a darker mood, while maintaining the grooviness that comes with EDM. Everything comes together with a gradual rise in tempo, leading to a beat drop so strong that no listener can refrain from breaking out their moves.

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With his exponential rise to stardom, RL Grime recently announced his second studio album, Nova, due to be out later this year. In addition, he just started his Nova tour, with stops across the country, including Denver and Los Angeles (which has already sold out) in November.

Keep up with RL Grimes here; catch more tour dates on his website.

-Shivain

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

Colorado Halloween 2017: Your Guide To All The Best Halloween Shows Happening This Month

By: Mirna Tufekcic

‘Tis the season of witches and warlocks, zombies and monsters, and some kick-ass parties honoring All Hallow’s Eve. If you’re anything like us, you’ve already started gearing up for the most fun weekend of the year- the one that celebrates the weird with music, costumes, and more music. Colorado music lovers, we’re here to tear you apart with choices of all the celebrations taking place around the state for this year’s Halloween weekend.

Boulder

Papadosio.

Papadosio.

Thursday 10/26: The Boulder Theater presents the unmistakeable: The Rocky Horror Picture Show. Colorado’s Elusive Ingredient- Denver’s Rocky Horror Shadowcast will perform along with the film. Whether you’re a seasoned attendee or a virgin to this interactive movie and theatre performance, it’s sure to make a great start to a funky weekend. The key word for this event is interactive.  Expect to touch or be touched.  

Friday & Saturday 10/27-10/28: Halloween weekend at The Boulder Theater will host a two-night “Rave from the Grave” party with Papadosio and friends. Papadosio plans to pay tribute to some of the 90s and early 2000s electronic artists that influenced their path as a band. To pop the cherry of this event, Boulder’s own Dynohunter will take guests on a journey through deep, grounding house tunes, just to lift you up through organic electro peaks and valleys you can rave about all over the dance floor. Saturday night, the party will start with Bass Physics, a one man show put together by Denver’s esteemed Arja Adair guaranteed to provide positive tunes while mixing up acoustic guitar and electronic sounds. Two-day passes are already sold out for this weekend, but click here to buy a one day ticket before they’re all gone. This event is likely to sell out soon.

Sunday 10/29: The Fox Theatre is hosting Sinful Sunday Halloween Party with Midnight North and All Chiefs. This ought to be an upbeat, dancey, bodies-grinding-all-night kind of show as Midnight North brings their soul, country, rock’n’roll, and All Chiefs their indie beeps, boops, and digital sprinkles to make any body groove. The show is free to industry folks; if you’re not one of those get your hands on some tickets here.

Tuesday 10/31: Snakehips make their return to Fox Theatre for Halloween, where we expect to see lots of fun costumes groovin' to their bass drops. Tickets here.

Denver

Marilyn Manson.

Marilyn Manson.

Saturday 10/07: The Mile High City has big things on the agenda throughout October in almost every music venue. The spirit of the season starts with thousands of living dead wannabes at Denver’s Zombie Crawl, and the city will no doubt be bustling with dark spirits from then through the end of October.

Thursday 10/19: Marilyn Manson will bring his tour to the Fillmore Auditorium, as long as he’s healed up from his recent stage injury. While not a Halloween weekend event, it’s close enough, especially since he’s known for having the most disturbing Instagram account around. Enjoy. UPDATE: This show is rescheduled for 01/20/18 - details here

Friday 10/20: The Gasoline Lollipops are bringing you one scary hoedown at Denver's Lost Lake tonight. Hosted by 105.5 The Colorado Sound, Grayson County Burn Band and Whipperpool will join Colorado's favorite alt-country outfit on good 'ol Colfax for an eerie time. 

Friday 10/27: Lost Lake Lounge is throwing their Terrified Halloween party with Modern Suspects, a “popternative trio,” Optycnerd, an electo-indie-pop beats duo that bring the heat to the dance floor, and Vynyl, an electronic hip-hop pop duo. This one’s set for a full house of Denver-based musicians and beat-makers bound to terrify you into dancing the night away.

Friday 10/27: Syntax Physic Opera will host an early event starting at 7PM called Hell Toupee, A Lounge Night in Hell, which is a comedy and variety show. Then starting at 9PM, you can check out Lillian’s album release party.

Friday & Saturday 10/27-10/28: The Oriental Theater will have a weekend packed full of halloween celebrations. Friday night is the Third Annual Monster Ball with Alice in Chains and KISS tribute bands. Need I say more? Saturday night is reserved for a costume contest event called MORTIFIED, an international storytelling event where adults share their most embarrassing and hilarious childhood artifacts in front of total strangers. Dare I say terrifying?

Optycnerd.

Optycnerd.

Saturday 10/28: Bar Standard/Milk Bar will host a Colorado HELLoween Ball with TR/ST. It's the biggest event of the year from promoters Ritual Noize. TR/ST is considered a popular goth/industrial/dark electronic artist and HELLoween is a party for just such fans, so it should be a hell of a time if you’re into that scene. According to Ritual Noize, “HELLoween has always been about mixing club culture, the Halloween tradition and live musical performances with a horror theme attached.” This year the decor will be Psycho-themed; hurray for Hitchcock fans!

Saturday 10/28: Halloween Hootenanny at The Bluebird Theater will feature Denver DJ Wesley Wayne and a costume competition that can score you year passes to some of Denver’s most beloved venues. Click on the Hootenanny link above for details and if you plan to attend, you’d better come in your best costume yet.

Saturday 10/28: Gothic Theatre is throwing Groovy Pirate Ghost Mystery party with Deer Tick and special guest Chris Crofton, who will open up the event with, hopefully, a very funny set before things get groovy and ghosts begin to apparate. Deer Tick hails from Providence, Rhode Island with a rebellious take on alternative, folk, rock’n’roll, and country vibes.

Saturday 10/28: Larimer Lounge is hosting their Halloween Edition of Dance Yourself Clean with DJs inspired by the likes of LCD Soundsystem, Grimes, Blood Orange, and more. Shake off the sugar with this one.

Estes Park

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Saturday 10/21: The Shining Ball at the Concert Hall of the famous Stanley Hotel will have yet another yearly Halloween staple with Denver’s beloved Gasoline Lollipops. We imagine the band will truly bring the spirit of Halloween to life, with growls from frontman Clay Rose and howls from the audience over the band’s poignant lyrics and dark, stompy tunes.

Saturday 10/28: The legendary Masquerade Ball at the Stanley Hotel will conclude the Halloween events at the haunted property with live music by Jonny Mogambo backed by a full band.

Fort Collins

Rocky Horror Picture Show.

Rocky Horror Picture Show.

Friday 10/13: Mishawaka Amphitheatre will host a Rocky Horror Picture Show screening all its own with a troupe of actors, games, and trivia. There will also be a costume contest and drink specials. Practice your time warp now.

Friday 10/27: Hodi’s Half Note is getting metal with Skinned, A Flood Foretold, Inficier, and Voracious Souls. Headbang until witching hour.

Greeley

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Friday 10/27: Sweaty soul outfit The Burroughs are headlining Moxi Theatre’s 4th Annual Halloween Extravanganza, and chill wave beach band Slow Caves are opening. No word on if the bands are dressing up yet, but fingers crossed.

Sunday 10/29: The Moxi is also throwing a purely metal Halloween show this weekend with Bash, Skinned, Last Word, Infinited Conscious, and Cyber Zodiac. Go get weird.

Jamestown

The Alcapones.

The Alcapones.

Saturday 10/28: If it’s in your interest to get away from all the debauchery and chaos of city life during Halloween, then the quaint town of James has something for you. They are hosting The Alcapones at the good ‘ol Merc. A ska/reggae band with a mountain flare, The Alcapones will definitely bring the house down and set this mountain roof on fire.    

And finally, for those of you wanting to see and hear live music without all of the Halloween hype, here’s what’s good:

Friday 10/27: Tonight at the Hi-Dive in Denver is Jocko Homo, an event to pay tribute to 90s and 2000s alternative rock bands like Incubus, Weezer, and Modest Mouse, with cover bands honoring all three respectively. Sidenote: Actual Incubus and Weezer play Red Rocks this month.

The Infamous Stringdusters.

The Infamous Stringdusters.

Friday & Saturday 10/27-10/28: Denver’s The Ogden Theatre will host two nights of The Infamous Stringdusters this weekend. Party down.

Saturday 10/28: Red Rocks Amphitheatre will be abuzz with Russ, an American hip-hop singer/songwriter, recording artist, and producer.

Tuesday 10/31: Dream pop four-piece Alvvays  are ringing in actual Halloween night at Denver's Bluebird Theater with Jay Som.

Tuesday 10/31: Denver's own Itchy-O play Summit Music Hall on Halloween, which is fitting for this avant-garde and experimental marching band. The show is sponsored by Meow Wolf, so expect to get weird. 

See you out there somewhere Halloweenies.

-Mirna

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

Have something to add to this list? Let us know here.

Review: On Repeat Experiment With Synth And Space Sounds On New Single "Pontoon"

By: Julia Talen

It’s been a couple of years since Blake Britton and Jake Lamos, the artistic duo behind the music group On Repeat, have announced new music aside from their single, “Minus,” released in early 2016. In October 2015, On Repeat issued their debut EP, The Mighty Unkind, and followed up their EP release with shows throughout the Denver area at venues like Larimer Lounge and the Seventh Circle Music Collective. Since February they have not played a live show and have been working away on their latest EP comprised of fresh songs including their recent release, “Pontoon.”

The artwork for On Repeat.

The artwork for On Repeat.

The track, “Pontoon,” shifts away from the grunge-y alternative overtones of their first EP, honing in on mixing and layering harmonies, instrumentals, and vocals interspersed with explorative electronic sounds. The intro of “Pontoon” draws you in slow, as the twangy guitar and subtle, easy bass treks along on an even melody. Soft symbols and steady drumbeats accompany the dynamic notes of a keyboard. The notes sound like the high keys on an electrified organ and begin to elevate the seemingly folksy tune, alluding to the forthcoming experimentation that On Repeat weaves into this track.

Listen to On Repeat's "Pontoon":

A Local Natives and Modest Mouse vibe consistently cradles the first half of the song as Jack and Blake’s vocals meld together swimmingly singing lyrics with the lines, “raised on a pontoon I was used to loneliness/tempted by the signs that I’d finally make it.” The poetic lyrics are vague, yet leave room for creating your own impressions as the song lulls back into a calm composition after the first refrain, thus mirroring the intro.

The single begins to build wondrously with the second refrain. On Repeat fuses together distinctive elements as they subtly thread in underlying vocals crooning, “only want it, ‘til you’ve got it/now you want it, you don’t got it” with experimental sounds like space noises and synthy intentional bits of feedback. The track finishes off with the low-key melody rescinding while blurred and blended sounds erupt and wrap up the song, leaving the listener almost on a cliffhanger, wanting more. I suppose we have more to look forward to when On Repeat releases their latest EP and perform this song and others live with The Ephinjis and Meeting House, Friday, September 29th, in Englewood at Moe’s Original BBQ!

-Julia

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

Motion Trap Release Alluring Single + Video In Anticipation Of Their Forthcoming Record 'Heavenly Bodies'

By: Hannah Oreskovich

Denver’s Motion Trap have been referred to as “Tycho with dance moves” and “Mogwai on crack.” The nu-dicso duo, comprised of Kyle Williams and Nathan Rogers, formed back in 2012 and have been making ears everywhere drip in thick synth dance hooks ever since. This September, Motion Trap are releasing their newest record, ‘Heavenly Bodies.’ The indie electro dance album mashes guitar tones with synth, distorted vocals, and all things digital into something impossible not to groove to. It's mysterious, alluring, and dancey as hell. Recently, Motion Trap released their single from the record, “Youth Blood,” and the track’s accompanying music video. It caught our eardrums, so we chatted with the band to learn more about this glow-in-the-dark two-piece and their newest vid. Read on:

What is the story behind the video for “Youth Blood?”

Recently we have been writing more upbeat songs, like our first single 'Molecule,' but with 'Youth Blood' we decided to showcase a darker side to our songwriting. I have heard people describe this sound as being ‘a more sexy Motion Trap.’ It has a deeper feel, and a possibly deeper meaning, one that is open to interpretation, but also means something to us. We love double meanings in our songs and this one has the internal dialogue of a person struggling with a feeling and trying to cope or figure it out in that moment.

Watch Motion Trap's music video for "Youth Blood": 

Who filmed the video?

Jeremy Pape shot it and Shaun Burder edited and directed it. They are both from Collective Culture out of Denver and do an amazing job. We also had the opportunity to work with some great actors, JoJo Lupe and Rob Ferrell.

Motion Trap. Photo Credit:   Blake Jackson

Motion Trap. Photo Credit: Blake Jackson

Where did you record the single?

We always record all of our songs in our home studio and when they get to a spot we call 'almost finished,' we sit in without our engineer Rocky Tran at Conway Sound to put some final love on the tracks before sending them to be mastered.

Of all the tunes on upcoming Heavenly Bodies, why’d you choose to release “Youth Blood” to us as one of the first?

I would say because it is so different than most of our music. We love the deeper feel this song has. That is why we chose this- to showcase a different side of our songwriting capabilities. Also the dark tone of this song felt like it lent really well with our black light theme. We had a great time experimenting with different lighting and painting techniques with this video.

Kyle Williams. Photo Credit:   Hannah Oreskovich

Kyle Williams. Photo Credit: Hannah Oreskovich

Cool! What’s up next for Motion Trap?

We have our CD Release Show at Larimer Lounge September 8th! The record will contain both singles, 'Molecule' and 'Youth Blood,' as well as six other tracks. We are bringing a massive light show along that we are collaborating on with our good friend Nate Davis from Color Shadow Productions. We have some special things up our sleeves for this show and can't wait to release the new album!

Make sure to catch Motion Trap at Larimer Lounge on Friday, September 8th with Get Along and Time Scale for their release show! Tickets here; keep up with Motion Trap and their new record ‘Heavenly Bodies’ by peeping 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.

The 2017 Underground Music Showcase Brought Together Artists & Fans For Four Days Of Awesome

By: Hannah Oreskovich

Denver’s annual four day music festival The Underground Music Showcase rocked South Broadway last weekend. We crawled the strip, ate nothing but pizza, and almost refused to sleep in the name of good music. Here are some of our favorite things about this year’s festival:

The Bands

Of course we went to as many shows as possible and of course most of them really rocked our socks off. But here we’re going to be shameless and first tell you about the killer acts who played our packed official day party.

Xavier Provencher & Sean Culliton of Retrofette.

Xavier Provencher & Sean Culliton of Retrofette.

BolderBeat & KGNU combined forces this year to bring you Brunch with a Beat at The UMS, which was five hours of sugar and synth by some of Colorado’s most promising electro acts.

Greg Laut of Whiskey Autumn.

Greg Laut of Whiskey Autumn.

Mirror Fears kicked things off with her industrial goth pop, Church Fire kept things movin’ with their Crystal Castles-esque electronic primal therapy, and DéCollage wrapped the front of The Irish Rover in Mylar and swept the stage with their avant-garde pop. Retrofette’s synth stylings followed, and created a massive dance party full of hip-shaking & flash tattoos. Whiskey Autumn’s indie synth pop closed the show; their unreleased track "Birds That Flew" had many whistling along to its chorus. And in between sets, DJ Erin Stereo crushed sweet beats. We gave away tickets to upcoming Future Islands and Thundercat shows, and we passed out donut lollipops, which many showgoers expressed they hoped were laced with weed (they were not kidz).

As for the rest of our UMS:

Anthony Ruptak.

Anthony Ruptak.

Our first official set at UMS 2017 was at Hi-Dive on Thursday with Anthony Ruptak, who started us off with amazing tunes from his new record Don’t Let It Kill You, and even streamed a Facebook live anti-Trump vid from the stage. Punk rock.

Ishka Phoenix of Ghost Tapes.

Ishka Phoenix of Ghost Tapes.

Ghost Tapes were a funky, neo-soul standout at Skylark; frontwoman Ishka Phoenix had the crowd melting as she delivered tasty R&B sounds from her ice cream microphone.

Ben Pisano of Corsicana.

Ben Pisano of Corsicana.

Corsicana gave us tasty indie tunes while we nommed hard on an Illegal Pete’s burrito, which was the only non-pizza item we allowed ourselves for sustenance. The four-piece are playing a couple of big Colorado shows with Hippo Campus this month, so make sure to roll to those.

Chris Scott & Chris Kimmel of OptycNerd.

Chris Scott & Chris Kimmel of OptycNerd.

OptycNerd describe themselves as “eclectro indie pop hop sexy time,” and well, we wish we’d written that ourselves. Their sexy time at Hi-Dive was enjoyed.

Zola Jesus.

Zola Jesus.

Zola Jesus brought her dark, operatic vocals to the main stage; Red Fang spouted the classic rock stoner jams they’re known for to a headbanging crowd.

What is cooler than wearing glow-in-the-dark face paint? Glow-in-the-dark guitar strings- DUH. Motion Trap had ‘em at their Rover set on Saturday, and they played their electro sonic disco tunes to a packed house that boogied with them from start to finish.

Mic Carroll of All Chiefs.

Mic Carroll of All Chiefs.

All Chiefs kept us out of the rain at Hi-Dive with their indie rock vibes, Evan Holm & The Restless Ones kicked up some folky soul at Gary Lee’s Motorcycle Club, and GALLERIES played a heartfelt tribute show celebrating the life of late Denver music prodigy Kyle McQueen.

The Outfit.

The Outfit.

Rock’n’roll’s The Outfit played their final set ever at 3 Kings Tavern on Friday to a mosh-ready, beer-heavy crowd who were clearly sad to see them go.

Rebecca Williams of The Savage Blush.

Rebecca Williams of The Savage Blush.

The Savage Blush had a killer psych rock-dripping set at the main stage, Slowcaves brought us chill wave surf rock sounds, and Dragondeer managed to blues rock us almost straight through a downpour, though they had to cut their set a bit short when the rain just about flash-flooded the festival parking lot in true Colorado fashion.

Esmé Patterson.

Esmé Patterson.

Brent Cowles revived a soaking crowd with “Cold Times” when the sun came back out, Esmé Patterson slayed her evening dream rock set with unreleased music and a touching tribute with Kitty Crimes to the late Tyler Despres, and Benjamin Booker crowd surfed his way right into Colorado’s heart, closing out the main stage of the festival Sunday evening.

The Booze

Dewar's Whiskey Emporium.

Dewar's Whiskey Emporium.

Breckenridge Brewing was a main sponsor for The UMS this year and we sipped many an Avalanche by the main stage throughout the fest. Dewar’s had what felt like a tiny house made for drinking with free smells and scotch eggs. It was delicious and why you would have wasted your tongue on any other mixed drink in the hot sun and the pouring rain is beyond us.

The Bunny

Yeah. This one.

Yeah. This one.

Mixed Up Gifts’ pop up shop on South Broadway had some sweet merch for sale from Sacred Bones Records and a creepy night light if you’re in the market to wake up afraid of the dark only to find Jason lurking in your bathroom. But best of all was their bunny, who tried to coerce festival-goers into the shop while eerily reading children’s books through the window.

The Budz

No, not that kind you typical Denverite. Overall, we had a rad time at The UMS this year, and we highly encourage you to check out all the bands we mentioned, all the acts we live-interviewed with Zach Dahmen, and any of the performers on the local lineup in general. Because if there’s one thing we came away with after four days of music-hopping insanity, it was with community- from the performers themselves, to the UMS staff and volunteers, to the eager ticket holders bouncing from show to show hoping to find their next favorite band- Denver came out to support its own. Whether we were playing beach volleyball in the artist tent during a downpour or running from the main stage with our best budz to get back to Broadway for a set (those smarter ones took the Meow Wolf bus), this weekend really showcased you- the local music supporter. And for that, we and apparently Governor Hickenlooper, thank you.

Check out our full photo gallery from The UMS here.

-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: Whiskey Autumn's 'Ice Cream In The Sun' Is Tasty Electropop With R&B Vibes

By: Trevor Ryan

These days, the electronic-leaning movement in music is strong. And although the growing brand definitely holds the current popular vote, it can be challenging to make a true mark worth hearing. But that is exactly where Colorado’s Whiskey Autumn shine through. The project, founded by multi-instrumentalist Greg Laut, is a fluid blend of pop/soul, incredibly catchy synth work, smooth euphonic vocals, and a lyrical witticism that originally found its voice with their EP 2014 EP Into Something New. Though the band has made a turn from Americana to electropop with their latest EP, Ice Cream In The Sun, they’ve managed to keep their music warm and inviting while introducing R&B hooks with synth sounds and soul.

Whiskey Autumn.

Whiskey Autumn.

There’s a futuristic sound blended with their early soul-feel too- you'll hear what I mean in the opening track “Dog Days.” And the song following, “Human Frailty,” brings back the tempo with a slightly more mellow-groove-type R&B vibe, but not enough to really make you question it. This pattern seems to weave throughout the rest of the EP, along with a pretty upbeat energy and catchy storytelling. My favorite track is the closer, “Postcard From Tokyo.” It blends interesting sounds with harmonies that will make you float off into space, or at least I know I did...

Listen to Ice Cream In The Sun:

My only criticism: I would love to see WA experiment with bringing out their percussion even further, with more of a build from time to time. The instrumentals here are very tight though, making this trio refreshing to listen to (Matty Schelling is on drums, Jason Paton is on bass). They seem to have their sound really pined with this record, and I for one am excited to see how they grow with it.

The band has described Ice Cream In The Sun, as their “most confident release yet,” and it’s easy to see why. Giving us a taste of a their new brand of electronic influence with classic R&B nodes, along with that touch of soul ultimately forces our mouths (and ears) to water in the hopes that we may have more from the “Coney Island” crooners sooner rather than later.

Schelling, Laut, & Paton.

Schelling, Laut, & Paton.

Whiskey Autumn play The Fox Theatre Friday, May 26th and have discount tickets available. Contact them on their Facebook for free ticket delivery from the crew (they’ve got $12 presale tickets for you), and follow them on Instagram and Twitter for other updates. The rest of their summer tour schedule throughout Colorado and the Midwest and Southwest can be viewed 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: Legato's New Single "Tasty" Lives Up to Its Name

By: Jura Daubenspeck

Colorado’s funk aficionados Legato have released their new single “Tasty,” and it sure does live up to its name. But before we get into that, you might be wondering, who is Legato? Well, you may know them by their previous band name, Technicolor Tone Factory.

Legato. Photo Credit:   Miles Photography  .

Legato. Photo Credit: Miles Photography.

Since 2011, the four-piece group, comprised of Bryan LeFever (drums), Greg Kallfa (keys/ vocals), Cameron Canepa (guitar/vocals), and Karl Summers (bass/vocals) have swept the Denver-Boulder jam music scene. In their time, they’ve shared the stage with big acts such as: moe., Dopapod, Twiddle, and Tauk, just to name a few. Together, Legato brings a unique, colorful vibe to their music, tipping their hats to sounds ranging from jazz, to rock, to hip-hop and soul.

After a few lineup changes, TTF decided it was high time for a rebrand and thus changed their name to Legato, an Italian term meaning tied-together. Band member Karl Summers shared his thoughts on this new stylistic shift in sound:

“Our aim is to maintain the energetic musical prowess we've held onto over the years as well as enter a new chapter and direction in our careers.”

Legato’s newest single, “Tasty,” holds true to their new vibrant sound. The 8-minute-long tune is playful, high-energy, and danceable as all get-out. With an almost disco-like sound at times and Daft Punk-type robotic vocals repeating the mantra “this shit is reaaaal tasty,” the urge to move and groove is an unavoidable feeling for any listeners. “Tasty” is the first of two more yet-to-be-released, but highly anticipated singles from this crew.

To celebrate their new image, Legato will be supporting the electro-funk fusion group Kung Fu at the Boulder Theater on Saturday, April 15th. Peep the event page here for more details and tickets!

In the meantime, be sure to link up with Legato on Facebook, Instagram and Soundcloud for more insight into their releases and general whereabouts.

-Jura

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

Colorado Music Festivals 2017: Your Official Guide To All The Goodness

By: Hannah Oreskovich

Festival season is arguably the best time of year in music. So here at BolderBeat, we’ll be updating this feature with every Colorado festival announcement that comes our way. Stay as on the pulse as we are.


FoCoMX- April 28th-29th

Fort Collins' premiere music festival has announced its lineup, which features hundreds of Colorado artists. Some of our favorites include Antonio Lopez, The Alcapones, BANDITS, Bethel Steele, Danielle Ate The Sandwich, Edison, Foxfeather, Gasoline Lollipops, and The Velveteers. Full lineup here


Spread The Word Music Festival- May 5th-8th

Taking place at several Denver and Boulder venues, Spread The Word features a mix of local and national artists with styles including rock, jam, funk, reggae, hip-hop, folk/grass, electronic and fusion. Headliners of this year's fest include Kyle Hollingsworth Band, Euforquestra, A-Mac and the Hight, & Analog Sun. Full lineup on our announcement link.


Denver’s Project Pabst- May 20th

“Project Pabst was a wild success,” contributor Zach Dahmen wrote in retrospect of the 2016 festival that took over Denver’s Larimer Street last year. This year, the PBR-fueled lineup includes Ice Cube, Phantogram, Danny Brown, Kurt Vile, STRFKR, No Name, & more. We’re pumped for this. Details here


Greeley Blues Jam- June 9th-10th

The Greeley Blues Jam seeks to keep the blues alive, and this year, they’re doing just that with a lineup including Walter Trout, Samantha Fish, Honey Island Swamp Band, and Colorado favorite The Burroughs. This is one weekend you’ll enjoy being blue. Full lineup on their website.


Taste of Fort Collins- June 9th-11th

The 21st annual Taste of Fort Collins includes headliners St. Lucia, Gin Blossoms, Plain White T's, & Waterloo Revival this year. Tickets are only $5-$10 and the fest is hosted at Civic Center Park in Old Towne. Get out and get down! More info on their website.


Country Jam- June 15th-18th

Grand Junction will host Country Jam’s 26th annual four-day fest this year. Kenny Chesney, Jason Aldean, and Thomas Rhett top the headliners list of the 30+ artists that will play to your boot kickin’ desire. Surrounded by the red rocks of GJ, this festival annually hosts some of the biggest names in country music, and clearly this year is no different. More info at this link.


Sonic Bloom Festival- June 15th-18th

If you like electronic music, there’s no better place to be than Colorado’s Sonic Bloom Festival. Happening at Hummingbird Ranch in Spanish Peaks Country, the weekend will feature performances from Gigantic Cheese Biscuits, The Polish Ambassador, The Floozies, and a huge array of electronic beatmasters. The festival will also feature yogis and movement leaders, as well as interpretive artists. And did we mention the visuals? Full lineup here.


Telluride Bluegrass Festival- June 15th-18th

Telluride Bluegrass Festival celebrates its 44th year this summer. Jason Mraz, Norah Jones, Dierks Bentley with The Travelin' McCourys, and Brandi Carlile top the fest’s 2017 list. We can tell you from experience that last year was magical and we even met some our favorite musicians at (where else?) the Port-a-Potties. More info and tickets here.


Van’s Warped Tour- June 25th

Believe it or not, we attended this event back in 2015 after not having been since high school. Yes. Though much has changed since what was arguably Warped Tour’s heyday (moshing is now frowned upon), this is a fest that still has a cult following and still makes its way around the US. Attila, Bowling for Soup, CKY, & Futuristic top this year's bill- grab the full listing here.


Westword Music Showcase- June 25th

Denver’s alt weekly newspaper will host more than 100 live acts at their annual summer celebration this year. With Shakey Graves, The Revivalists, Cut Copy, Bob Moses, COIN, Arizona, and a long list of local acts, this will be one to clink a summer beer to and enjoy. Don’t miss out on Westword’s fantastic Friday night. Local artists should be announced soon; voting is open. More info on their website.


Central Rockies Old-Time Music Association (CROMA) Festival-

July 5th-9th

CROMA's 2017 festival at Parrish Ranch features a great old-time music lineup, workshops, nightly dances, open jams, classes for kids, open stage times, and couples dance workshops. Artists at this year's fest will include Eddie Bond and the New Ballards Branch Bogtrotters, The Ozark Highballers, Jesse Milnes and Emily Miller, and The Musky Dimes and Lansford and McAlister. Get full details and tickets here


The Ride Festival- July 8th-9th

Beck will headline The Ride Festival this year, another Telluride fest that is sure to get you groovin’. Ben Harper, Kaleo, The John Butler Trio, and Colorado favorite Rose Hill Drive will all keep your summer-chill vibes in check at this one. Full lineup here.


The Underground Music Showcase- July 27th-30th

One of our absolute favorite weekends of the summer is Denver’s The UMS due to its focus on local artists, and all the fun that comes along with wandering around the South Broadway venues hosting the three-day event. Benjamin Booker, Red Fang, & Esme Patterson are headlining this year, but we're more stoked on this massive list of local artists (a crazy amount of which we've covered in the last year). Get tickets here. More deets on our announcement link.


Rockygrass Festival- July 28th-30th

Bluegrass, bluegrass, and more bluegrass. That’s what Rockygrass in Lyons is all about! Sam Bush Bluegrass Band, The Del McCoury Band, and The Infamous Stringdusters are already confirmed for this year’s pickin’ celebration, so get your tickets now. More artists at this link.


ARISE Music Festival- August 4th-6th

Colorado’s ARISE is back for its fifth year at Loveland’s Sunrise Ranch, and features seven stages of live music, yoga, workshops, theme camps, art galleries & installations, a children’s village, speakers, and films! Some of the top billed artists for 2017 include Atmosphere, Tipper, and Ani Difranco. Get more details at our announcement link.


Bohemian Nights at NewWestFest- August 11th-13th

Bohemian Nights at NewWestFest is a FREE, recurring, three-day music festival held every August in the historic downtown of Fort Collins. CAKE has been announced as one of the headliners with more TBA- keep up with the full lineup here.


Velorama Colorado- August 11th-13th

Following the Colorado Classic bicycle race, Colorado’s newest festival Velorama will take place in Denver’s RiNo Neighborhood this summer. Wilco, Death Cab For Cutie, The New Pornographers, Saint Motel, and La Santa Cecilia are the bands announced so far, and you don’t have to bike in the race to partake in the party! Tickets for this new fest here.


Rocky Mountain Folks Festival- August 18th-20th

Last year, Rocky Mountain Folks Festival proved to be much more than a music festival. Bringing together local artists for songwriting workshops and more, the Lyons, CO fest created an awesome artistic community that still managed to showcase great national acts too. Gregory Alan Isakov, Lake Street Dive, and Rhiannon Giddens have already been announced for this year’s fest; full schedule and list of acts here.


Jazz Aspen Snowmass- September 1st-3rd

We don’t know how Maroon 5 is jazz, but they are headlining the JAS Labor Day Weekend festival this year. Colorado favorite Nathaniel Rateliff & The Nightsweats, Lake Street Dive, and Keith Urban will also have performances at the Snowmass event. JAS has a smaller June event too, which will feature John Batiste & Stay Human, Michael McDonald, and Earth Wind & Fire. Details on both events here.


Telluride Blues & Brews Festival 

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Telluride Blues & Brews Fest has Bonnie Raitt, Steve Winwood, TajMo at the top of their bill this year. You can get your grand brew tasting on for three days with these artists and more, plus there is a lot of availability in ticket options, so you can schedule your own fest experience. Get more info here


Festivals of The Past

We'll miss you Vertex.

We'll miss you Vertex.

Wondering what happened to some of your other favorite Colorado festivals? Bass Center moved to New Jersey this year, Divide Music Festival has been postponed until 2018, Groove Festival’s web presence has been replaced by this Japanese site making us question everything, Mad Decent Block Party went to India (yes really), Riot Fest Denver will not return due to Sean McKeough's death, and Vertex (which we freakin’ loved) was sadly cancelled, but we’re praying it comes back to life with full zombie mayhem next year. Fingers crossed fellow festheads.


Make sure to keep up with our festival coverage all season on BolderBeat’s dedicated fest page!

-Hannah

Follow Hannah on Instagram and Twitter.

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

Alina Baraz Brought Her Sultry Goodness to Denver Last Weekend

By: Sierra Voss

Alina Baraz sold out Denver’s Bluebird Theater this past Sunday and put on a fabulous show for her loyal fans.

Alina Baraz.

Alina Baraz.

A little history: The talented vocalist was actually found by Danish beats producer Galimatias after she recorded her written songs over some of his tracks and uploaded them to her Soundcloud. Soon after, they were connected and the two produced Urban Flora together, an eight song EP. At age 19, she moved from her hometown in Ohio to Los Angeles. By age 21, she was already playing Lollapalooza. And most recently, Baraz was just added as Coldplay’s opener for their 2017 national tour. She’s climbed the pop ladder, and quickly.

Never in my life have I heard people scream for an artist the way Sunday night's crowd called out for Alina Baraz. But then again, what’s not to love? Her sultry R&B voice glided over tropical house tracks as she swayed across the stage in one sexy ass outfit. I saw audience members look over to their friends after every song stating, and restating, how stunning her voice was live. The compliments were flowing throughout the show and fans melted when she knelt down and grabbed the hands of those that waited their little hearts out in the front row for a chance to touch her.  

Watch Alina Baraz’s latest music video:

Alina Baraz’s Denver show certainly racked up more points toward her dominance in the pop music world; the fans don’t lie. Take a listen to Baraz’s EP Urban Flora and catch one of her next shows.

-Sierra

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

Iolite Has Officially Set Fire To Our Bloodstream

By: Sierra Voss

Remember just two months ago when we dropped an interview with Denver’s new pop artist, Iolite? Well we weren't kidding when we said this artist was off to a fierce start in Denver’s music scene. This past weekend, Iolite took the stage at The Marquis Theater as an opener for other local hit group 888. The same day as the show, Iolite dropped a new music video for her single “Bloodstream,” which you can check out below:

PS: Did we mention she already has another show booked as an open for AMZY at The Gothic Theater in June? Yeah- Iolite is on it.

Considering she performed for the first time under the Iolite moniker for the first time last December, it’s safe to say this artist has picked a stride, and it's nothing less than a full gallop. Her Friday night show as 888’s opener went swimmingly well, with stage banter that was focused and motivating. She immediately captivated the audience with her opener “Spinning;” the rest of her set included her two other released singles, “Gravity” and “Bloodstream,” as well as three other songs not yet available online. Her set came to a crescendo when she stood on top of her drummer’s bass drum and jumped off right as her song’s beat drooped. It was a performance that left the audience calling out for her to continue. To have such a demand from the crowd after just a few months of playing is arguably pretty captivating.   

Iolite.

Iolite.

So seriously- make sure you don’t miss out on this rising Denver artist. Peep her latest video above and grab tickets for her June show here.

-Sierra

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

Whethan Plans to Get Savage at Boulder's Fox Theatre This Thursday

By: Trevor Ryan

Whethan, aka Ethan Snorek, the 17-year-old EDM artist currently dominating the electronic scene, is playing Boulder’s Fox Theater this Thursday, February 23rd on his Savage tour. Why have his drops become so highly sought after, and essentially helped form a new movement in EDM you ask? It’d be best if you nabbed tickets to see for yourself, but here’s the scoop:

Initially gaining traction with a remix of Mssingo’s “XE3,” Whethan took off when the track received (to date) more than 8 million plays on SoundCloud. Whethan then caught the attention of some pretty popular EDM artists including Oliver Tree, Flux Pavilion, MAX, and the most prominent arguably being Skrillex.

Whethan.

Whethan.

Originating from Chicago IL, Snorek, who formerly performed under the name “Wheathin,” has since developed a significant following and is the youngest artist ever signed to Future Classic Records. With an almost signature blend of deep bass and catchy, emotional riffs, fans are definitely looking forward to where this young producer is heading, and it’s not surprising that everyone and their brother has attempted collabs with this artist.

So if you’re big into EDM, or you’re simply looking to listen to whoever is the next big thing in the scene right now, get your tickets for this Thursday’s Fox show. Things are going to get Savage.

Be sure to follow Whethan on Facebook, Twitter, and his website. Get your tickets to this Thursday’s Fox show 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.

Savoy's Tasty Electronic Jam Sessions Headed to The Fox Theatre Next Thursday (02/16)

Savoy returns to Boulder, CO next Thursday for another mind-bending show.

Put on your funkiest dancing shoes boy and girls, because next Thursday, February 16th, Savoy returns to Boulder and their signature electronic jam sessions are not to be missed. The largely instrumental duo tend to work the crowd with a battery of different sounds: winding buildups, huge drops, and casually funkified breakdowns always make appearances at their live shows.

Savoy

Savoy

Listeners should expect a variety of singles released in 2016 to fill The Fox Theatre next week. “Living Color,” “Neon Nebraska,” and “The Wolf” are all testaments to Savoy’s never-static sound design and next Thursday’s show should be, as always, an original performance of a constantly evolving Savoy.

Puppet. 

Puppet. 

Savoy always showcases the best talent in the form of opening musicians as well. Puppet, one opener, is an electro-rock space odyssey hailing from the East Coast. Full of trancey vocals galore and a fresh sound, Puppet (Brendan Baldwin) will get the energy high. If you are a fan of HayWyre, you’re going to like Puppet! If you like Evanoff, you’re going to love Puppet!

Blair.

Blair.

Blair, the other opener, promises to “echo all the sexiest bits of the 80s.” With guitar riffs and synth style that plays on the past while exploring the future, Blair (Evan Blair) is going to bring some straight rock’n’roll to the start of the night.

If you have not seen Savoy at Red Rocks, or even if you have, they are not to be missed at a more intimate venue like The Fox. And if you have a list of quality electronic shows you want to see, this should be at the top of it. Get your tickets here. Now.

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